A necessary diet for this writer

This time last year, I blogged about why it took me so long to get serious about writing. I was preparing to publish my first novel and wondering how many other books I might have already published if I’d started writing sooner. I still think about that, particularly because I’m not a fast writer. Then I get all metaphysical and profess that I will write as many books as I am destined to write.

This time last year, I blogged about why it took me so long to get serious about writing. I was preparing to publish my first novel and wondering how many other books I might have already published if I’d started writing sooner. I still think about that, particularly because I’m not a fast writer. Then I get all metaphysical and profess that I will write as many books as I am destined to write.

Amy J. Rose Davis recently took a vacation from writing and then blogged about her decision to reprioritize. She decided to lower her expectations for her writing, and said, “No, really, this is a good thing. I’m not normally one for lowering expectations, but since I’ve come to realize that I have absolutely no control over the market, I have to focus on expecting the right things from my work.” And what does she feel is the right thing to expect from her work? “I want to bring joy to a few people through my work. I want to make people think. I want to make people clench their fists, laugh, sigh, and weep when they read my stories.”

To that, I say, “Amen!”

The trouble is, I’ve said that more than once, and then I forget my intention. But each time, I hold on to it longer before I read another blog post telling me how to have better name recognition or build more influential relationships or sell more books, which plummets me back into the abyss.

The promotional side of writing for publication is like the relationship between dieting and eating. No matter how much weight you want to lose, you can’t just quit eating entirely—but you can, and have to, reduce your intake. So that’s where I am now, cutting back on those high-calorie You-Too-Can-Sell-a-Million-Copies blogs, articles, tweets, and status updates. Like, Amy, I want to get back to enjoying both my writing and my non-writing lives.

I believe I’ll be a much better writer for it. I know I’ll be less stressed, and that’s always a good thing.

UPDATE: I wrote this post on Saturday night, it’s now Sunday morning, and my husband just told me we need to get serious about marketing The Brevity of Roses! Oh, the irony. He wants me to ask: have any of you authors tried Facebook ads as a marketing tool?

8 thoughts on “A necessary diet for this writer

  1. I loved Amy’s post and her changing expectations. I hope that you too, Linda, can find a good balance so you enjoy all aspects of your life without putting too much stress on yourself. Ultimately that should help your writing as well.

    On your husband’s question: nope, I haven’t done a FB ad, but I’m not a big FB fan.
    (And, of course, I don’t have that much to advertise…)

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  2. I recently read in writing book, that you should ask yourself wold you write if you never published. I would.
    I really can’t comment very appropriatly on this, because I have never had to market – The only things I’ve published taht are actually for sale are in a magazine that already has a wide distrubition, and in a short story in an anthology that I did zero te sell (maybe I should have). I can’t imagine what it will be like.
    Truth – I think it’s one of the things that would stop me from ever self-publishing, though from my understanding regardless of the method, the writer these days has to do a lot of marketing.

    I do think that the writing should be the focus – withot it there’s nothing to market.

    Good luck, Linda.

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    1. Well, Jennifer, I’m positive I’d still make up stories even if I never published because I’ve done that all my life. I developed whole novels in my head. I just never wrote them down.

      And yes, unless your publisher believes they can make a lot of money off your book, they won’t allocate much, if any, budget for promotion. So you will have to do that on your own. One of the first things an agent will tell you is that you need to be highly visible on the internet. They will advise you to blog, and be on Twitter and Facebook, at the very least.

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  3. I’ve seen authors who tweet their characters. But I just can’t imagine that I’d have anything to contibute to those sites. Face book becomes a work site then, and not a personal I gather?
    Do writers update their progress status?
    Sounds really difficult to me – makes me almost not want to publish (almost). lol

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    1. Really? I’ve never seen anyone tweet as a character. When I first started on Twitter, there was one author who tweeted essentially BUY MY BOOK about ten times every day. It really turned me off, not only to the book, but to him. I think what you want to do is make connections online, which of course you’ve already done with your blog. You want to do that by being yourself. Having followers on Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites, just makes your name familiar to more people. And if you make a good impression while doing that, when you do tweet about your book, those people will more likely be interested in checking it out. Word of mouth sells, so the more people who “know” you, the more people will read, enjoy, and tell others about your book. You should also tweet links to your blog posts.

      Now, about the Facebook thing. Yes, most writers have a separate author or book page on Facebook, though some use their personal account for everything. I have an author page. I have it set to update with my blog posts, but other than that I only update the status occasionally. I really need to learn how to make the best use of it. Some authors update theirs often with witty, interesting things. *sigh* I’m not there yet.

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