C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Top 10 How to be happy (oddly, this will infuriate people it’s meant to help)

This is probably the sort of topic where, if you get it, you don’t need it. If you don’t see it, you probably never will. (Then why blog about it? Because I don’t see any windmills! Now gimme that lance! Let’s go tilting!)

Change can happen though.

A bureaucracy, that shall remain nameless, gave off a lot of bad hoodoo. They’re infamous for holding the people they serve in contempt. The way they related to people led, in part, to the installation of bulletproof glass in their place of business. (I’m not kidding.)

Recently, they responded to the wails from those who paid their salaries. The video they sent out stopped short of an apology, but they did acknowledge they needed to set a new tone. They promised to work on changing their corporate culture.

I was one of their most strident critics. If they’re sincere, I’m surprised how willing I am to forgive and forget. The changes I see so far are free and subtle. I dealt with them again recently and a few pleases and thank yous was all it took to ease my wariness. It seemed, in the span of a few short paragraphs, that they weren’t trying to make me feel like a dirtbag. Refreshing.

Which brings us to blogging and relating to people.

I’ve found myself skipping past the blog titles that say, “Here are X number of reasons your blog sucks.” Maybe there’s good information in there, but I’m an author with an Irish family on one flank and teenagers closing in on the other. I’ve got enough negativity in my life. I already have a dim view of the world and I enjoy it in fiction. Less so, when someone harangues me.

I attended a webinar that made me sad.

The guy was knowledgeable, but the way he communicates needs to soften. The louder he talked, the less we heard. He then confessed that a big business opportunity fell through because of “conflicting styles and interpersonal stuff.”

I think I know the problem. It was the abrasive guy. “Go-getter” and “jerk” don’t have to be synonymous. The adage is not that you get more flies with corpses.

Which brings us to Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.

My friend, supporter and sounding board, Kit’s a graphic artist who is a great resource for any publisher. He works with all of us, big and small. But that’s the least of why you should do business with him.

He knew I was feeling down the other day. He took the time to write a kind note that hit me at just the right time. Clearly, if you’re an author or publisher, this is the sort of person with whom you want to work. He does great work and his portfolio is impressive. You’ll get great covers and he’s not done until you’re happy. Work with Kit Foster and you’ll sell more books.

But many people can deliver book covers at a reasonable price, right?

Sure, I guess. But how many will bother to send you an email that makes you feel better when you’re down?

For a lot of people, anytime they see you’re down is when they start kicking.

How can we make more people like Kit?

1. Go back in time and get nicer parents, smoke helpful medicines or be Scottish, I suppose. I’m not sure what makes Kit the way he is.

2. Some medical schools use actors to teach doctors what compassion looks like so they can fake it. I don’t know if that sticks. I’ve often said the only thing I learned from Survivor was that jerks and psychotics can’t fake being nice for a month, even for a million dollars.

3. We can practice random acts of kindness and see if that elevates our mood. Happier people are nicer people. This doesn’t apply to people who get happy for the wrong reasons. If you’re one of those psychos, seek professional help before the rest of us rise up and throttle you.

4. We can practice gratitude (I guess I’m doing that now.) It sounds kind of hippie, but there’s science that shows the more thankful you are for what you already have, the happier you will be.

5. If you can’t manage these suggestions, professional scuba diving limits your ability to damage the rest of us, so take one for the team and go scream at fish. 

6. Use Kit’s services at KitFosterDesign.com. Maybe exposure helps by osmosis.

7. If you’re angry at somebody, make sure you know why you’re really angry.

Here’s how you’ll know you’re angry or sad about something else besides the target of your ire: You should have a range of emotional responses. If you review a book with the same level of vitriol that should be reserved for skinning live puppies? You’re Monty Burns and you have a problem, no matter how catchy the tune you sing about making fur coats.


8. If you’re already happy, spread it like fertilizer. Maybe it will grow. A bookstore employee told me she didn’t aim for happy. She aimed for contentment. Ironically, that suggestion made me happier.

9. Exercise. Meds to treat depression and disorder. Talk therapy. Total gene and personality transplant or personal tragedy that leads to an unlikely transformation. I don’t recommend leaving the problem so long that the solution is that last option.

10. Take Joe Rogan’s suggestion and pretend a documentary film crew is following you around, recording the lost time, outbursts and ill temper. Do that for one day and you might decide it’s time to change all your other days.

When you look up to find you’re surrounded by happy, creative, productive people and you don’t resent them for it?

You’ll know then you’re on the right track.

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute. I am not happy all the time. I am working on improvement. Check out my books and podcasts at AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: author platform, getting it done, publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UBC TOP TEN: Everything we know is wrong. Stop That!

July 16, 17, 18

The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories is FREE 

My son asked me if someone was as smart as they think they are. “No one is as smart as they think they are. A

Click here to get this fun book of suspense FREE until tomorrow at midnight.
Small-town terrors and psychological mayhem in Maine.

guy can be an idiot, but if you agree with him, you think he’s a genius.” It got me thinking what else we often get wrong.

