Anyone who practices any kind of artistic discipline will ask themselves both of those questions at some point in time. I have heard numerous times from writers that they are not doing enough social media, not doing enough to build their platform, and just don’t have enough time. By contrast, I’ve encountered those who are asking (themselves and others) what they should be doing other than writing and editing and looking for an agent.
I’ll come back from a writer’s conference and make all these incredible plans to start tweeting daily, post on Instagram two to three times per week, create a blog post every other day. And then, Life (with a capital L) comes to confront me like the ice bucket challenge. I look at the states for my website and see I’ve gotten three hits in the last month and realize I haven’t updated the photos or seen any new blog posts.
Blog posts! Yeah, like this. Like the every other day promise I made to myself. Then I get depressed realizing this platform is built on balsa wood and could come apart in a gentle snap at any moment. Sure, I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and even Tumblr. And you could probably recommend a few more as well, some I’ve heard of and others brand new to me. But then I’ll ask you how I can possibly keep up with them AND finalize the editing for the third book in my Ark City Confidential Chronicles series after Ark City Confidential and Secrets of the Righteous?
You figure out ways to maintain. That’s all we as independent writers can do. We aren’t with big publishing house. We don’t have instantaneous name recognition. We do more than write for a living and have a whole bunch of other responsibilities. You can either panic that you’re not doing enough, stress out that you’re doing too much social media and not enough actual writing, or you can just be.
For me, I’m already a success. I have books that I write for sale on Amazon that a generous publisher felt worthy enough to be published. I’ve gotten reviews. I’ve sold books. My definition of success is on a more personal level. Sure, I wish I had instantaneous name recognition. I wish I made my sole living being a writer. I suppose doing more of the social media thing and sacrificing more time so I can write constantly would get me there. But to what end? What would I actually lose by what I could gain?
So, here’s a blog post today. It’s attached to Twitter and Tumblr and even Linkedin. Will there be another post in two days? Probably not. I’m expecting a shelving unit that I ordered to arrive and I’ll need to put it together to get a bunch of books off my office floor. There will probably be some Facebook activity and maybe a picture on Instagram.
Too much, too little? I’ll leave that for others to decide. I’ve got to prep my lunches for work.