Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

You’re Not Working Hard Enough.

Via Warriorforum.com

Like many writers, I have spent the last few years trying to ‘do it all.’ Whether I’m drafting another blog post, tinkering with Twitter, shouting out to writers on Triberr, checking my Facebook profile, posting on my Facebook author page, pinning on Pinterest, reading the dozens of emails I receive daily, or finishing my novel revisions, everyday is filled to the rim. In my mind, the most important of these is my novel. It’s the reason for everything else. Yet everything else seems to overwhelm it most of the time.

read all day long, in one form or another. In order to write well, you must read. A lot. Preferably in your genre, although reading in general is the point. I try to stay current with the latest books, all the advice on book marketing, social media reach, blog hits, and on and on. It’s endless.

via pinterest.com

Yesterday I read an article that stated people aren’t reading less in the digital age, instead people are actually reading more. Wanting more. More to download. More, more, more. Readers want books NOW. How are they reading them all? Who knows.

What it means for writers is what concerns me. Many authors are now attempting to hammer out three….four, five books a year to stay in the game.

WHAT?!

The industry standard has forever been…one book per year.

ONE. Maybe.

But with the introduction, and popularity, of ereaders the standard is changing. Rapidly.

For me, and many others, that’s an issue. Besides the fact that I write at turtle speed, and revise at snail, I’ve worked myself to near exhaustion trying to do everything, and be everywhere. How are we supposed to do it all? We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to either.

Balance is the key.

I’ve talked about balance a lot in prior posts, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I’ve had to force myself to step back, and breathe. Step back and realize that NO ONE can do it all, and do it well. Not going to happen. Not for long anyway. I still believe that through all the chatter and advice, all the constant information flying everywhere, that our main goal as writers should be creating good content.

We can market until we are blue in the face and crawling. Put our names out everywhere and brand until everyone knows it. But none of that will matter if our books suck. Writing is hard enough without trying to master social media.

W. Somerset Maugham
Via zazzle.com

I know we as writers are a helpful and supportive group. We want to help each other succeed. We want to feel like someone else gets it, and we aren’t wandering around alone searching for answers in the dark. So we read everything, follow a hundred blogs, and basically overwhelm ourselves with information. Not the best mindset to have when we are trying to write an 80,000 word novel.

Slow down. Really.

I don’t have this thing figured out either, but it occurs to me that a few things are obvious.

**Write your books and write them well. No good book—no reason for social media.

**Write your blog posts, tweet your shout outs, engage. But put a time limit on it.

**Back to writing.

Remember the reason why you are doing all of this. Is it to write stories? To get lost in those worlds? Yeah? Go get lost then, and create the best worlds you can.

The other stuff at the end of the day is secondary. Important, yes, but still secondary.

So tell me, what part of this industry have you found the most difficult?

**first posted in May 2012 before I landed the book contract, so let’s add that once thrown into the mix, things got busier. The difference? Now, I feel like everything else finally matters. 😉

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12 responses

  1. Thank you for your timely blog, Laney. I needed a reminder that I can’t do it all. Balance is key. I will happily write today. Lee

    June 1, 2012 at 11:23 am

  2. You are so very welcome, Lee. I’m glad it helps. I will happily write as well. 😉

    June 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

  3. True, true, true. Anyone else exhausted yet?

    June 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

  4. Let’s take a poll, Carl. I’m betting….80%.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

  5. annerallen

    This is so wise. And timely. I’m blogging about this on Sunday. Plus I’ve written a book about it with the author of the iconic novel, PAY IT FORWARD, Catherine Ryan Hyde. It’s called HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…and Keep Your E-Sanity. It comes out later in June. We need to spread the word that there’s way, way too much pressure on writers in the “advice” you get in the blogosphere. Time to dig in our heels. And stay sane. Thanks for this.

    June 2, 2012 at 12:09 am

  6. Thank you, Anne. I am such a fan of your blog. Your weekly posts help to keep me sane, so I probably owe a lot of this post to you. (And Kristen Lamb. And Nathan Bransford. Probably Chuck Wendig also.) It really does take a village of writers, I believe.

    And I agree, more writers need to heed the message. It’s an important one. It seems that social media has become a bit of a black hole. “Jump in! It’s nice and warm.” It’s easy to disappear into the vastness of it all.

    Excited to hear about the book! I’ll be looking forward to it. And your Sunday post as well. Thanks again, Anne.

    June 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

  7. Pingback: Deciding WHAT to write « Family Bugs Blogging

  8. Pingback: What it means to be a writer in the internet age | N. E. White

  9. I find it all difficult, but I’m taking your advice and getting lost. It’s the best I’ve seen thus far.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

  10. I appreciate that. It’s all about balance. Not that that makes it any easier. Thanks for stopping by the blog today. And for the ping 😉

    June 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm

  11. I have been trying to do lots of things, fitness, writing, music…so much to do.So little time. The most important thong to remember is that you have to do what you want, not what other try to force you into doing. if you try to follow the “rules” you will never get anywhere.

    June 24, 2012 at 7:22 am

  12. I think when we are trying to create a career in writing, balancing the passion of that creativity with the business side of social media (especially for us introverts), can be pretty derailing. We need to remember why we’re writing. Like I said: No good book, no need for creating a brand.

    I use running to bridge some of that gap. It clears my head. And my music paves the roads for my stories backdrops. So I use my distractions as channels for writing.

    Then again, I’m not biking across virtual country sides or creating mixes, while trying to write a book and doing my regular job. 😉

    I agree with you on the rules. Glad you’re making the time again, too.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

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