Tuesday, 2 August 2011

To Blog or not to Blog

I’ve come to a bit of a turning point.

I love blogging and also all my followers who leave such positive comments, both here and on Twitter.  I enjoy settling down to write my daily musings on whichever subject I’ve picked.  I relish in the freedom of a different day, a different topic - no plot or character constrictions - once I’ve got the germ of an idea, I start happily tapping away at the lap-top.

I also love promoting my book.  Being an Indie (independent) author of an eBook isn’t just a case of polishing your work, sticking it on Amazon and waiting for the dosh to roll in.  It’s a constant slog trying to get your book reviewed, making sure your name is out there and being featured in interviews on websites.  It’s great to get favourable reviews and being offered the chance to do guest blog spots.

But all this takes time.

I came tantalisingly close to being a ‘Published in Print’ author.  I was the lucky writer with an agent and interest from two major publishing houses.  Sadly, the recession hit and suddenly newbies like me weren’t worth taking a chance on.

But that feeling of being a signed writer was a hair’s breadth away.  Not only would I have had a hard copy of my book in my hand (all I’ve ever really wanted!) and a healthy advance, but I also would have had the luxury of a team of people doing my promoting for me - wanting my book to be a success.

That’s were my problem lies.  I so want to be working on my next two books but there never seem to be enough hours in the day to actually get down to writing for the length of time a novel demands.

I feel like I’m constantly chasing my tail, wondering how to most efficiently use my time.  I know other books under my belt will establish me more as a writer but, if I don’t work on selling the one I’ve already written, no-one else will be doing it for me.

I can’t imagine the joy of settling down to work on my subsequent books without feeling that I’m letting my first-born languish in a sea of other publications.  “Diary of a Mummy Misfit” is part of me.  I lived that life then threw my experiences into a mixing bowl and a book came out.  I want people to read and enjoy it but when they ask when the sequel’s coming, I feel guilty because I don’t know.

I quite simply don’t have the time and I’m beginning to wonder if I have the right approach.

I’ve met great Indie friends along the way (check out Michelle Betham and Laurel Mayer) and I know they have the same thoughts about prioritisation.  We keep each other going, swap ideas and generally support one another along the way.  But all our stories are different.  Our journeys won’t be the same.  Our methods will vary.

And yet, ultimately, we all want the same thing - to be respected writers who get the time to do the thing we love.  What’s so wrong with that?

So, how to solve the dilemma?  Something has to give.  Whether that’s the blog, the promoting or my dream to have a shelf full of my own books.  I don’t know which it will be at this stage, but my tail’s sore from being chased and I’m tired of doing the chasing.

But hey, maybe it’s a bit like when you’ve just given birth and people ask when you’re having the next one.  It’s all a bit raw, right now!

Check out “Diary of a Mummy Misfit” on Amazon.  It’s for any woman who’s ever felt like she doesn’t belong.  A tale of snobbery, friendship, riding out the recession and failed domestic goddesses.  A perfect summer read.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

5 comments:

  1. A post that hits right at the very heart of every indie author, and funnily enough we seem to be coming to that crossroads you described at exactly the same time because I feel exactly the same way as you do right now. This week is a week of decisions and re-thinking for me, and I just hope that we all find a solution that makes us happy and guilt free, and gives us some time to do the one thing we all love - write! Just don't forget that the support is always there, you know that. :) A well-written and heartfelt post that I can absolutely identify with.

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  2. walking here with a smile.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards,
    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

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  3. First of all, congratulations on your new title! Dame, I love it! Now, to blog or not to blog, is a nagging question. I guess we must keep pushing along, working at it, and yes, writing "the next one." I like your analogy to childbirth...it does feel a little too soon right now. And, yes, it seems neglectful to not promote the first one. It's so hard to prioritize and there are only so many hours in the day! We can only do our best. I'm just glad I'm not alone in trying to figure it out :)

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  4. It is an endless cycle. One that is needed if we are to make it. The last few days I have asked myself why am I pushing so hard- only to continue pushing. Best of luck.

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  5. This is the dilemma I'm grappling with too at the moment, although whereas you keep on being productive, I've chosen the 'it's the summer holidays so I can't possibly write' excuse! But my darlings are now on holiday 'avec papa', so I have no reasons not to do anything. I'd all but decided to let the blog slide while I tinker around with my novel, but now I've read both your post and everyone's comments, I'm not so sure. It's times like this when I wish I wanted to do something really straightforward, ie anything other than write and publish a novel!

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