Sometimes I think I really shouldn’t read blogs. I mean, I like to, but sometimes there’s that one article that just leaves me paralyzed with shock. It could be horrific natural disaster photographs with survivor stories interspersed, or a particularly moving piece of poetry that somehow ripped the words from my soul and displayed them on the computer screen. I kinda like when that happens to be honest. It makes me feel more connected to my fellow writers and reminds me that YES! I have a home here! These people UNDERSTAND *_*
And then there are blogs where I wish I hadn’t read them because they’re so right it’s painful. I am, of course, talking about writing. Specifically, PUBLISHING—DUN DUN DUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*RUNS AND HIDES*
I have a board on Pinterest labeled “Writing Amusé” . Anything that interests me about writing will be pinned to this board. Writing prompts, funny quotes, good blog articles, tips and tricks to writing genre fiction… it’s all there. There is, however, a distinct lack of anything having to do with–
Ermagherd Jess! Your dream is to become a published novelist and you know NOTHING about it? Seriously?
I know. I KNOW. It’s a hurdle I really haven’t thought about passing. I’ve studiously avoided it because I knew that all that careful self-confidence I’ve been trying to build would crumble in fear and I would hurry back to my turtle shell of safety. And so it has.
Pinterest presented me with an article that seemed pretty safe. It was written by Carly Watters, a literary agent, and it was called “4 Platform Elements that catch an Editor’s attention”. Now, the whole reason I’m even on WordPress is because I knew that it was suggested that writers start a writing platform to reach out to the public. (See? Not COMPLETELY in the dark here!) I took that baby step toward successful writing. But this article spouted terribly frightening things like, CONNECTIONS, PRESS and E-MAIL. EN MASSE.
D: I have to WHAT? Ahh crap…
Oh yeah. The whole publishing dream behind my rose-colored glasses has been shattered. I figured it would be like this:
- Write a book
- Get an editor
- Get a book deal
- Get marketing to do a bang up job promoting the book
- Make millions while inspiring people to write their own stories
Book writing in 5 easy steps folks!!
Yes, I can hear the world laughing at me. I accept this.
Reality (ad-libbed from the article):
- Make connections. Go to writing conventions. Get business cards. Meet other writers in your town. Sign up to follow other writer’s blogs. Form a support—I mean a WRITING group. Be as interested in these other people as you are in your own novel. Make friends with all different kinds.
- Press appearances. Get comfortable being in the spot light and public speaking. Promote your book and yourself with charm and grace. Don’t be afraid because this is what will sell your work.
- Get Numbers. The less work an editor has to do with marketing and audience gathering, the better the chances are of getting a YES. Use blogs, twitter, Facebook pages to promote yourself. If an Editor sees that you already have a decent following, it’ll boost chances considerably.
- E-mails. As annoying as those e-mail pop ups are, nearly everyone who frequents social media has an e-mail. It’s the fastest way to reach the public even if they don’t frequent your blog/twitter/Facebook page. A significant e-mail number with impress editors and agents.
The article is from a literary agent’s point of view. I mean, this is the goods! Real information on how to get your foot in the door and be noticed among the stacks. It’s just, for someone like me, who enjoys being a chameleon, it’s crippling to be told it’s necessary to be a flashy peacock. Do the song and dance to make people notice you and THEN keep them interested. Give them the ol’ razzle dazzle and rise above the other nublet novelists to be noticed (while still being their friend).
Well after my initial freak out, running and throwing myself on my husband’s sympathetic mercy and getting metaphorical head pats from my infallible friend Owen, I decided that it doesn’t matter.
Yep. I said it. IT DOESN’T MATTER–RIGHT NOW.
I have taken the first step and started a blog (which my family doesn’t even know about but HEY! Getting there!) I am writing the first re-draft of my 2015 NaNoWriMo Novel. That is all that is necessary at the moment. There’s no use freaking out over something that I can’t control. I only have 11 followers but that’s on me for not promoting myself better and not writing blogs regularly. And that’s okay. There’s no rush to fame.
(And to be honest, I’m actually dreading book tours and public appearances for so many reasons). So remaining unknown is perfect for me at the moment. I’m not ready.
Keep calm. You’ll get there. I’ll get there too.
So the point of this short blog is to just remind you to stay focused on what you CAN handle. Everything will come in its proper time.
Good luck my friends!