Karen Ball over at the Steve Laube Agency always has a way to encourage fledgling authors and keep them focused. So it’s no surprise that her latest post is titled “Get Focused.”
Karen nails one of my biggest beefs with the publishing world. I can’t really blame the industry itself, or agents, or editors, not even writers. It’s one of those things that has grown out of proportion to its true importance.
I’m talking about your platform, or your blog, social networking, whatever you prefer to name it. Have you tried to make a list of all you should accomplish each day to support your writing career? I have. It looked a little something like this:
tweet 4 updates
post on facebook twice
write my blog
re-pin something on Pinterest
visit and post in three Google+ communities
read and reply on 3 blogs
…write? Who has time for THAT?
I think you can dig where I’m comin’ from (insert Mod Squad theme music).
Who started this rumor that we have to “get our name out there” before we have a chance of being published? When was the last time you wandered through a book store and cried out “John Smith! I saw him on twitter! I’ll take five copies of the hardback!”
Seriously, how did Stephen King ever sell a book without pinning his favorite mutilated corpse photos? I can visualize it now on facebook: Check out the five things you never knew about rabid St. Bernards!
Focus, Karen says.
God bless her. May she never receive another phone call asking for donations to support candidates in other time zones.
Here’s the thing. Not one of us ever woke up one day and said “I want to be the world’s most prolific twitterer, facebooker, and pinner.” I assume every one reading this (both of you…and you know who you are), woke up and said “I wanna write!”
So, by all means, write. Scooch that word to the top of your writerly-stuff-to-do list and get that done first. If you have time, and few of us will every day, then tweet something. Tweet the first 140 characters you wrote in your manuscript today. If you’ve got a lunch hour to kill, post a blog (yes, I’m eating right now). If you’d rather write during your lunch hour, for Pete’s sake, do that instead!
I’ve been rejected for a lot of reasons, but I’m pretty sure no editor or agent ever replied back with a “need more twitter updates.” When that happens, I’ll get my act together. Until then, I’ll write.
Thank you, Karen. I feel so free now!