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It was just around August of last year when I decided I was going to dedicate myself to pursuing my dreams of becoming a published author, and all that came with it, including rampant self promotion, social media, and marketing.
I’ve failed utterly.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Between last August and today, I’ve published two novels, am 140,000 words into my third, and I’ve successfully submitted a short story to the spectacular SNAFU anthology by Cohesion Press. I’m exceedingly satisfied and downright pleased with what I’ve accomplished in the writing space in a little more than twelve months.
However, as a self published author, I think everyone knows that the writing part is only a piece of puzzle. There’s marketing, social media and self promotion as well, and in all three phases I have completely and utterly failed.
I built up my Facebook page for Wolf’s Head Publishing pretty well, and have over 750 “Likes” at the moment, which is great. I’ve amassed nearly 1500 followers on Twitter. My website is generating some traffic (it ain’t much!) but so far all I’ve succeeded in doing is building a store front that stands empty. No real content, no updates, no excited posts about the writing process. Nada.
I need to do better.
Now, it’s not like I have some grand and important wisdom to impart on folks that you can’t find anywhere else, but for my own sake, I need to get excited about my work. I need to want to share what I’m doing, because if I can’t get excited about my own work, how can I expect anyone else to?
Writing is writing…I love doing it, and I’m thrilled that I’ve somehow managed to string nearly 500,000 words together into a cohesive trilogy of novels, but if I’m writing in a vacuum, what is it doing for my health and well-being. I’d argue not much. It just gives me more excuses to withdraw into my own little fantasy world, be anti-social and even more introverted than I’ve ever been. Not that being introverted is a bad thing…
Anyway. The third novel is about 80% done and I’m hoping to fix this. We’ll see how it goes. I’m extremely proud at the small accomplishments I’ve made and I need to share that pride or what’s it really worth?
All this being said, I wouldn’t trade the past year for anything. Becoming an author, a self-published independent author, has provided a type of reward I haven’t felt before. Even if that feeling isn’t translated in page hits, book sales, or notoriety, I still know that I did it, and I’m still doing it. And I’ll keep doing it.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have the external reward to go along with the internal one.