A big Thank You to everyone who participated in the second week of the TIED blog tour.
Got some awesome reviews, and had some great conversations. 😉
Here’s how the week went:
Cremona over at Mythical Books had an incredible 4/5 Star review of TIED, and she’s shouting out the word of the continued Group Giveaway.
Julie and I talked about daydreams and pizza toppings at Bookarooju
Aimee knows that I don’t eat Ben and Jerry’s and who in the world, dead or alive, I’d like to meet most and why. Aimee Laine’s Blog
Julie and I talked about TIED and writing, and the GIveaway continues over on her blog: Julie Reece’s Blog
The YA Book Addict had another great 4 STAR review of TIED.
Crazy Four Books had another awesome review of TIED!
The super cool, Juliette Cross and I talked Books, Baubles and Bad Boys in her guest post.
The Reading Diaries gave TIED 5 beautifully enthusiastic STARS. 🙂 Plus an interview and the GIVEAWAY continues.
TIED earned 5 STARS from Happy Tails and Tales Blog and I am seriously humbled now. 😉
J Keller Ford and I talked PJ’s and Quidditch. Which position would you play?
Emi Gayle knows why I never snuck out of the house in High School and what color my prom dress was.
AGAIN, Thank You so, so much to everyone who hosted, shouted, tweeted, liked, reviewed, and interviewed this week for the blog tour.
You guys are sooo awesome!
See everyone next week for round three!
- September New Release Book Blog Hop #GIVEAWAY! (laneymcmann.com)
- #TIED Blog Tour Wk 1 Recap (laneymcmann.com)
- TIED Launches TODAY! (laneymcmann.com)
September 21, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Blog Tours, Fire Born Updates, J Taylor Publishing, New Releases, TIED, Young Adult Novels | Tags: Arts, Author, Book, Facebook, Fiction, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Layla and Max, Quidditch, Social media, The Fire Born Novels, TIED, TIED by Laney McMann, Twitter, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, young adult book releases 2013, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy | 2 Comments
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.
I 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.
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.
The industry standard has forever been…one book per year.
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.
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. 😉
November 26, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Editing, Inspiration, Publishing, Social Media, Writer, Writing | Tags: Arts, Blog, bloggers, Book, book marketing, E-book, editing, exhaustion, Facebook, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Pinterest, Reading, Revisions, Social media, Triberr, Twitter, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing process, Writing Tips | 12 Comments
You wrote your first book. Now you’re marketing it on every social media site you can think of. Or maybe you’re on submission and you’ve chewed your fingernails to bits with nervous energy at the thought of rejection. Either way, you’ve started your second book right? Right?
The tale goes that most writers need to have between three and five books in the marketplace before they will take off and be seen. If they do at all. There are exceptions, of course. So are you writing those three to five books and beyond, or are you putting all your efforts toward promoting your first, and only, book?
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t go into a state of panic when I went on submission, or that I didn’t freeze into a no writing phase for about a week afterwards. I did panic. I did freeze. Then I realized I was wasting both time and energy, and I continued on with TORN, the sequel to my first book, TIED, now on submission. I realized that regardless of what happens with TIED, I needed to move forward with writing. It was the only thing I could control. And if everything did work out with book one, I would need to have book two in the wings, finished, ready and waiting to go live.
The turnover with e-book technology is simply too quick. What I learned when I continued on with book two was that my anxiety decreased, my reason for writing in the first place resumed, and I fell back in love with my story. For me, that in itself is all I can ever ask for. To love what I’m doing regardless of where it leads.
Now, I won’t lie and say that marketing doesn’t scare me to death, or make me uncomfortable. It does. And I am only doing a fraction of marketing now compared to what I know will be required of me when I do publish. But even then, a balance will need to be struck. Because in order to sell books, you have to continue writing them. There needs to be something to buy within a reasonable amount of time after you’ve created a buzz with your first masterpiece. So market away, submit away, but remember, this is a writing game we’re in. We need not forget that.
So, what about you? Are you in a terrified state on submission? Marketing your Indie book? How’s it going?
August 21, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Arts, Author, Book, E-book, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Marketing, Publish, Publishing, Self-publishing, Shopping, Social media, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment
Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity (Thank You!) knows that I’ve been working on my novel for two years. Two years full of a wide swing of emotions. Now, as I am officially on submission, I feel…uneasy. Anxious. A little bit afraid.
For the first time, I’m nervous about simply letting it go.
