So, I’ve been reading a lot about marketing and social media lately, mostly because of my volunteer position at Rotary International, where I’m the public image coordinator for Eastern Canada and a bunch of the Northeast United States.
And it made me think about how much I absolutely fail as a writer and marketer.
I am no John Green.
Me = Not John Green
Anyways, I found this old interview with Cynsations, a blog run by the incredible Cynthia Leitich Smith where she asked me:
How do you balance your life as a writer with the responsibilities (speaking, promotion, etc.) of being an author?
It’s horrible. I grew up in New England and we are the kind of people who gasp and hold up garlic cloves and a cross when we hear the words, “self promotion.” I think M.T. Anderson (author interview) said something about that in an interview once, and it really resonated with me because it’s so ridiculously true.
So, I joined the Class of 2k7, a cross-publishers marketing group of debut authors, because I figured I could at least tell myself that I was promoting other people as well as myself. That made it a more altruistic thing, but it also takes a lot of time because I signed up for too many committees. Note to all other debut authors and my fifth-grade writing self: Sign up for only one committee.
Most of my time is still spent writing. The problem isn’t necessarily balancing the other aspects of the business in terms of time spent, but more keeping my mind from obsessively worrying about the other aspects of the business (the sales, the reviews, the promotion) so much that it affects my ability to write.
I still think this way. A lot of writers LOVE marketing. It makes me nervous. I can sing out the awesome stories of other people all day long? But when it comes to promoting myself or my own book? I shudder. I’m trying to be better about that but even right now, I’m all…. should I put in my website link? There I did it. (Seriously, I stared at it for five minutes).
Should I say, “Hey, there’s all this talk in the New York Times about ufos and the government investigating it and that’s totally what my book FLYING is about?”
It’s weird how hard this is.
But in happier writer news, look what I got at a holiday party this weekend. HANDERPANTS!!!
Yes… yes… I do write in them now. Many thanks to the awesome Keri Hayes for the present and the photo.
In that same interview, Cyn also asked: If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were beginning writer, what advice would you offer?
Current Carrie: Hey! You! Writing in that notebook.
Fifth-grade Carrie: Ew! Am I really going to look like that? Where are my bangs?
Current Carrie: At least your glasses are gone.
Fifth-grade Carrie: Cool.
Current Carrie: Okay, listen. I have writing advice. You know how you’re having Captain James T. Kirk fall in love with your banged hair, glasses-wearing heroine?
Fifth-grade Carrie: Yeah.
Current Carrie: And how Mr. Spock is also in love with same heroine…
Fifth-grade Carrie: Uh-huh.
Current Carrie: And how the Dr. McCoy guy is in love with her too?
Fifth-grade Carrie: What’s your point?
Current Carrie: It’s not all that realistic, sweetie.
Fifth-grade Carrie: It isn’t?
Current Carrie: No, honey. I hate to break it to you. It’s just not. My writing advice to you is that not everyone can be in love with your heroine, unless you’re Laurel Hamilton and your heroine has the ardeur or something.
I still think that’s solid.