Some More Fake Dear TJ

Dear T.J.,

Why haven’t you blogged very much lately?

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

 

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Yes, it’s true, I haven’t blogged very much lately. And there is a good explanation for it. Let me run through it, okay?

First, there’s this thing called work. See, as much as I love to freely entertain bored people on the internet, I do not get paid for the task. (When someone is willing to do so, that’ll be a great day.) Well, there is this thing I refer to as ‘my job’ that I actually have to spend time at from Monday through Friday.  And with work, I’ve barely found time to write during my lunch due to so many other things interrupting that time of day. It is very difficult to accomplish much more than work. Work. And more work. (Not complaining, grateful for my job.)

Second, my free time is best spent writing in my book. Being on chapter 17 feels like a great accomplishment to me. Having over 40,000 words is just as big to me. (Hoping for 70k, we’ll see.) I haven’t had much devotion to writing like I should. Hopefully I will soon. And better yet, I’ll be done.

Third, I am married with children. Amazingly enough, they have a priority over my blog. So do most my family and friends. I spend a lot of time with them because they’ll forget I exist since I spend so much time at work.

Fourth, my weekends have been very busy lately. It’s been really nice. And you know what, that ‘busy’ness will continue for a little while.

But you know what, if you miss me that much, you could always come say hi at LTUE this week. Planning on going for Friday and Saturday, unless something comes up (which isn’t impossible.) And then there’s LDS Storymakers in May.

Thanks for your concern,

T.J.

P.S.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

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More Fake Dear TJ

(Important note: 2 more days until The Book Academy!)

So, we’re going to continue the fake tradition here of Dear T.J. because, well, it’s funny to me. And if it’s not to you, well, you’ll enjoy today’s letter that I wrote to me.

Dear T.J.,

You realize you’re not a published author and therefore are not really credible to follow concerning writing, editing, getting an agent, or being published. The best thing you can say you’ve accomplished for yourself in the writing community is becoming known by praising awesome authors. And seriously, all you do is name drop as if you’re somebody special or just by knowing these people you’re some awesome dude.

With Much Apathy,

Irritated Follower

To which, of course, I reply with:

Dear Irritated,

I’m not published? I’m not famous? What gives? Oh wait, I do live in reality and know that I’m not nearly as awesome as (insert awesome published author’s name), but that doesn’t mean I’m not credible when it comes to advice. I’ve been to writers conferences, not an expert on them, but honestly, I know how to behave at them.

Also, my name is known for being random by many more than I ever would’ve thought possible. Yes, I owe a good part of that ‘fame’ to Annette Lyon. And I’ve given her chocolate for it (and will probably give her more.) But I still continue to do what I can to make myself entertained on my own blog. Honestly, my number one fan that I have in mind when I write is me.

The best thing about my blog has been the people I’ve met because of it. I have absorbed awesome from (long list of authors that I’m sure I’d miss at least one person from if I actually named them). Without my random praises, I wouldn’t be where I am.

My goal on New Year’s was to get an agent this year. I have not gotten there yet. However, I have made so many writer friends, including ones that are published, that it has been just as worth it. And to top it off, I even have an agent following me on Twitter (the agent of choice who will be seeing a blood bath between Graham and myself in an effort to sign up for a pitch session with her at LDS Storymakers next year.)

Lately, I haven’t had much time for writing. One day I’ll be published. It’s not an if, it’s a when in my mind. Why? It’s my goal. If I don’t persevere for it, I won’t ever achieve it. All I can do is work toward it. And yeah, I have a far way to go, but I’m miles closer than I was. And if you, my fake follower who really didn’t write me but it’s me poking fun at myself, don’t think I’m special, then go away.

I know I’m awesome because of the people I know. The only difference is, I couldn’t care less whether or not anyone else thinks I’m awesome for knowing these awesome people. I feel accomplished without having accomplished things in the public’s eye. (Also, no one but me would write a Survivor: LDS Authors blog….well…maybe Elana Johnson.)

Still Don’t Care if You Don’t Think I’m Cool,

T.J. Bronley

So yeah, that’s how that’d go. If you’d like to ask me a random question and be featured/praised at Timothy Types TMI, go ahead, email me one. Why not? Advice is free, mine’s usually comical when it’s not a serious question. And even if it’s a serious question, expect the most random answer I can generate, which I usually can.