When I started working on my cover art, I felt excited. When I received the first layout, my heart skipped. Mine. My words. My name.
The second layout was similar. The fourth and fifth layouts had me feeling downright overwhelmed.
When my first wave of edits rolled in, I thought, okay, this is doable. Not so bad. When the second wave of fine toothed edits came over with suggestions and corrections everywhere, I panicked.
Oh my god. I’m actually doing this?
All those little insecurities welled up again and sat there on my shoulder, taunting me.
This wasn’t the plan, you know. You were just writing….just writing. Like always. Are you sure you want to do this? You can back out. Keep this story tucked away like all the other ones. No one has to know!
Overreacting. All part of the process. I get it. I am supposed to be putting all my efforts toward TORN, the second book in the series. I am supposed to submit the first book, forget about it, and move to the next. I know.
But…this is hard.
August 9, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Editing, Life, Publishing, Reviews, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: art, Arts, Blog, Facebook, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Publishing, Self-publishing, Social media, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, Twitter, Writers Resources, Writing, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 4 Comments
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.
Author Joanna Penn, creator of The Creative Penn, has a wonderfully inspiring post on her blog this week. Recommended Book For Creatives: Turning Pro By Steven Pressfield This is a must read post by Joanna as well as a must read book, The Art of War being the prequel.
Anne R. Allen’s blog this week features a post by her co-blogger Ruth Harris. An interesting and humorous read. 11 Reasons Writers Get Rejected—And Why Only 3 Of Them Matter
Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an informative post up on her blog. Is It Harder Today for Self-Published Authors to “Break-in” at Amazon?
- A Week In Links (laneymcmann.com)
July 5, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Books, Inspiration, Publishing, Self Publishing, Social Media, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Amazon, Anne R. Allen, art, Art of War, Blog, blogging, Creative Penn, Facebook, Joanna Penn, laney mcmann, Lindsay Buroker, Literature, novel writing, Ruth Harris, Self-publishing, Social media, Steven, Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Traditional Publishing, Twitter, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
It occurs to me after reading yet another scalding blog post by another author who is upset by the current state of the publishing industry, that we as a whole of writers need to stop engaging in the ‘who’s on the right or left side of the fence’ argument.
I know that we all get emotional and heated up and mad. It keeps the fire burning. It fuels the “I’ll show them!” mentality on both sides. By my god, this topic is OLD. And frustrating. And Petty.
So why, why are we still talking about it? Why are we still reading scathing posts that are meant to infuriate?
You wanna go Trad? GO TRAD!
You wanna go Indie? GO INDIE!
Who cares? Other than you, the author, it’s no one’s concern. No one’s business. People will always judge. Fact of life.
Your choices in publishing don’t need to be defended. Nor should anyone’s choices be ridiculed.
So let’s all shut up about who’s wrong and who’s right. Not all trad books are glazed in gold and not all indie books suck. Stop drawing an imaginary line in the imaginary sands of no where land. It doesn’t exist. Stop with the professional vs. amateur argument about indies ‘settling’ for second best because it’s all they could get vs. trads clinging to their sinking ship waving their credentials high above their heads.
Readers don’t care. This is a writers argument.
Readers want good stories. That’s it.
Self-pubbed, trad-pubbed. They don’t care.
Writers need to write good books and channel them in whatever direction they choose. Fact is, some writers are control freaks and the thought of giving up rights throws them into a backward tail spin. Others cannot fathom the idea of going it alone. They want the support that trad publishers provide. There is no right choice. There is no wrong choice.
Are we all really going through the headaches of creating worlds and characters and plot lines to turn around and waste our precious time and energy demeaning other writers for the choices they make regarding how to publish? Really? That train of thought boils down to envy, jealousy… and FEAR. Let it go.
Write good books and leave the complaints at home. Spill them out there. To your dog. Or your cat. We are all wasting time yapping and pointing fingers. Not to mention making asses out of ourselves.
Our little blogosphere of writers here online—it’s not so small. We have a world-wide reach and those who are always gripping make the lot of us look bad.
Good day my fellow writers. Write On. Publish On. And remember the wise words of Author Chuck Wendig, “Try not to suck.”
- The New World of Publishing: Insulting Your Writer Friends (deanwesleysmith.com)
- Indie vs. Trad: Which Side Are You? (andrewmocete.com)
- The Writer’s Challenge in 4 Simple Steps (chazzwrites.com)
June 27, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Self Publishing, Social Media, Writer, Writing | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Arts, Author, Chuck Wendig, E-book, Fiction, indie publishing, laney mcmann, Novel, Publish, Self-publishing, Social media, Traditional Publishing, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing Advice, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments
Numbers, numbers, numbers. Are they your social media goal? Build higher numbers (fans, followers) and hope they equate to higher book sales?
