Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let's Talk about A Writer's Super Power

I know most of you who visit this blog are writers. So of course YOU know what I'm talking about when I say people are always telling us writers what to do. Not in a mean way, of course, but they're saying being an author has changed. They're saying it's not just about writing anymore, it's about marketing and social networking, and pretty much being awesome! And YOU have to do it!

What do they tell us we need to do?
(oh, and keep in mind, this is all before even being published - more responsibilities are added after you get to that point)

Have a blog or a website or both

Join Twitter and use it!

Make a million friends on Facebook (okay, slight exaggeration on this one)

Follow agent/editor blogs

Follow trends in publishing

Read books on craft, books in your genre, books in other genres. Read, read, read!

Attend conferences

Enter contests

Try out other forms of social media or ways to connect with people in a professional way. Pinterest, Goodreads, Linkedin, and more!

Am I forgetting something? Oh, right. You actually have to write a book, too, in your spare time. Does this sound like a full-time job? It kind of is--and for most of us, this isn't even our full time job.

Basically, it boils down to the fact that you have to be a superhero. Or you have to have a superhero power, like not needing any sleep so you can have time for all of this.

But guess what? I'm here to encourage you! For real! If you're reading this, you're already doing something. If you write every once in awhile, you're doing something. Heading to Dallas for conference? Yay! Another check!

The reality is, we can't do everything! Or at least not for long. No matter how much time we think we have. When people tell us that writers are supposed to be doing it all, they're not trying to be mean. They're trying to prepare us. And that's a great thing. But I also think it's a great thing to encourage ourselves every once in awhile. To reward ourselves for what we're already doing, and remind ourselves we don't have to be doing everything on that list every minute of every day.

Pick of a few things each year or each month, and make them your goal. Focus on one or two forms of social media instead of seventeen. Reassess every few months to be sure you're making the best use of your time. Ultimately, though, make sure it's mostly about the writing. Don't stop writing!

And pray!

Truly, we can wear ourselves out doing everything WE think we should do. So if we're not certain, pray about it, and listen, and be prepared to hear that maybe we need to be doing more, or maybe, just maybe, doing less will result in more in the long run.

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by having to do it all? What's your least favorite thing about being a writer? Oh, and to stay encouraging, what's your favorite thing?

(Thanks to Cindy Wilson for this fabulous post)


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great reminders here! Thanks Cindy!! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

The burden can seem heavy when we carry it by ourselves.
Key word in this post…pray.
Of course slackers need not apply. But when you do all you can God is pleased and you have moved one step closer to publication.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I loved this too, Mary.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, someone who understands how I'm feeling while preparing to launch a novel. Thank you for the pointers. I'll be using them.:)