am writing

Why You Should Think Twice Before Collaborating


In my twenty plus years of writing and creating art, I have rarely collaborated with other creatives. I enjoy being a stand alone, independent person. Experience has also taught me some harsh lessons in regard to collaberating.

There was one good time on Paltalk in the early 2000’s when I sang a hook for a producer in Las Vegas. We did that for fun, creating a parody song. I still have the copy of it and occasionally listen, enjoying the memory. That one was a casual and positive, collective collaboration.

The few other collaborations I’ve done have left me jaded. I hear this often from indie creatives. So why does collaborating with other creatives end up like this?

What I have experienced is a simple lack of ethics and a self-serving intent. They simply don’t give a shit. They don’t think their behavior will ever come back to haunt them.

When I say I’m going to do something for someone I do it. If I’m having struggles producing the exchange I promised, I communicate about it. I care about my character as a creative being.

In my experience, ethical creatives are difficult to find, especially when dealing with any Hollywood related type individual. My personal experience had been that many of them are narcissistic sharks who will love bomb a person with a fantastic promise; a lie to get what they want. If you plan to deal with Hollywood types, armor up and lawyer up.  Frankly, lawyer up period. 

Sometimes collaborating can be a great advantage for a creative who is starting out. It allows for networking and connection. I support guest blogging for writers. You get to control your content and you can share it as much as you want. I highly recommend this platorm for writers. I don’t consider this to be collaboration persay, as there is normally no exhange promise or writing as a collective. Guest blogging expands the reader platform for your writing.

However, in regard to exchange collaboration, the question remains. Is there going to be a balanced exchange of product and the sharing of creative work?

My previous, and certainly final, experience in being burned on exchange collaboration happened like this.

In 2015, I made a collaboration exchange agreement through email with a videographer. I wrote a poetic script for the videographer’s short video. In exchange, the videographer was going to make a video for one of my pre-recorded spoken word poetry pieces.

I emailed the videographer three of my recorded pieces. In a return email, they decide they liked my poem “Illusion”, a piece I had not publicized and would do so with the video was given to me to publicize. The videographer asked if they could put some music to to my poem. I agreed.

I waited. I watched the videographer making videos for other people, but my video had not arrived. I gave them time. I understand that paying projects come first. That’s how I work as well.

The following year, the videographer and family went through a transition, moved, had to re-settle, and so I gave space for them to balance out. Being patient and giving allowances, I waited, didn’t bother them, figuring when their dust settled, I’d receive what I was promised.

I observed as they did just that, becoming a part of a sensationalized situation. I still held space, feeling that advocacy work came first.

Yet, I saw the videographer was making videos and doing photo shoots for people. So, I decided to email and see had they forgotten about me? Possibly. It can happen when people go through life transitions. 

Ok. I stay in my critical thinking, hoping I’m not witnessing what my gut had really told me from the beginning; that people will use others for gain, then throw them away.

I messaged the videographer on Facebook messanger. I could see the person had just been active a mere fifteen minutes earlier.

Again… my message Ignored.

They’ve been active on Facebook messenger since I sent the message.

Still ignored.

So, I am resigned to take it for what if is and let it go. Now I know how these people are. True colors have shown themselves. They attach to people for as long as they might gain from them and then its seemingly over.

I do things in writing for a reason. I am a writer who likes to have proof of truth. I document. I keep emails and messages.

It was 2015 when I originally handed over the script for their video. In 2016, I have Facebook communications about the video I was supposed to receive. It is now 2017. I still have nothing.

This is about seeing the ethical system of other people. Instead of a simple response of “hey, oh gosh, so sorry this has taken so long thanks for being patient.“, I am ignored.

Guess what that triggers? Shunning. Being extracted from.  A myriad of emotional battery replaying. 

When I am treated this way, if someone asks me about them, they’ll get the truth of my negative experiemce. I don’t run in popularity contests. I don’t use people for personal gain then throw them away.

