I’ve been in a funk lately. Jason clued me in to a PRI podcast that was featuring the life of writers a couple weeks ago. He thought it would be encouraging as I continue to plug away here on the blog and on the book. Such a supportive husband, that one. So I eagerly tuned in that evening, ready to fill up my cup of inspiration but instead of lifting my spirits it sent me spiraling into all sorts of navel-gazing angst and I haven’t written in a word in two weeks. Brother. Here’s the gist of what I heard…
- Getting a book published these days is practically impossible. If you are going to have a fighting chance, you need to come to the negotiation table (there’s a table?!) with a sizable online community in the form of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, insert other types of social media “connectedness.”
- If you can’t get published, never fear! There’s another fantastic option these days: self-publishing. The only thing you need to make that happen is a sizable online community in the form of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, insert other types of social media “connectedness.”
So…it’s not enough just to write? I can’t just to do my thing and assume the rest will fall into place? Shooooot.
It made me feel sort of panicky. I don’t have a “sizable online community!” What should I do?! I spent a few days thinking about my blog and my twittering and my Facebook page and wondering how I might improve myself in those areas. I kept trying to come up with some sort of game plan for improving my online presence, upping the ante here on the blog and working on better hashtags. Then I read this quote that I had pinned about two years ago and forgotten about (I’ve had time recently to peruse all my Pinterest boards and the entire internet, really, because of the NOT WRITING). It’s by Francis Chan and when I read it I suddenly felt like everything went still:
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure,
but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
I understand that the podcast earlier this month was trying to paint a realistic picture of the world of writers today. And I definitely understand a few more things about publishing now than I did before. But I’m not convinced that it ultimately pointed me in the right direction. I don’t think I’m going to spend a lot of energy on tweets and hashtags. I’m not going to worry about how many likes I have on my Facebook page. Well, I’ll try not to. I would be thrilled if those things took off and brought me more readership but I think I better just keep writing.
I think I’ll re-listen to this podcast instead featuring Seth Godin. I listened to it about a month ago and it lead me to his book The Icarus Deception. He is flipping everything around for me with regard to art and creating and writing. Check it out. I’d really enjoy hearing what the rest of you think.