I’m raising my kids by a few beliefs I hold true. One of the biggest: Quality over Quantity. Every time. For my kids I relate it to friendships. A few real friends trump a lot of fake ones.
Social media is no different. It isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the connections. I believe a lot of writers have become too focused on the wrong side of the coin. Stats.
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone that I’m miss social. I’m the opposite of that. So it’s difficult for me to reach out to everyone who friends or follows me. But I always reach back to the ones who speak up and draw me out. And to those people, I am extremely thankful.
And here in lies my point. Connections equal friendships. And friendships reward us as writers and as people.
I make it a point to support the friends I’ve made online. I shout out to them on Twitter, I retweet their tweets, and support their books. I don’t do it because I feel I have to as part of my daily social media routine. I do it because I want to. And it’s reciprocal. It feeds those quality connections and comes back to me as a reward. It’s karmic.
Engagement is the key to real connections. If you read a blog post that resonates, say something. Like it, comment, tweet it, ping it, whatever, but engage. It matters.
Us writers, we’re a needy breed. We like pats on the back. And we aren’t generally telepathic, so we need to be told we’re saying the right things. It gives a sense of accomplishment and reminds us that we are on the right path.
Communicate. With words. We like that.
Pay it forward. Right?
How about you? What do you need from your writing community to keep you moving forward?
Links you may be interested in:
- Friendship in the Digital Age (sheerbalance.com)
- Buying Social Media Followers > quality V quantity (carolinebeavon.com)
- Why social media success is about quality not quantity (socialmediatoday.com)
June 13, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Social Media, Writer, Writing | Tags: Business, Facebook, friendship, Inspiration, Internet marketing, laney mcmann, Marketing and Advertising, Online Communities, Social media, Social network, Twitter, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 7 Comments
After I posted my novel cover, and publication target date, to all of my social media sites, I felt a combination of relief, trepidation, and…naseau.
Truth — Besides the writing community and my very close friends and family–No One knew what I’ve been doing for the last two years. Why?
Fear of what people will think, what they’ll say.
All that crap that means absolutely nothing.
I mustered the courage to send my cover photo to a few friends and family, and went ahead and bit the bullet and posted it on my personal facebook page. Sad thing—that scared me more than anything else. Great thing—the response was overwhelmingly positive. And still somehow, I’m uncomfortable when my friends say, “I can’t wait to read your book!” or “That is so awesome, Laney!!”
I love them. Every one of them, for supporting me. But… I also understand what it feels like to put your soul into something and have that little devil sitting on your shoulder. The one who says, What are you thinking? You really think you can pull this off? Seriously?
As a former classical dancer, I know what it means to walk on stage and swallow fear. I’ve done it more times than I can count. After a while, it becomes old hat.
As a Chef, I know the feeling you get when someone sends something back to the kitchen because they hated it, or it was under cooked, or over cooked, or who the hell knows why. It stabs you a little.
And as the daughter of a Fine Artist—I know what it feels like from the other side of the street too. My mom has always said, “Not everyone will like, or even understand what I do. I don’t care. I’m not painting for them.” And she’s right.
Grab support where you stumble upon it, but don’t expect to find it if you go looking. That’s not what this is about. If you’re writing for the hopes of fame and fortune, pats on the back and great reviews, you’re writing for the wrong reasons. Write for you. Dance for you. Paint for you.
The ONLY person you need to convince of your talent, your drive, your passion—is you.
Just don’t buy into the hype.
May 16, 2012 | Categories: Author, Dance, Inspiration, Publishing, Thoughts, Writer, Writing | Tags: art, Arts, Author, Chats and Forums, Fine art, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Online Communities, Social media, Social Networking, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Exercises, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. The talk is swinging back around to the topic of Publishing. Here are this weeks links:
Author Nathan Bransford talks about The Biggest Challenges in the New Era of Publishing
Author Anne R. Allen once again has a fantastic post Indie or Traditional Publishing? Don’t Take Sides Take Your Time
Author Kristen Lamb Big Six Publishing is Dead — Welcome the Massive Three
WRITE ON, WRITERS!
