The goal of novel writers is to get their work out into the world. We want our work to be so compelling that the books fly off the shelves and our adoring public can’t wait for more. We can’t wait for the royalty checks to start rolling in to give us the freedom to write without having to worry where the next pay check is coming from. In the back of our minds we secretly dream of launch parties, book tours, and that sweet smell of success. We want our name to become known.
At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.
Current publishing trends prefer that their writers already have a strong platform in the social media world. They want their authors to already have a fan base before the first book leaves the presses. Writers are encouraged to keep up various forms of social media in addition to the challenge of creating their stories. It makes sense for publishers to want this, authors that come preloaded with a strong social media presence will sell more books.
This is a major problem.
So, in addition to writing our books we must maintain a strong internet presence. We must blog, tweet, comment, encourage, and in all ways possible put ourselves and our work out there in the world. This takes time and energy. It is a major distraction to the actual process of writing. Whenever we sit at the computer to work there is always a lingering thought that there is something that needs to be done out in the internet world. And there always is – there are always new posts to read and comment on, there are always new items of interest on the twitter feed, there is always more that should be done.
This is where the paradox comes in. To be successful we have to push our solitary tendencies away and it is those tendencies that draw certain people towards novel-writing. It takes time and focus to write a book, and lots of it. That is what writers are good at, spending hours at a time focused on their work, making their stories come alive. Every avenue of social media we engage in pulls us away from the real work of novel-writing. When we are published we are required to do even more to be able to market ourselves to the world.
How can a writer, who tends to be withdrawn from the social sphere, find balance?