How to Harness the Power of The 10 Year Cyclicality in Pop Culture



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Have you ever had an idea to create the next Harry Potter or Twilight except with an original tweak to the genre, but thought the market was too saturated with those kinds of stories, so it seeped away into the fog, eventually forgotten.

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What many people may not be aware of is the cyclical nature of pop culture.  As I ascend to my 34th year, I’m starting to see my friends marry and raise children.  It’s beautiful yes, but the same thing happens every time.  Parents raise their kids to be fans of their passions.  Do you love Star Wars?  Think back to this post when you find yourself taking a picture of your baby dress as Princess Leia for Reddit karma or Facebook Likes.

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Inevitably when the kid of a Star Wars fan grows up having light saber fights with his dad and having Star Wars movie marathons with mom, that kid will have 10-15 years before they have disposable income of their own and an interest in Star Wars…

…and there are millions of others if not more doing the same exact thing, as if training an army of fanatics.

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Now, on the bleak emotionless side, what you end up with is a 10 year cycle ebb and flow with the different generations playing a game of Telephone.  So a ghoulish, shape shifting vampire that turns into a bat, sleeps in a coffin, and is to be feared, transgenerationally becomes a glittery angst filled teenager because boy bands.

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On the bright side it’s nice that this ebb and flow exists.  My dad shared Andy Griffith with me as I grew up, and I still call him Pa’w. Be it reruns, adaptations or a whole new take, our desire to share our passions through generations could be the reason to breathe new life into that idea you once had but gave up on. Just give it time, but maybe spend that time researching and writing, so when the ebb starts to flow again you can come out swinging.

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Thanks for taking a look at the thoughts I have rolling around up there!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @m0nkeyfire for more gems like this.

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How to Harness the Power of Procrastination


… and the Influence of Importance on Motivation

I was doing some thinking about my choice to quit my job and pursue a chance to publish my own comic.  Counter productive thoughts began resembling a plague.  It is not uncommon that the voices of naysayers crop up from time to time to bounce echoes of self doubt inside my thoughts, and while I used to believe in their negative point of view of me, I chose to begin believing in my ability to research and persevere to tell a great story instead.

Choosing to live out the experience of accomplishing your dream is a powerful choice.  However, the path is usually long and arduous and often it is easy to find yourself eventually coming down from a motivational high and having trouble getting back into it. When that happens, I have a bit of a secret weapon for re-lighting that fire under my ergonomic office chair seat cushion.  I binge watch.  I know it sounds counter intuitive but stay with me.

When I feel less than motivated to stop procrastinating I binge watch, but only things that I can glean information from to help me in my ultimate pursuit.  I had one of those days yesterday.  I just couldn’t put myself down in front of my keyboard, so I began to horizontally absorb any information I could from YouTube and other various internet sources about such things like running a successful Kickstarter and all from on my back on the couch.  I also looked up information on building email lists.  There are definitely some morally ambiguous sorts with questionable ways to generate an email list, but I just tell them I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks.

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The beauty of my “revolutionary” Motivational Binge Watching process is that by lazily studying, it satiated my desire to indulge my laziness while still progressing me forward.  An added bonus is that because I surrounded myself with relevant information, my thoughts were naturally influenced back on track which motivated me towards the ultimate goal of self publishing my comic book. I only lost a day of writing and even if it had been for a bit longer, it was time well spent by seeing what steps have lead to success for others and allowing me to give some thought to the tasks in my inevitable future.

Actually, there was one last important factor. Realizing the importance of accomplishing my goal.  Understanding that I would gladly suffer through all the late night edits, the incapacitating writer’s block, and all the other self inflicted tortures that come with the ill advised choice to be a writer because achieving my goal is that important to me and thereby deserves only my best efforts.

I’ll end by saying obviously one should work towards eliminating those unmotivated moments from happening, but in the journey for productivity, it is sometimes necessary to indulge your inner slacker.   So, if something is important to you, just remember it’s part of the process to struggle or even to fail, as long as you persevere to the end.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed this one.  I rather liked writing it.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @m0nkeyfire (it’s a zero!) to come along with me as I work towards my dream of self publishing my comic book!

Creating a Comic the Austin Humphrey Way


Obviously, there are tons of ways to go about publishing your own comic.  I am new to the process but have a pretty good handle on what steps should be done and when.

So, if you’re just starting out I would begin with:

  1. Ask yourself “Should I write for my project or focus on my social media presence?

When I first started, I dove head first into my comic book and after I finished the 6th issue I realized that if I finish my book, who would I tell about it?  Having a loyal following on social media is important to the success of your comic book and should not be neglected.  So what do you do?  Easy.  Start a Twitter.  Get yourself one of those tweet scheduling apps and start creating content to entice followers to stick around until you finish your project.  For me, I started writing a blog (this one in fact) and am already up to 8 blog posts which I can blast on my twitter.  The more blogs I write, the more free content I have to share and the more followers I can accumulate.  Get that follower number up by offering quality free content.



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2. Start Studying!

Most of my day is spent studying and researching every aspect of what I’ll need to know so I can publish my comic book successfully.  Meanwhile, my afternoons are spent building my social media presence while my nights are where I do most of my writing, be it for my comic or for these blogs. The more you know, the less you stumble. So don’t try to blindly wander your way to success.  Make a plan, set a path, and stay motivated to see it through to the end.

3. Finding an artist

I’ll get into more detail here in a different post, but since I’ve been building a following and I have a decent amount of my comic written, finding an artist to work with is the next step to completing the project.



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4. Start promoting your main project.

