I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but there are some things even I cannot say out loud on a mic. Stress affects performance (as most males know) and to this point I have to resort to writing rather than talking.
The new year brought along with it a very nasty monster – panic. I understand the insanity of trying to earn a living from writing stories, but somehow, like a deer caught in headlights, I am unable to do anything but stare and brace myself. And the only reason I am telling you thins is because I use this blog as a therapeutic release, rather than keep it all inside and have it affect the outcome of the next story.
A writer has a different perspective of time that the rest of the world. We measure our success by time, since that is usually our only resource. Then we simply convert that into sales units – which basically means “how popular we think this thing is gonna be”. If you’re an author and you feel like arguing, I would suggest you take a look at your current project and see exactly why it is you’re writing that.
Now, before you accuse me of being mercenary – I do follow the “artistic call”. This mentality comes from that place.
So when something threatens to consume any of my time, my natural instinct is to say no, because all that is potential writing time and I am a true storyteller. Every moment of me being awake, and some uncomfortable hours during the night too, are all consumed by “what story should I tell”, “What world to go to” and “How to make it better”. Many an author has gone insane trying to make heads and tails out of those three notions, and I am steadily thinking I may be joining their ranks shortly.
It comes to no surprise then when I tell you I have no time nor ability in the field of marketing. This is the main reason I signed a contract and sought help. I know a few author who are naturals in this regard – somehow, magically, or by virtue of their labor, accumulating thousands of followers, subscribers and what have you, seemingly in a matter of few months. I am not one of these authors.
I suppose this is why I went into full panic mode and started asking friends for methods on how to popularize my work and social media profiles. Help which I got and to them I say thank you. The problem lies with me. Perhaps this is the artistic soul in my that abhors selling myself to people. Or perhaps I am doing it wrong. Perhaps the pro-active stance I take on such matters is better put elsewhere, in areas I can actually control.
I suppose the root of the problem is that I hate relying on others, which is why I have been working extra hard on writing as a form of compensation. I don’t know for what really but it’s compensation nonetheless. If you follow my twitter feed, you’ll know I have started the third book of the Legacy series. Just so I am clear, the second book has yet to go through editing, so in essence I am writing a book a year (at least) in advance. This is how much I abhor marketing myself – to the point of writing something years in advance, if it means I can rid myself of the mental guilt of not having hit the number one bestseller list.
All of this is quite unhealthy so I decided to take a more passive route. I’m still writing, but less panicky. I am still sending out review requests at a glacially slow pace so as to personalize each one. I refuse to send them in bulk – I have done that in the past and the results were ungainly. I want to talk to people not copy-pasted email addresses.
I am looking for ways to make this blog more popular, but to be honest I am undermining myself by changing the content, a clear sign of trying to find my voice. I am a newbie author – I have very little to offer in ways of teaching, instruction or literary value. That is the reason why I picked up the mic. But perhaps, instead of milling what is left of my exhausted brain for material I may have no interest in, in the first place, or trying to leech on topics which have been dealt with over and over again, I am going to try a more entertaining angle.
That is the point of my existence – to entertain people. I write books that make your heart race, your lips smile and your minds soar. If any of you communicated with me in any form, you know I will try my best to make you laugh – that is my addiction, to make you laugh and smile and snort. And perhaps if I catered my voice to that I will feel more fulfilled, the show would be more popular and finally I can get some restful sleep.
Quod Est Scriptor