The trouble is, as Ros says, in order to sell your books, people have to know who you are, or at least what your books are, and where they are. These days, whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, or with a ‘small press’, paperback, hardback or E-book, the problem is the same. Once the book is ‘out there’ you have to put yourself ‘out there ‘ too, so that you can ‘promote’ your work. It’s not even that easy, though. There are thousands of authors out there, all willing the readers to purchase their books, and readers very quickly get tired of the same old ‘this is my book, it’s fantastic – really, please buy it.’ So we have to find some other way to capture their interest and hopefully get them to remember our name. We resort to the aforementioned Blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Good-Reads, Linked-in, and a myriad loops and groups out there, we try to 'chat' and be friendly, and support each other, but even so, sales are not guaranteed. Is it any wonder we become exhausted, dispirited and discouraged, and allow our muse to go to sleep or worse, wither away from neglect?
It occurred to me a while ago that the reason my Work In Progress is still a WiP and not a finished manuscript, revised within an inch of its life and ready to be sent to an editor , is because I spend far too much time on the internet. Not being a morning person, my first hour or so is spent wading through the two hundred or so emails I get daily (my husband and I also have a small on-line business so not all the emails are mine, but they still have to be dealt with. ) Emails are about the only thing my half asleep brain can cope with first thing in the morning. Then, in between walking the dog, housework, seeing to the horses, etc. etc. there is Facebook to be checked out, My Triberr stream to be approved (I’m really not much of a Tweeter but I do my best) Blog posts to be prepared,other people's blogs to be visited and commented on (it’s only polite to visit someone’s blog if they’ve been kind enough to comment on yours) and before I know it the day’s gone and I haven’t written or revised a word of my novel.
After some further thought, I have concluded that I need a deadline in order to ‘kick my butt into gear’ and actually do what I enjoy and want to be doing. I can manage to write 50,000 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month by forcing myself away from the Social Media circuit and making myself write for an hour or two or how ever long it takes to get those 1,700 words a day written (and 1,700 words a day is not really all that many). So why can’t I do it every day? There is an American group called the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, and every February they hold a ‘Writing Festival’ for six weeks, where anyone can register and set their own goals, gaining a point for every day they achieve the goals. It’s very casual, you are encouraged to award yourself a point just for making an effort to write on a difficult day. There are prize draws for those who achieve their goals each week and daily ‘sprints’ where members meet in a ‘chat room’ and write together for sprints of 20 to 40 minutes. There is something about working on-line in the company of others doing the same thing that is very empowering and encouraging and the support when we get to chat, in between sprints, helps to motivate us to further efforts.
So – if I can get away from the internet and force myself to work on ‘the novel’ for four weeks, or even six weeks, and still manage to keep my blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts up to date, and not neglect my online friends too much, I should be able to do it every day, shouldn’t I?
Only time will tell, but I’m certainly going to try.Get thee behind me, Procrastination!
You can find out more about Lyn and her books on her WEBSITE