Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ROW80: Writers Write, Right?

Football (and school) has officially started! Other than that, things have been relatively calm. Thus, I feel like I've been able to keep on top of things, though some of the other side jobs that indie authors should do are taking a bit of a backseat. The focus has just been to write, write, write.

Here's the quick run-down of the goals:
  • Publishing Lesson Learned: Writing is an author's best form of promotion.
  • WIP Pages: 6. On target.  I keep trying to squeeze extra pages in, but get busy.  Truthfully, I'm about a half page ahead, and I even worked in an editing day this week as I finished another chapter.  I'm modifying my WIP desire-to-finish date to Labor Day.  There's just no honest way I'm going to hit the end of the month, even keeping my current pace.  I don't want to rush it.
  • Blogging: I was 3/3 here, but need to make a fiction post.  I'll probably do that before the week ends.  3/3 on the other site, too.  Got the fiction up there on Friday.
Solid on the goals.  Ideally, I'd like to be beating them right now, working hard to pushing my second book out before Christmas, but unfortunately I just don't have as much time as I'd like.  That's what happens when, essentially, writing is my third job right now. 

Still, like I emphasized in my lesson learned this week, writing is an author's best form of promotion.  My current situation is testing my dedication to that mantra.  I have a book out.  I wish I could promote it more.  But the choice comes down to: do I spend time promoting and thinking about promoting, or time writing the next thing?  The easy promotional things I'm doing, but the thing about promotion is you could always do more. 

One of the things I've eschewed in favor of time is being active on forums.  Also, I'm not a super-big talker on Twitter, though I regularly read my feed and try to answer quickly to anything relevant.  I simply prefer the blogging avenue more than any other.  What's more: it involves writing.  I wish I could comment more than I do, but at the very least I'm reading a lot. 

And writing. 

Continuing to write is key.  Writing is what makes a writer a writer.  If you stop writing for an extended period of time to promote, you're not a writer during those times.  You're a marketer.  Writers write.  It's important to remember that.

Sure, promote if you can.  I'm not saying promotion is bad.  But I do think too many indie writers fall into the trap of becoming a marketer and forgetting their writer roots.  And it usually ends in unhappiness.  Besides, writing more, producing new material, being active at the keyboard... that sells more books anyway.  At least for fiction writers, you want people to find you for your writing, not because of your promotional ability.  I suppose I'm not of the mind that "any success is good success."  I want to succeed for the right reasons.  I want to sell because my stories are enjoyable, not because I simply created buzz.  The buzz should follow the writing.

Again, if you can do both, great.  But if you have to choose one, choose writing.  Every time.

That was a bit of a rant I guess.  The completely transparent reason behind it is to make me feel less guilty, I suppose.  Being a publisher necessitates wearing all of the hats.  As a small indie with a day job, I have to be realistic.  I can't wear all the hats all the time.  I just need to make sure that my base hat is the write one.  (Get it?  Ha.)

Anyway, I'll close with the usual look at the word counts:
  • Since last check-in: 5,820
  • Fiction: 2,321
  • 40% New Fiction
  • Grand Total for the challenge: 44,892


Em said...

It must be a tough call about whether to promote or write but if your instinct is to write then you should write. Hope the rest of your week goes well!

Cate Morgan said...

Neil Gaiman says the same thing about writing vs publicity, so you're in good company. By all means--write! The best marketing is word of mouth.

Good luck this week on your goals!

Matt said...

@Em - Definitely. I guess we'll see how it works out. At the very least, I find writing more enjoyable anyway.

@Cate - The Neil is definitely good company. I certainly believe in word of mouth. Thanks!

Wendy Jane said...

Sounds to me like you are on the right path. At least, I hope so, 'cause that is pretty much the same plan I have. While promoting is important, keep the goods coming will get you further in the long run. Couldn't agree more. Writers write.

Matt said...

Ha, so we'll either fly or sink together! :-)

Anonymous said...

You've hit the essential problem with the demise of the traditional/rise of the indie market, Matt. Traditional publishers have guys who do all that promotion stuff; indie authors end up doing it themselves.

I prefer your path--writers write. That's part of why I'm so late getting around to folks' blogs.

I've been reading and planning a lot lately, but it's all prologue for the writing, which is still key. I started Binder's Daughter today, and I think that if you keep writing like that, word will get around.

Have a great weekend!
Elizabeth (I think that's who I am!

Matt said...

Yeah, I always wish I could do more, but at the end of the day you have to be realistic about your time.

I try to balance reading and writing... the other stuff just gets squeezed in.

Thank you for checking out my book! I hope you enjoy it. Word spreading is exactly what I'm counting on :-).

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