Once you have enough content on your blog to gather a following on twitter, it’s time to give them even MORE free stuff.  Once I have my issue 0 completed with artwork and all, I will use it as a freebie to entice people to do a few things.  They’ll sign up with their email to receive a digital copy, now I have a list of emails that are interested in reading my comic.  I can send out mass emails to my followers telling them when the next issues will be released for sale!  It also wets the appetite of the reader to get them hooked on your story.

5. Kickstarter

This is the last step I have given thought to as I am still in the “generate a following” phase, but there is always lots to know and learn and I’ll share more about Kickstarter when I get there.  For now, let’s assume you don’t have the money to pay for an artist, printing, shipping… Use Kickstarter to allow people to support your project by giving you the money to complete it in exchange for a thank you gift.  Usually being the comic itself among other things for different tier donations.  Expect a Big Time Kickstarter Tips blog post when it’s time to throw myself into that adventure.

So there you have it!  Some general steps that hopefully make your path to self publishing a little clearer and easier to navigate.

If you found this helpful or want to pass this info along to someone in need, please like and share.  It’s always appreciated!

Thanks and remember to follow me on twitter too! @m0nkeyfire

Should I Quit My Job to Write Comics?


I was sitting at my keyboard trying to glean inspiration to write a captivating post when I deleted what must have been my third attempt at a first paragraph (it was titled “How To Give Your Characters Integrity” and it was meh.)

Nothing seemed to click so I took a step back and remembered the reason I started this blog.  To offer guidance to others in the pursuit of comic book self publication.  It led me to think about what questions I was asking when I first started and I immediately remembered typing into google the question you see in the title of this post.

I had been unhappy working a job in sales knowing there was this idea I was gaining passion for, being neglected in the background.  Most of the advice google came up with was against quitting, citing reasons that sounded more like excuses.

If you are considering leaving a regularly paying job to pursue self publishing then let me burst some bubbles.  Everything I read about why NOT to quit my job to write my own comic book is absolutely true.

I decided to take the plunge and quit my job anyway.  I moved to a new state and started using my savings to pursue this crazy idea that wouldn’t leave me alone.  The idea that maybe, just maybe, I can tell a story worth reading.

My days are filled with research.  Researching stick fighting for story authenticity, researching marketing to gather a following that will hopefully give my comic a chance, researching Kickstarter.  When i’m not researching I’m writing.  My story, My blog, ideas for my story and blog.  Not to mention being riddled with writer’s block, self doubt and anxiety over the fear of failure.
What it ultimately comes down to is do you have what it takes to weather the storm?

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If you don’t believe in yourself, then why bother trying?  It might seem like a depressing prompt to give up, but for me it showed that my only choice was to believe in myself. Once I realized “why bother” wasn’t an option I knew I was going to carry this comic book over the finish line battered and bruised if I must.

As terrible of a picture as I painted of this process, there is something special about throwing yourself into the achievement of a dream when you believe in yourself enough to succeed despite immeasurable odds….

…or maybe I’m just a masochist.



Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found this helpful and that you liked this post enough to possibly share it with others.  Comment below and share with me the things you LOVE about self publishing!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @m0nkeyfire



How to Use Twitter for Marketing Your Book


This is a fairly obvious step if, when you finish writing, you actually want people to find and purchase your book.  When I first set out to create a comic book, I knew I’d have to cozy up to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the rest, but how to use these resources to the fullest of their capabilities was still a mystery to me.  So let’s dive right in.


Now, I’m going to start with Twitter.  It’s the one I’ve become most familiar with since I’ve started connecting with other authors and writers.  I already know when my comic book becomes purchasable, I need as many people to know about it as possible.  So, I jumped on twitter.  Here are some important things to consider when utilizing twitter to gain a loyal following.

  1. Do not follow everyone and their moms:  There are apps that will find and follow thousands of people and then automatically unfriend the ones that didn’t follow you back.  While this will inflate your “followers” number, it’s counter productive if you have a specific niche you’re trying to reach.  For me and my purposes I choose to follow anyone who follows me, but is not an obvious bot looking to use me to inflate someone else’s numbers.  After a week or so I have almost 100 followers who are all interested in comic books or writing.  I’ve also begun following resources that will help me down the line, like different publishing companies and people creating content to help me research my own path.
  2. LISTS, LISTS, LISTS:  This is a great option given by Twitter to clean up your twitter feed.  Even though I have almost 100 followers, i’m also following almost 100 people.  My feed is constantly filled and unorganized and almost impossible to keep up with.  By creating lists I was able to decide which feed I wanted to look at.  I have a list for publishers, artists, comic book fans, family, friends and a few others.  Now I have an organized way of looking at specific feeds.  An added bonus:  People on twitter love being a part of lists.  If I want to follow more comic book fans, I can search for a list someone created and instantly have hundreds, if not thousands, of potential readers for my comic book when it becomes available.
  3. Be Active: This is probably the most important rule of twitter.  As time consuming as it may be, you have to actively engage EVERYONE.  The people you follow, the people that follow you, and even people who aren’t following you yet.  This means you have to like and retweet posts from the people you follow, show them that you are invested in helping them spread their reach.  In your own posts, use Hashtags (#) to reach the people you want.  I routinely add #comicbooks #writing #comics etc… to all of my posts.  Hashtags are like breadcrumbs leading potential followers to your candy house where you can get them in your oven.


Follow these tips, and get familiar with what successful twitter users in your industry are doing and before you know it you’ll have enough people ready and waiting for your masterpiece to be available.  However, the biggest draw to your twitter will be the content you create so get to writing and give your followers something to sink their teeth into and share with friends.

 Do you have any Twitter Tips?  Comment below!

As always, follow me on Twitter @m0nkeyfire for tips and updates.