I spent this morning chugging through the dozens of links I bookmarked over the last eighteen months to do with writing, editing and publishing. In a methodical, OCD-esque manner I organized them into sub-folders that will enable me to find what I need when I need it. My current interest lies somewhere between “Tips & Editing” and “Getting Published”.
There is so much information available on the subject it is hard to know which way to turn. After my morning’s browsing I came away feeling better, on the one hand, because I think I have made my decision on what my next step is.
On the other hand I was also left feeling a little distressed. It is all very well to write a novel – to sit down for months in a room, alone, and bang out a story on a keyboard – but at the end of it all something needs to be done to share it with the world. That is the whole point, isn’t it? This is where publication comes in.
My intention is to try the traditional route first:-
One: Find Agent
Two: Get Published
Three: Write Another Novel
However if the advice in cyberspace is anything to go by there is another step and it starts right now: Get Noticed.
I agree it makes sense to promote myself and my novel at every available turn, and indeed I have made a start. I am on Facebook and Twitter, and of course I have this blog. Great!
I have only one teensy issue with this whole self-promotion business. I don’t know what to say.
I find myself at a loss for words, a disturbing malady for a novelist. Somewhere over the last year and a half a shift has occurred in my core. What I have to say, I want to say in a novel or short story. The need to share every random thought, feeling and aspect of life in a blog (or Tweet or FB update) has been replaced by something more focussed and long-term. After all, who really wants to hear what I had for dinner or what the weather is like in Brisbane? (FYI: sunny and windy.)
If you think it takes a long time to write a paragraph or scene in a novel, just wait until you see my hands hovering above the keyboard in front of the social networking sites. I started this post four times before it started to lead anywhere. For every update on Twitter and Facebook I have probably opened those pages almost ten times and not posted an update. I feel like a voyeur, reading everybody else’s stuff but saying nothing. I am a lurker.
So here’s a question: Is it better to have these web tools and not use them very often, or to simply not bother with them? My gut says that they should be used convincingly or not at all. Am I the only one facing this conundrum?