There’s an issue on my mind of which I spoke to a dear friend about—a burden in my heart you could say. What do you think she said? “Why don’t you blog about it.” I laughed, then realized it was great idea. So, here I am about to share this burden with you.
Times are different today for writers. We have to market ourselves and promote our work before our first novel ever hits the shelf. Contests, newsletters, websites, marketing gimmicks—even short video clips. The web is filled with sights offering writing helps, insights, book promotions of the most unique kinds and a mishmash of inspirational self-helps.
As a hopefully-soon-to-be-published author, I find myself in an interesting predicament. With limited time in a day to write and perfect my craft, I am inundated with a plethora of information to the point of being overwhelmed. Reading takes time and time is in short supply these days. (Remember, I just turned 40. LOL!) We all have lives that need some level of attention as well.
I myself am on the very same track, trying to market my “future” book, but I wonder if we are doing new writers and ourselves a disservice. Personally, I can spend an entire day reading all the sites, blogs, and newsletters as well as reading books in my genre and on writing, and not write a single word. I could do this day after day. I could entrench myself in everything writing related, everything I’m being told I should do, but not write at all. There is so much, too much, in my currently perturbed opinion.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think most of what’s out there is very beneficial. And I do believe it is up to the individual to determine how much time is allowed to spend on the “business” of writing. So many published authors have graciously dedicated parts of their websites with a lion’s share of their hard-earned knowledge. (Now tell me if that isn’t just contrary to the worldly push of get ahead, even at the expense of others.)
My concern is this. As an unpublished author, I want to learn as much as I can, yet I realize there is no way possible to read, do and see it all without sacrificing my writing. Thus the dilemma—what do I intake that will best benefit my goal of becoming published and more importantly will honor God on this path He has placed me? Discernment is definitely a key issue and necessary practice here.
Insert large sigh here…
But here’s my point. Don’t we as writers need to be careful that we don’t become part of the information overload? Are we just doing a newsletter, contest, marketing gimmick (you fill in the blank) just to do it, just to do what we think we should be doing?
Again, I’m not saying these things are bad, but we have to be careful what we put out there, just like we take care over what goes into our books. If we’re doing these things, just to do them, then we are just part of the info dump that’s already become an overwhelming surge. We have to examine our motives and bring them under God’s lamp—just like we should be doing in our writing, our lives and our relationships.
These could just be the ramblings of a frustrated writer or this could be an alert to something bigger. The danger here is getting so caught up in the marketing and the pressure to know as much as we can, that we become a part of the pressure surge that pushed us in the first place, and will in the end overwhelm other writers.
This upsurge is not only overwhelming, it’s discouraging. And the last thing I would want to do is discourage another writer.
What do you think?