1. Two heads aren’t better than one if the dumb, loud guy does all the talking.

2. Instead of instantly deferring to somebody who says, “Listen to me because I’ve done X for twenty years,” wonder this: Have they been doing it wrong for twenty years?

3. When you correct someone, are you out to help them or to feel superior? If it’s the first, thanks. If it’s the second, shut up. (And no one likes you.)

4. Are you reacting out of fear? Are you worried about terrorists when you’re far more likely to die from heart attack, cancer or a slippery bathtub? (Yes, you’re more likely to die from a slippery bathtub.)

5. Do you feel compassion for others or have you given up already because it’s all just too much and what can one person do? One person can make a big difference with one person. Start small. If you can’t handle actual  human interactions and social contact, start with that lovely person in the mirror.

6. Are you paralyzed by analysis or waiting for permission? Don’t wait until conditions are perfect to change your life. Perfect never comes but the Good Enough Train is always on time. If you’re waiting for permission, chances are excellent you have lots of people in your life waiting for you to ask so they can refuse. (Choose allies carefully. Dump enemies in the river.)

7. Are you certain about something? Beware! Certainty is the cardinal sign that you aren’t as smart as you would like to think. Serial killers are very confident and have high self-esteem. Scientifically, the less informed we are about a subject, the more certain we are in our opinions. (Though I’m not sure about this. Don’t be too sure. Intelligent people are about nuance, which is why they often lose elections.)

8. Are you mad at someone? They know, but are you sure they understand why? They might change their behaviour if they knew. (Yes, I’m saying don’t be so passive aggressive and spineless and state your needs. And, for God’s sake, if they have spine enough to look at you perplexed and apologize, take the apology and move on. Don’t hold on to your resentments. If they don’t apologize, dump him, girl, because if you don’t stop him now, you will be picking up after him forever.)

9. Some people are very negative, hurtful even, and add, “I’m just being honest.” Really? Or are they congratulating themselves for being nasty? You already know the answer to that question if you have one of these miseries in your life. If you are one of these miseries, stop. If you’re putting up with one of these miseries, go back to #8.

10. People put too much faith in top ten lists, don’t you think? They sure sound authoritative. But I’m just another nit on the interwebs, pontificating. You shouldn’t listen to me. (Or am I using mind fu in a cheap ploy to ingratiate?) Make up your own mind about stuff. You can do that as long as you distrust your brain. It’s not just that people lie. It’s that your brain lies to you all the time, mostly to distract you from the existential horror of the abyss. and to protect us froth knowledge that, yes, we really do look that fat in these jeans. In fact, we’re fat all the time. Hm. Maybe a few lies aren’t so bad. Keeps us off the ledge.

Ancient people thought they knew everything there was to know about the nature of the universe. 

Every age is the most modern age and the best minds from each age now sound stupid on lots of subjects.

The chances we now know what we’re doing is, statistically speaking, lousy.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of Self-help for Stoners, The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories, Bigger Than Jesus, and Sex, Death & Mind Control (for fun and profit). The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories is the foundation of the Poeticule Bay suspense novels that are now in the works. This novella and short story bundle is free on Amazon until Wednesday night. Please go grab it and, if you love it, please review it. Thanks!

(To see all of Chazz’s books, click here.)

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Get yourself free

I had a  surprising conversation last night. It was largely about Sarah Palin. I detailed various aspects of her run for the vice presidency which did not put her in a good light. She wasn’t ready and she tried to bluff her way in. I was fair, but I went through a list of things she had done and said that anyone who follows politics would know. The surprise part was that it was my nine-year-old son asking the questions as we went on a power walk.

This led to other tangents about the people with whom we don’t want to associate, like bullies, twits and half-term governors (not that she’s calling to come over and kvetch over coffee.) The larger lesson comes from a Bare Naked Ladies’ lyric, “If there is some you can do without in your life, then do so.” It’s good advice because hanging out with the wrong people, whether it’s around a barbecue or in business, sucks life energy away. In the past, I ‘ve tended to cut people loose, but not nearly fast enough. I told myself I had to pay my dues or put up with it or be more patient or be nice and the problem would go away. Problems don’t tend to go away on their own, especially when those problems are people.

I’m not even sure what my reasoning was for waiting so long to but the dead weight. In a couple of cases I thought I didn’t have a choice financially (not true as it turned out) or I worried getting away from bad people would be complicated. I was wrong. Keeping stupid, mean or incompetent people around was far more complicated than disentangling myself from their clutches.

To the boss, the publisher, the financial adviser, the various people who called me friend but acted differently when it suited them: I am thinking of a two-word answer. The two words are not “Thank you.”

Good luck finding a new pin cushion who is half as entertaining because,

as bad as our relationships were,

I was always awesome.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,019 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: