My mind is racing with too many cooks in the literary kitchen. I want to be a great writer and I’m learning to get any traction at all I have to make my presence known to the reader sphere by contributing regularly (daily) to social media outposts. Facebook, Instagram (Bookstagram), Twitter, Goodreads, and WordPress are all outlets that I have started to build as a platform and it is more exhausting than I thought it would be.
Long forgotten were my dreams of sitting in a cafe wearing a barret opening my acceptance letter with a full traditional publishing contract. (With an advance with enough money to put a dent in my student loans.) I feel nostalgic just reminiscing of those false memories of being a diamond in the rough. Now, I just feel rough. Publishing companies offer less and less opportunities for new writers to be traditionally published without putting up a large sum of money to kick-start your own career. Sure, I can see the practicality behind the business model but it takes away from the authenticity of the writing.
I know this because I have read so many posts and comments from other writers that clearly show they didn’t read their own blog but feel the need to say something in order to solicit their own blog or social media brand. Hell, I have been guilty of this myself while feeling the urge to grow my views and likes. I post and share and comment on things more than ever before but sometimes I feel more behind than I should on this whole self-promoting market that we live in. Hashtags and abbreviations I can understand but long and complex threads subjected to a response of 280 characters or less is a new beast that I am unprepared to battle. All of this communication and I feel like most people are saying the same thing. Like me. Befriend me. Support me.
It wasn’t until I took a step back from all of the social media and blogging to realize that I have spent so much of my time and energy gaining a media presence that I have not had time or energy to write new material. I didn’t even realize that my creative energy was dying in the weeds until I took the time to give myself a break and realize that I can’t post and blog and tweet without new material being cultivated and created. Otherwise, I’m just reviewing other people’s writing with no time to regard my own.
The point is this, there has to be a balance in this new-aged way of marketing and self-promotion that allows writers to feel encouraged about continuing to fight the good fight. Social media is important and it isn’t going anywhere. Let’s be real, I’m complaining about having to have a social presence on a blog. My blog. The same blog that gives me a rush when someone likes my reviews or views my page for the first time. The same blog where I’ve read and shared ideas with others to further my career and others careers as literary Jedi’s of the 22nd century. The same blog where I now promise to myself that I will put more focus on my writing and encouraging others to write then promoting myself. I can’t promote if I have no material to promote and I can’t encourage others if I can’t encourage myself. So, self, this is the pat on the back that I have laid the seedwork but it’s time to get back to doing what I love the most. Writing.
L. R. Rutherford