Recently, I read a blog post on marketing for writers, which stated: ‘Experts agree – especially for self-publishing – that marketing thoughts should come before writing’. Okaay. Sure, this sounds reasonable advice for non-fiction writers, but not so much for those of us who write fiction (I later discovered this is pretty much what those ‘experts’ were really referring to). Thinking of marketing before or even while we write can kill our creativity.
When you read statements like these and that you should treat your writing like a business, it can stop you in your tracks. There is a lot to being a writer these days and it can become overwhelming for us new, unpublished writers, when we read things like that. We can get blindsided. This has happened to me lately and it has held me back from even getting stared (yes, I admit, I can tend to be a bit anally retentive when it comes to being organised). This then brings in the self-doubt and you end up going nowhere. Thinking too much about marketing before you’ve even written anything is just putting the cart before the horse.
Admittedly, there is a lot of the information out there about what is expected of writers once we’re published or those who are about to be published, but for us newbies, it’s best to stick to the basics. It’s good to be informed and have some knowledge of what’s in store for us on our writing journey, but there comes a time when we need to stop and remember why we’re doing all this in the first place – our writing. Without that, there is no point to thinking about marketing. When speaking to my husband recently he said the same thing – there’s no reason to think about that unless you have something out there. Do the writing first; then worry about all the rest later. From what I have been reading lately, more and more writers agree that the best marketing plan is to write more books.
Sure it’s good to be organised and to make plans for the future, but sometimes when we linger upon those things for too long, it can zap us of our energy and take away our enjoyment in the writing process. Yes, it’s good to keep a blog and be on some social networks in order to network with other writers and build a community, but our writing should be our number one priority. We should be writing because it gives us pleasure. So don’t rush – good things come to those who wait.
Are you unpublished and get overwhelmed by what is expected of writers these days? Do you think too much information can be a bad thing? As a new writer, do you find social media a help or a hindrance? Do you disagree entirely? Do you prefer not to let such things worry you?