This Writer's Life, Writing Process

Celebrating Two Years as an Indie Author.

Free image courtesy pixel2013 on Pixabay.

Last year, I wrote a post listing what I learned during the first twelve months of being an indie author. Now, two years after hitting that ‘publish’ button, those points basically remain the same, but with a few added caveats.

Marketing can overtake the writing.

Yes, we want readers to find our books and read them, but sometimes the marketing side to indie publishing can become all-consuming. We can focus too much on all the different ways to market, hop on to the latest trend, spread ourselves too thin, and become obsessed with sales figures, and wonder what we are doing wrong. I’ve mentioned before that writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and the same can be said for the marketing side of publishing. Find something that you enjoy when it comes to marketing, even if it’s just one or two, and start your following from there. Too often, the focus can be on having large numbers, but there are many benefits to having a smaller following.

You need to remember the writing is what’s important.

A few years back, I spent a lot of time blogging, and my writing took a bit of a back-seat. My husband told me ‘I thought you wanted to be a writer, not a blogger.’ As much as I enjoy blogging (I’ve been doing this for twelve years now), he was right, and so I started taking a small step back. Lately, I’ve found myself doing the same thing with other social media – we crave the immediate attention it can bring. We need to find the right balance between writing and marketing, and remember our priority should be our stories.

Trying to maintain work/life balance.

As an indie author, we’re running our own business. We are in control of what we do, which includes our working hours. This can become a business where we work 24/7, if we let it. I admit to working evenings, weekends, and even waking up during the night or the early hours of the morning thinking about it. The thing is, I love what I do and that’s a good thing. Not many people can say they love their work, however, we still need to take breaks for the sake of our physical and mental health. COVID-19 has taught me that this, along with family, is what’s important. This year, I’ve also had two falls, landing on alternate knees about six months apart. I am still not fully recovered, and I guess the long recovery process is one way to tell me to slow down (as well as to unfortunately remind me how old I am)!

Recently, I’ve been reading The Relaxed Author by Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre (I’ll now have to start getting some of his books 😉 ), which has been very timely and confirms what I have been thinking for some months now.

Lately, I have been making plans for the next twelve months, but one thing is certain – the ‘slow but steady’ approach works for me.

What have you learned on your writing journey this year? Has COVID-19 made you reassess your priorities? What writing process works best for you

Book Promotion, Writing Process

My Newsletter is Here!

Free image courtesy kaboompics on Pixabay.

For a few months now I’ve been working on creating my first newsletter. I’ve been working on it a bit at a time, a combination of planning and technical issues, but it’s finally ready.

And it’s certainly been a learning experience!

Like my blog, the newsletter will be sent out once a month. I’ll talk about my latest news, research articles, books, film, and television. And of course, there will be spooky stories of the paranormal, mysteries, and the unexplained. 😉

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you will also receive an exclusive flash fiction. Just visit my Newsletter page.

Receive a copy of ‘Forever Autumn’ when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Now that my newsletter is finally up and running, I look forward to getting back into doing some writing. 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Book Promotion, Writing

New Writers: Are You Worried about Marketing?

book daisiesRecently, 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?

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