May 14, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Anne R. Allen, Arts, Author, Bob Mayer, Book, book stores, Brick and mortar, e-readers, Facebook, Kristen Lamb, laney mcmann, Literary agent, Nathan Bransford, Self-publishing, Social media, Traditional Publishing, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Leave a comment
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:
Joanna Penn has a great post on her blog this week, The Creative Penn, Traditional Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not Mutually Exclusive
David Gaughran from Let’s Get Digital talks about Publishing this week in his post, Was Self-Publishing The Right Decision?
And lastly, Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an interesting interview with Author Liana Brooks up on her blog. Check it out here: Why One Author Chose A Small Press over Self-Publishing
WRITE ON, WRITERS.
April 27, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Author, Blog, Book, Business, Creative Penn, David Gaughran, E-book, Joanna Penn, laney mcmann, Liana Brooks, Lindsay Buroker, Publishing, Self-publishing, Small Press, Social media, Twitter, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. This week, the focus of conversation has moved back to where it should be: Craft. The actual craft of writing. At the end of the day, we need well written, engaging stories. All the social media in the world won’t save us from ill crafted books.
First up, J.A. Konrath. His post, Writing Matters, is up on his blog, A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing Check it out.
And last up today, Chuck Wendig. 25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice, on his blog, Terrible Minds
WRITE ON, WRITERS. WRITE ON.
March 8, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Bob Mayer, Chuck Wendig, Content, Craft, E-book, Fiction, JA Konrath, laney mcmann, Newbie, Publishing, Self-publishing, Social media, Writer, Writer Resources, Writing | 2 Comments
I’ve never considered myself to be shy, but truth be told, I’ve always been guarded. Guarded is a sort of fancy word for introverted. Introverted and shy, it turns out, are not the same creature. I’d never given much thought to either, until now. It’s not like I’m anti-social. But the social media aspect of being a writer, and soon to be published author, is daunting for people like me. It’s like throwing yourself into an oven and praying it’s only set at around 175 degrees. Because at 400–you will burn up. 400 is too hot, too social, too LOUD.
The social media aspect of this business forces us to be just that—social. It forces us to be everywhere. All The Time. Making contacts, creating a brand—-basically, establishing a business from the ground floor. A huge undertaking, especially when we are expected to be writing good books at the same time. When you aren’t an extrovert, it’s an even harder task. Thankfully, a lot of blog and twitter friends are extroverts and that makes it easier. They draw us introverts out once in a while.
I uploaded my fledgling Facebook page the other day (come over and LIKE me), and I swear it took all I had to push ‘publish’ and go live. I felt the same way with Twitter, an outlet that is going strong now, thankfully. My blog has been, surprisingly, the easiest branch of social media for me. Why? I’m all exposed here on the blog, how could that be easier? Writing is easy. Simple as that. Talking to 500 people on Twitter….different story. (Thank you for keeping me talking Twitter followers:)
I ran across an interesting article on NPR the other day.
Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ You can find the link here: NPR Books
Susan Cain has written a book on the subject.
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Check it out.
When I publish my novel later this year, I will likely hide for a few weeks, due to open and blatant exposure (Kidding. Sort of;)
Are you more comfortable in a crowded room talking to any and everyone? Or do one on one conversations interest you more?
February 2, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Author, author brand, Blog, Branding, Extraversion and introversion, Facebook, laney mcmann, Publishing, Quiet Please, Self-publishing, Social media, Social Networking, Susan Cain, Twitter | 5 Comments
Yesterday I re-created my Facebook page. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you. After months of banging my head against the wall, the smoke-filled mass that my brain had become, has miraculously and thankfully, cleared. I was beginning to wonder if I was altogether done. So…yesterday I pulled that fb page back up and tinkered around with it. It will be a while before it’s what it needs to be, but it’s fine for now.
In my perusal of fb pages, I came across my name in bing at the bottom of the search window. It was everywhere. I’ve mentioned many times that I’m pretty guarded and not the social butterfly. That fact may seem odd to readers of my blog. But truth be told, writing is just easy for me. Easier that is, to be expressive. I’m talking to the great wide void here in my little pages. So when I ran across my name on Klout–I burst out laughing.
My Klout score is 24, which is even funnier. I appreciate the hell out of all of you out there reading my random complaints and gripes. Really. I do. But I never assumed so many people were reading them. So thanks to the great wide void I guess, hopefully one of these days you guys will want to read my books. The books…you know, the reason I’m writing this blog in the first place. Yeah those.