I’m not as pissed off at the lack of being given what I was promised, as I am at the blatant disrespect of being ignored. I’m no longer promoting those who are unethical people. I don’t care who they are. If you got mentioned by me in a radio interview, or your work shared to my thousands of followers and then fucked me over, you will never be promoted by me again.

There are no second chances when someone openly disrespects me. I don’t play nice. I don’t kiss the ass of academia, which is slowly phasing and dying out. I don’t worry whether someone is going to like or even endorse my work. Why?

Because running on this mindset is a recipe for being used, being bullshitted and it’s frankly, inconsequential. Most readers don’t give a shit if your novel has a forward written by someone with PhD after their name. unless you are writing an academic book.

Readers read content. I usually skip forwards as a reader, to get to the meat of a book. Most readers I know do the same. Blurbs don’t impress me either.  You can have a blurb from a president on your publication. If your book doesn’t interest me, that blurb is not going to make me buy it.

Additionally, it doesn’t necessarily sell your book. Marketing knowledge and the money to invest in advertising will sell your book/product.

So all of the spazzing and pining and usery I have experienced in my decades of being a public creative, from my experience, means nothing except being the teacher of lessons.

What matters to your audience is how well you write and create and more than ANYTHING, personally connecting with your target market.

In summary, my advise and perspective is to focus your time and energy on YOUR own work. Don’t give it away. Definitely don’t give it away on a promise, even in writing. Unless you have the resources and desire to sue, should you not receive what you were promised, more often than not, you will find yourself empty handed.

I also don’t want you to pattern your networking based on my experiences. Just take them into consideration and move forward better armed to build your boundaries.

And without QUESTION, follow your INTUITION. If your tummy feels off about it, say no and don’t look back. Don’t live in the mindset you “need” people to be successful. You only need authenticity and consumers for your product.

As you rise, people will tell you how much they can do for you, that their collaberation will make your work better, that their written forward will boost your sells and more. I disagree. I know authors with forwards by academia who are making nothing on their books because they have no marketing skills. 

Good marketing is what matters. Investing in yourself matters. Your own voice will sell your product. So, think twice before collaberating. And remember, the imagined professional reference you think might endorse your product could also lose you consumers if that professional is not respected. 

 Don’t be afraid to stand alone.

Advertisements

Soul Genocide

She mimicked normal,
Smiling, wine glass
Lifted pinkie; copied class,
And she remembered back,
Carefree before this jump.

Into ash and stone
Leaping downwards,
This place would never
Feel like home.

Oh, did not she
Understand her strength,
When the wind
Lifts her wings?
To get through the storms
She would forget
Her own dimension
Without hesitation.

Windblown cheeks.
Born weak and
Barely breathing.
Timelines bending,
She had jumped back
To help them
Walk forward.

How the sun will
Burn her feet
And her eyes
Red from crying,
She will die and return,
Float in and out;
Take blows so she could
One day
Reveal
What they hope to hide.

Soul genocide.

Old, decrepit shills
Behind fading veils
Holding onto strands
In their decrepit hands,
They hope to
Keep the rope noosed,
But they are dying
And she is smiling.

Generation of horror
Deserves no honor.

Beliefs created excuses
For perverted abuses.

As the clouds drift
She gazes the sky.
Change comes soon
As moon cycles
Command the tides.
She breathes quiet.

Into the dark matter die.
Take leave of Gaia.

She will vanish one day;
Become dust and ash,
Leaving behind a past
Scrawled on pages,
Telling stories of
Generations who
Perpetrated

Violence
Racism
Sexism
Abuse
Misuse
Judgment
Confinement

The truth they hope
Will continue hiding,

But trees speak loudly
Through vibrational air
And wind carries whispers
When truth is near.

No escape. No pennants.
No hope for Redemption.
They are falling matter
Slowly evaporating,
A virus of sagging skin
Wicked insides and
Accusations of sin.

Be that your heart
Stops beating
To end the weeping
As you become nothing
To nevermore arrive
Alive in existence again.

Be that your breath
Is taken in night dreams
To end the screams
Left over from their
Deviant schemes.

Be that in their death
Release the slaves,
The mind overtaken
Now re-awakened.

