Hello, lovelies! I’m not sure why you’re getting so much writing-related content recently (I hope you don’t mind). But, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing as a practice and a future career. Most recently, I’m thinking about writing in relation to being multifaceted and trying to keep up with an intense balancing act. But, for this post, I want to particularly look at being “two steps ahead” with my marketing and career building efforts.
I’m wondering if that is a silly place to put my effort, considering the stage I’m at in my career (read: early/non-existent?).
Writerly Expectations and Dreams
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to be an author (published, with others reading my books) for just as long, if not longer. I’m not sure where the dream came from. Neither of my parents are particularly nerdy, especially in the bookish sense. A lot of my friends growing up didn’t read. Yet, since I was a child, I’ve wanted to write and publish books. It’s such a core of me, I don’t even question it.
Yet, growing up, I had a lot of naiveté about publishing to unlearn. Like the fact that I thought I’d make money as a writer. 😅 (That’s cheeky, but also true, isn’t it?) Once, I believed it was possible to write full-time (like that was the norm). I thought that the act of writing itself was my main job. Publishing would take care of everything else.
Oh, you sweet autumn child, ignorant and foolish to the ways of the world.
It took years of slowly uncovering the reality: that writers, regardless of if you self-publish or traditionally pub, will always do the bulk of the work in every step of the process.
So What Do I Mean Two Steps Ahead
Learning this and seeing how much work goes into marketing via Twitter for the authors I adore and follow, sent my Type A planner into overdrive. My brain flipped a switch. I’ve spent the last few years working to build a few elements that I’ve seen authors utilize, as part of their marketing and online presence. Things like:
- This blog: The discussions from agents, industry professionals and authors alike of having and maintaining a website is as constant as Book Twitter drama. Though you might argue that a blog isn’t a website, I plan to use this as both. I thought getting into the habit of regularly updating it now would save me the headache so many authors discuss dealing with in the long run.
- Patreon: This is a popular way for authors to help supplement their income (like Fonda Lee) or be able to write full-time (like N.K. Jemisin). So, I created my own, because the reality of writers being paid enough to write full time doesn’t exist.
- Revamping my newsletter: This is a great way to stay in touch with writers and learn first hand about upcoming releases, share early tidbits and exclusive details. I love following author newsletters (currently, my favorites are Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup, C.L. Clarke’s Honing the Blade and Tasha Suri’s By The Cup). So, naturally, I’m creating one, too.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Nicole, um, you’re not published. Isn’t this all a bit premature?
And that, friends, is the heart of this post.
Am I Pulling the Cart Before the Horse?
To answer you: I have no idea. Personally, I’m loving working on all of these things. The fact that I get interactions on any of them (people follow this blog! 23 people subscribe to the newsletter! I have patrons!?) baffles, humbles and floors me beyond belief.
Yet, am I two steps ahead when I should actually be focusing on other things? In other words, should I really be spending my time setting up things I hope will help when I’m published when I’m not even represented yet? When I’m struggling to write? Is the time I’m spending on this blog, Patreon and newsletter taking away from time I should be writing?
Honestly, I don’t know. I do think that it’s a good practice to help me learn how to be present and active with marketing and social media engagement and writing. So that, in theory, when I’m published, marketing won’t feel like a chore, because I’m already doing it. I’ll already “have a following,” so to speak. Yet, since I’m not really writing at the moment, I wonder if that’s just being optimistic?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! To be honest, I’m not planning on stopping any of those endeavours. Because I do enjoy working on all of these things. But I was just curious if others thought I was being over eager or if this instance of Type A planning seemed wise/beneficial.