Speaking of…I believe I shall release my cover soon. I’m finally happy with it. Assuming that is, that I can figure out how to move it off of Gimp and onto my page.
Or in other words–The Blog. The place where either every day or a few times a week, we feel the need to say something new, something interesting or informative–or entertaining.
Many writers create these blogs to stand as a branding tool, a platform, and most of us soon realize that it is not an easy task. We have an additional pressure now, besides writing our book, article, novel, etc.., we need to interact and stay in the spot light.
For someone like me, it hasn’t been easy, but it is getting easier. I’m learning how to juggle proficiently, a skill I never hoped to master in the past.
Now, instead of allowing the pressure to perform everyday on this blog overwhelm me, I’ve learned to let some of that go and continue to focus on the main reason I am blogging–my novels.
My stage has been an invaluable tool for inspiration as well as for the pushing and prodding that we all need from time to time. I wouldn’t trade it for a second. And that is why I have it–because it helps me. I would have dismantled this blog a long time ago if it didn’t. Call it selfish–but if social media isn’t helping to push you forward, it’s holding you back.
My blog helps loosen my brain, it helps me to interact with other writers, it allows me to write without over thinking (something my novels do not allow).
But for a long while, it felt like a weight. A weight to perform–to say something. And it kept me from focusing on my writing. I couldn’t sort it all out. When I threw myself into the Twitter mix….well, you can imagine.
My point here is that we can’t and shouldn’t be expected to do everything related to social media and branding our name. We need to continue to keep our eye on the main prize.
It’s easy to shift from writing when your blog starts picking up speed and your hits start to fly. It’s easy to become so focused on your blog because let’s be honest, it’s instant gratification. Your novel isn’t. We like to know that what we say resonates with other people. It’s why we write. And when people respond positively to our blog posts, it makes us feel good.
And that’s great. It is.
But it isn’t a substitute for writing your WIP. So don’t let it be.
Or in other words….Balance.
There seems to be a veritable tightrope we writers are attempting to walk. The line between creation and promotion.
The days are gone when all we had to worry about was writing well, pitching a great query and waiting for the phone to ring or letters to stream in (negative or positive). Now we are expected to learn all aspects of this industry, if we even hope to have a shot at selling a book.
I’ve spent a lot of time attempting to learn how to harness social media and use it to my benefit. Unfortunately for me, I’m not all that social to begin with. Not like I’m a hermit mind you. More like I’m a person who keeps her circle of friends close and I’m good with that. So the thought of attempting to amass a following in the thousands is, well…overwhelming. And not in a bad way, just in a daunting one.
I read all of the conflicting information as I’m sure we all do. “Create the platform first and make it strong.” “No, learn to write well first and amass a few completed novels, then worry about the platform.” Frankly, it’s a lot of information to process. Add it to simply trying to write your book, and well….it’s easy to throw in the towel and scrap it. And a lot of, if not most, writers do just that.
I’m not great at balance in any spectrum of life but I am learning that balance is the real monster we need to control. The best of the best have figured this tightrope out and they walk it very well.
The successful, for the most part, have learned to juggle. Some write and tend to social media at the same time. Write, write, write, have their social media pages minimized, check them every hour or so, comment and move on.
I think it’s a great idea IF, and it’s a big IF for some of us, you can comment and continue writing all in one swift motion. But for me, a fiction writer, finding that groove has been difficult at best. I think this is called lack of focus. Another skill that takes some time to learn.
What are your tools of the trade when it comes to balancing the craft of writing and establishing your social media presence? Do walk the tightrope with ease or are you gripping the edge with your fingernails? Love to hear your thoughts! 😉
I know that every day my novel gets one step closer to being finished and that with every hair-pulling draft, it also gets better.
I know that keeping all my thoughts in my head is an impossible task and that writing every little spec of an idea or thought down is close to imperative or they will fly away like dust.
I know that balance can be elusive.
I know that Twitter will likely bury me under a tidal wave of social fervor.
I know that self-doubt is a true part of a writers life but we must overcome it in order to achieve our goals.
I know that no amount of followers will make you a better writer–only YOU can do that.
I know that social media will not get you where you want to be without first learning to write well.
I know the social media contacts, friends and fellow writers are invaluable.
I know that today is a new day and the sun is beckoning me to follow.
….well maybe not everything, but social media–for writers, yeah.
