Social Media

Contrary Advice

When you attempt to move from writing for yourself to writing for the public (aka publishing), you get a lot of contrary advice. Advice that seems to have nothing to do with what you’re actually trying to accomplish.

“I want to be a novelist,” you say.

They reply, “Great! Make sure you have a Facebook page.” Or… “You should get an Instagram account.” Or even… “You need to start a blog.”

I fought this advice for a long time. What on earth does an Instagram account have to do with writing fiction? I’m a writer, I just want to write books!

Eventually, however, it became obvious that I was sticking my head in the sand, or shooting myself in the foot, or whatever cliché phrase you want to use for it. Being an author in 2018 is not the same as it was twenty years ago. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t even attempting to publish my work twenty years ago, but my mind still wants the world to be like it was back then, or at least my idealized version of how it was. The writer writes,the agent shops the book around, the publisher publishes the book and does marketing. Each person had his or her own lane, and there was no need to crossover.

Unfortunately, the lines are not as clear cut as they used to be. The power of self-publishing, and the ease with which it can be accomplished, has overhauled the publishing industry. The meteoric rise of social media has made it almost essential for any artist, writer, or entrepreneur to have a Facebook page and a blog. Marketing is no longer something that is done only by publishers. If you, as a writer, want to get your work noticed and read, you need to take the necessary steps to get yourself noticed.

And so, one at a time, I cave to the inevitable, and a blog is born.