“A Year Without Facebook” / Elizabeth Maria Naranjo

The following post is by author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo (The Fourth Wall, WiDo, 2014). It originally appeared on her website, and we are reprinting it here with her permission. Although we encourage our authors to stay visible via social media if it’s what they enjoy, there are certain times and sites that can be more of a burden than a joy. Elizabeth’s blog post on quitting Facebook is timely, thoughtful and will no doubt strike a chord with many.

Last May, with a deep sense of relief, I quietly deactivated my Facebook account. Since that day one year ago, I have not logged back on. This is not a self-congratulatory post; I’m writing it because I know many people are overwhelmed with Facebook and have considered quitting it for good too, and if you’re one of them, I want to help if I can.

If you absolutely love Facebook or have never considered walking away because it’s a great way to stay connected to distant family and old friends or you need it for your job or you are too involved with groups that only operate there etc., it’s fine. You don’t need to justify that to anyone. This post isn’t for you.

If, however, you often find yourself weighing the pros and cons of the site and wondering if you could do without it because most of the time you actually hate it or you hate the way you feel about yourself and/or people you like/love when spending time on it, this post is for you.

Here’s what to expect when you break up with Facebook:

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“A New Renaissance in Literature” / Karen Jones Gowen

(Originally written for LDS Publisher as WiDo’s final contribution before LDSP closed her website, this article by our managing editor captures the essence of what drives WiDo Publishing.)

One of the hallmarks of the Renaissance of the 15th century was that new voices were heard in the areas of art, literature, religion and basically all aspects of cultural life, touching and influencing thought from the highest levels of power down to the lowest, allowing the common man to finally realize his potential.  William Tyndale, who translated the Bible to English, was key in this transformation. He captures its essence in these few powerful words to a noted clergyman:  “If God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”

For the past five decades, the publishing industry, represented by what is commonly known as “the Big Six,” have been the ones controlling what books were available in bookstores and libraries. When the offerings were the best literary voices of our time, nobody complained; but when it veered to commercial garbage that sold in huge numbers (think Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Susann and their copycats), then thoughtful readers wondered where all the good books had gone.

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“Self-Publishing is Not for Everyone” / Paul Anthony Shortt

ME4The topic of self-publishing has come up time and again. I sometimes wonder if the debate will ever end as to which one is “better.”

The thing is, neither is better than the other. Any more than mayonnaise is better than ketchup. They’re both just different choices people can make. On more than one occasion I’ve had to defend my decision to go traditional. And not only that, to stay traditional. I honestly can’t see myself ever wanting to move over completely to self-publishing.

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