During the first six months or so of writing my WIP I only had me, my music, my laptop, the thoughts in my head and everyone around me looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I was running to keep my head from exploding (I still do this) and having no other real outlet for the thoughts and ideas in my head. My family is very supportive. Still. But they don’t really get it. When you say you’re a writer, not everyone really gets what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Or worse they think you’re just wasting time because in the grand scheme of things, it could go nowhere (I’m speaking of the up and coming authors here). We are counting on and trusting in some kind of blind faith.
I started my blog with trepidation. I’m not the most social person in the world so what would I possibly say? And who would care that I was even saying it? Twitter was worse. But I have found these outlets to be incredibly useful. (Well maybe not Twitter. Yet. That’s a lot of talking!)
Writing is hard. IT IS. And it’s harder if you are alone in your own head all the time. Connecting with other writers in the same or similar boats is invaluable. If I can’t think, blogging can loosen my brain. If I’m overwhelmed, commenting and receiving helpful replies on other sites helps me refocus. If I’m staring out the window and my Twitter alert sounds, it brings me out of my reverie.
These little devices are helpful in forward momentum. In moderation they compliment each other. They help with encouragement, insight and advice that otherwise we may never find in our own heads.
I know that writing a good novel, one that is worth reading, can’t be rushed. That sometimes it can take years…and that’s ok. (*sigh*)
I know that the social media surrounding this industry is not what it used to be. And that for a lot of writers, who would rather just write and let the rest fall where it may, it can be difficult to see through the haze.
I know that in spite of that haze, we (I) need to find a comfortable space somewhere within the madness of the social aspect to succeed.
I know that some days I can’t get my head out of the clouds to save my life and that focus can be a four letter word if you spin it just right.
I know that I LOVE my novel and that I love to write. And those two things should be enough drive to keep me moving forward. (But some days they’re not.)
I know that running will clear my head and help me organize the cluster of randomness that my thoughts often become.
I know that I am following, listening to, and taking advice from, some of the best writers in this industry (published or not). And this only makes me a better writer.
And I know at the end of the day, I need to relax about all of it because I will succeed.
If in doubt from time to time, I highly recommend these writers and their blogs:
May 11, 2011 | Categories: Publishing, Writing | Tags: goal accomplishment, Inspiration, novel creation, Rewrites, Social media, writers block, Writers Resources, Writing and Editing, Writing process | 8 Comments
(Image by: Sandman 6210 via Photobucket)
What to write about today?? Hm….
With the publishing industry now practically insisting that writers have their own blogs and writing formats amassing readers and fans, what choice do we have but to attempt to oblige? And how much time should we commit to these social media outlets? And furthermore, what about the ones of us who aren’t all that–well,….social?
We find ourselves writing about relatively the same topics as others writers because we are all (most of us), trying to reach the same goal. And in that challenge, we need the same information, the same motivations and the understanding that we provide one another.
Some days an article will hit a chord, others maybe it’s an inspirational quote and others still, maybe just a simple shout out of how our novel is moving along–good or bad, when we need a pep talk or a push from our readers. Granted, I’m speaking of course about those of us who are still on this new and steep hill. Other more seasoned writers and published authors seem to have the art of blogging down to a science and help to inspire the rest of us.
So how much time is too much time dedicated to your blog? We are trying to complete our novels, short stories, etc.. How much time should be taken away from that ultimate goal? And what about the social aspect? What draws the interest to amass these ‘fans’ we are hoping for? The fans who, hopefully, are interested in reading our books. When did the “Hey, look at me, look at me!” mentality get all mixed up with the creation of actually writing?
With the enormity of technology, along with E-readers, both publishing companies and self-publishing need help with marketing. Marketing yourself is something you have to do on your own if you choose the self publishing route. Marketing yourself is also apparently (at least in beginning) something you need to do with a traditional publishing company as well.
Personally, I enjoy my blog. I enjoy talking to and hearing from other writers. I appreciate the feedback and certainly the advice and kind words. Having my blog has helped me to keep moving and that in and of itself is a huge benefit to having it. So I guess we need to view our blogs as aides. Helpful tools to move us toward our goals. But not something to get so caught up in that we forget our aim.
The social stuff, if it bothers you, generally falls into place after a while and if the goal is accomplished and your writing does take off, you’ll need to get used to being at least some what social;) In the meantime, I think checking your blog everyday, posting when you have an idea, or an extra few minutes, and keeping up with your favorite bloggers here and there for motivation and occasional advice, is a good thing. In an industry that is largely solitary, blogging is probably, on the whole, a good way to break free from the isolating shell and breathe a little with the other world. Now…what will I write about…? Hmmm.