If I don’t get any questions, I’ll still come up with random ideas, don’t worry about it.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Behave Yourself

So, I’m going to pretend that I’m like Dear Abby or something and offer advice (cause I’m credible, you know.) So since I’m already pretending, let’s pretend that I got a letter that says something like this:

Dear T.J.,

I am attending The UVU Book Academy next week and was wondering if you could offer advice on how to behave appropriately so I don’t make a fool out of myself.

Sincerely,

First-time Writer

P.S. You’re blog is awesome! I really love Timothy Types TMI!

So with that wonderful question in mind, I’ll go ahead and answer it.

Dear First-time Writer,

Of course my blog is awesome. I write it. Duh!

But with that aside, let’s talk about some behavior tips. First, Brandon Mull is going to be the keynote speaker this year. Please do not go up to him and ask “What’s your secret?” Um…he writes! Seriously, I’m going to go up to this person and say “What makes you you? What’s your secret? I must know it!” Argh! There are no ‘secrets’ to being a New York Times Bestselling Author. There are, however, tips and tools to use to get there. Guess what, he took them. So did Brandon Sanderson, John Grisham, Dan Brown, and Stephen King. (Someone else’s name that starts with ‘Stephen’ is omitted for obvious reasons.) Honestly, I want to yell and scream if I hear someone say “What’s your secret?” Anyway, enough rant there.

So, let’s say you’re going up to an awesome and want to ask them a question. Be patient, but be nice. Now, if you want to talk to someone like Annette Lyon, please dangle chocolate in front of your face. Perhaps if Elana Johnson or Dan Wells were to be in attendance (which they’re not, unless something’s changed) you should cook bacon. Honestly, though, don’t interrupt the person they’re talking to. If you stand there long enough, they get the hint. (If the person your author of choice is speaking to just asked “What’s your secret?” then by all means, punch them out and introduce yourself to the author.) DISCLAIMER: If you actually do this, “Timothy Types TMI” and its author are not legally responsible or accountable if anyone does this. But if you do, you’ll get a blog post from me, as long as I witness it.

Here’s another random thought: all these authors that are published, were where you are at one point in time. But, at the same time, all published authors are people. I look at them as my peers. I’m on a first-name and familiarity basis with some authors. I’ve actually been bold enough to invite some to lunch and had one author and family over for dinner with my family. I also write praising words for some authors like subliminal messages. (Rob Wells is an awesome person to follow on Twitter. Sarah Eden’s blog is hilarious to read. Annette Lyon’s cookbook “Chocolate Never Faileth” is on the top of my to buy list. Josi Kilpack is simply wonderful. Marion Jensen has me in stitches with his split-personality. David West and Daron Fraley are awesome newcomer authors and I consider both good mentors. Stephanie Black’s latest book is actually really good.)

So, really, these are people. I’ve tried to make friends with some of them. And feel like I have. Also, don’t think that any of them can really do you favors. Honestly, if someone goes up to Rob Wells and say “Please read my YA novel” or Josi Kilpack and says “Please read my murder mystery” or Sarah Eden and says “Please read my regency romance” they may or may not be able to. (Now, if you say to Annette Lyon, “Please try this chocolate recipe” you may have a decent shot at it working.) Rob has a full-time job outside of writing and full-time job trying to drink as much Diet Coke to keep himself alive long enough to edit. Josi and Sarah (and Annette) work full-time too as moms. I’m sure they’re all wonderful moms (I just know them to be wonderful people.) These people are busy.

Shoot, I would’ve loved an opportunity to read someone’s work. But then I realized that lately, I haven’t had the time to write my own stuff. So I can understand how one of these authors can be too busy to read something of yours. If you want a free 10-page critique, I suggest you go to Precision Editing group. Also, I hear that Tristi Pinkston and Danyelle Ferguson are good editing options as well and come highly recommended.

One last thing, be happy. Especially if you’re attending for your first-time. Authors are happy to see one another succeed. Jealous? Yeah. But everyone learns how to be happy for one another because they know that when that agent and publisher comes back with a “YES!” that their world was just made.

In summary: don’t think there are secrets, don’t think you’re going to be published after attending, and don’t think these people are going to do favors for strangers. They don’t even do favors for one of their biggest fans! (That’s me, by the way.)

With much wisdom,

T.J.

P.S. Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.