She spins circles
In the dirt
A line for every soul
Their apathy has hurt
And she prepares
To hunt, eyes closed.

©VennieKocsis

If We Have Rules Are We Free?

The first time I wore a two piece bathing suit I was fourteen years old. I recall the nakedness my stomach felt as it met sun and warmth. My skin tingled. I was shy. Yet, the more I fed my body with the light of the sun’s reflection, the more I embraced its glow.

I imagine this is how the woman feels who, for the first time, removes the hijab, or the long skirt, or the bonnet, or the many array of coverings that have been required for a woman to cover herself with, passed down through multiple years of differing doctrines and laws telling her how she must dress and behave in order to be desirable to a man and appropriate to others’ standards.

I imagine them all with their hair blowing in the wind, skin soaking in the kiss of breeze, free and respected in the true nature of her natural glory. She is me, once disallowed to feel sky on my thighs, told how to dress and what would make me wife material. Chained by my appearance to someone else’s ideal of what was proper, I drowned inside my clothing layers.

I’ll spend eternity alone if it means being free to be me, tattoos and dimension colored hair, making my own way, whatever that looks like. I dream of a day when women are honored for the uniqueness of who we are, not who people think we should be. When that day comes, and it is, I will hold hands with a long line of women, throwing off their chains and running, laughing, into the sea.

Vennie Kocsis
author, Cult Child

You Used To Be My Muse

There was once a time when I sent you love letters, and you smiled.  You were far away, always, in either spacial distances or miles, even when you were right beside me.   There were days when you thirsted for my words as if they were the last drop of liquid you’d ever drink again.  They would fill your lonely nights with hopes of better ones.  We never thought ourselves to be good enough, even inside of our inflated senses of ego, the mask that we thought let everyone know we were whole.

You’ve sunk into silence in these days, so many years later, as though your feelings were shred into so many pieces, they melted into the linings of your heart and hardened.   How does one make the decision to re-shape what has been formed into stone over so many years of fire if not to re-melt and re-form into what was the beginning of your existence, stars and floating sky.

I am at peace with being.  Where once I scorned myself, I no longer ingest the disinterest; the passive absence of spirit, held behind a wall of secrecy that cannot be infiltrated.   As I quietly observe the movement of this drift, I understand it, more deeply then I’ve ever seen into our ethereal strings before.   I used to cry from trying, defeated and wondering.  Now, I smile in knowing, because I will continue to float on this solitary raft, happily soaking in stars and overhanging leaves; joyful to be me loving me.   Whether I am loved by others is no longer a need.  Someone’s choice to give love is theirs to own.    I’ve learned to love myself enough to replace infinite lovers.

You used to be my muse as I was yours. You used to write poetry and touch the center of yourself; scribe beautiful rhymes that read as coded messages.   Now, there are robotic movements and steps backwards, unresponsive communications where not even silence holds whispers.

For me, every moment has become a muse.  Each tree leaf that softly dances in the breeze and every human face glancing at me gets read in seconds.  Inside those fleeting moments, I grasp language, expression and understanding of situations that don’t belong to me.   It is from there my fingers begin to speak, leaking out emotions that stir the swirling universes beneath my rib cage.

Here, I sit alone with myself, but I am no longer lonely.

Does Your Tribe Consist Of Warriors?

I am rising. So the people in my circle must be warriors. To be close to me one must contain and maintain the passion to fight for me just as I adhere myself close to you. I will go to battle to protect you.

My army is small, yet impenetrable. Everyone outside of it is a molecular extension. Loyalty is pertinent during these times. To be accepted into the most sacred of my innner space one must be ascended and vetted, mind, body and spirit.

I look around me. I am there. Each person inside of my life loves me loyally. Each person would say no, she is good, she is my friend, my mother, my sister and my daughter.

There is no dramaturgy playing violin strings or symphonies. All are at peace with being. Each who we are. Witch. Warlock. Children of the Stars. Daughters of the Moon. Sisters to the tree leaves. Shapeshifters. Love Givers. Moniceptors. Otherkin. Indigos. Crystals. We are at differing levels of growth actualization. We are varying age dimensions. We are a wise and skilled tribe.

There is a summer awaiting fingers debating word phrases as I disengage from the grid and go in. In the meantime, I hold you at distances. Not because I don’t love you. It is because I don’t trust you. “Who me?” If you’d like to apply it feel free. Trust is not given. It is earned. The world can burn tomorrow, and the hollow earth can explode. Wars can be waged and chemicals sprayed. Who will be there to hold you?

You will know, when at your worst you become your best. So observe the words returned, the lines unspoken, the invisible fences which rush electricity through your stomach without warning.

In these signs of the times who will be by your side? Only you decide.

Alone At Sea

What wistful ways
Lovers dance
Eyes intense
Falling into trance
Bent like trees
Branches extended
Their adoration
Never ending

What an invisible life
Hovering slightly above
Glancing below
I never thought I’d
Wince at humans
Holding hands with
Such bonded elegance

She searched the earth
In caves resting
In more caves her
Hands empty
Holding dust
And aloneness

The human aches
I wish I could soothe her
Become form
Hold her close so she
Can feel chosen
Just once but
She is destined
For solitude and
Strangers wandering
In and out as though
Her heart is a brick door

Young she will escape
Finish this cycle soon
Return home where her
Legs don’t ache
From running and her
Ears won’t ring
From screaming where
Her breath becomes
A blanket wrapped tight
So she can sleep.

Now we float
Between these worlds
We see through;
Beyond and between
Beneath and inside
Smiles and tears
We cry and

Who can take
Into their hands
Such fragile existence
As ours
Who can be so worthy
Of this synergy
Spun, we rung the bells
Vibrational wind spells

Not all that exists
Is intended
Some is pretended
And this circle of
Light’s pure amethyst
Serves and protects us

What immortal ways
Lovers recycle each other
Like magnets we cannot
Avoid the passings
Broken rafts afloat a sea
Leaving mystery to
Be discovered
By another

©VennieKocsis.com

A Moment In the Mind of a Mother With DID

I stand still in my slippered feet. The girls are at the table coloring. My youngest son is visiting from college and is recalling a childhood moment with me.

“You took me to watch The Grinch, remember?” He asks. His eyebrows are furrowed.

“I did?” I am flipping through the years like micro film, trying to bring up the memory.

“Oh my gosh, mom! How can you not remember that?” He exclaims. I drown in his frustration.

I am on the spot standing in shame. How careless I must seem to not remember an experience that is so obviously a fond memory for him. What kind of mother would not remember that moment? What kind of mother doesn’t remember special memories with her children?

A mother with DID. I want to say this as he continues on, his brother joining him, but they don’t pause to let words in, and they’re certainly not seemingly interested.

“You DO know who the Grinch is, right?” My eldest asks.

“Of course I do.” I reply.

And they go on to tell me of the movie, and I remember Jim Carey’s antics and sparkly green fur. I just don’t remember seeing it at a theater.

But I can’t say it right now, with granddaughters happily coloring away in their coloring books and my sons in their own energy, laughing and remembering.

I can’t say how I will claw away at the particles of blank spaces trying to find this moment. I can’t let out the lump in my throat that outside of those who understand my cult aftermath, I will stand judged and misunderstood more than not. There will be no room for explanation or conversations that open doorways to understanding.

I can only quietly walk away and wish I could switch minds with them for a day. Then maybe we could understand each other. I could see myself from their perspective. I could understand them more if I could see me like they do.

It’s not their responsibility, but it’s mine to remember. I walk away wincing the ache of failure. How can I ever explain to them the maze that is my brain? How can I draw out blank spaces, pain and the exhausting  strain of remembering?

I accept that only those who have suffered similarly to me can feel with me. Only those who have experienced the fragmented pieces that are the aftermath of a complex childhood filled with physical, sexual and mental torture, can truly understand what we become, who arrives to help us through, and why we stand staring, akwardly on the spot, holding blank spaces in our palms.