To write for a living is generally thought of as a solitary activity. Mainly that’s true. Writing for me usually means being locked away inside my measly little flat for hours …sometimes days!
Also, seeing that most of the work actually goes on inside my head, I often feel that it is very difficult to actually share the amazing journey I am on: to becoming a full-time fiction writer.
I know that there are many like-minded people out there who are also toiling away in secret, dreaming of the day when worrying about stories, characters and imaginary worlds will be their main job or business.
Personally, I fully embrace the notion of ‘authorpreneurship’ and whilst I just can’t wait for the day when that will be my sole occupation, I do worry about the things I will have to give up in turn.
Colleagues, a nice office, employee benefits, pay rises, work nights out.
To try and console myself (I am fully committed to achieving my goal), I made a list of ways in which I could share my writer’s journey with my partner and my friends and I am happy to report that the picture no longer looks as bleak and isolating as it did pre-list.
My list reads as follows:
Ok, this one looks obvious which is probably why it was the first thing to pop into my head when I made the list. But let’s think this through. We are writer’s. We use words to communicate with our readers. Most of us are incredibly skilled with the use of language and we improve all the time as we work on the craft of writing. So why does it sometimes seem so hard to communicate the things that are most important to us (our awesome projects) to the people in our lives? I think it’s fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of sounding ridiculous. I could go on and on. We all experience some such fears at some point in our writing careers. Acknowledge. Defeat. Speak. Talk to people about your writing and focus on the things that you are comfortable sharing. You don’t have to tell all but you don’t have to keep it all to yourself either.
Most writers now have blogs. It’s hard to get around this as it is such a fantastic way for indie authors to find readers for their work and build communities of like-minded people. I love blogging and read a large number of blogs on a regular basis. And yet, I often don’t use it enough in terms of sharing what’s going on in my life and/or work. I guess this is something I will be working on over the coming months. It is completely understandable that it can be hard to talk about oneself in a casual way when the whole world is potentially listening. However, we all have fans and followers who like and read us regularly … because they like us!! So let’s put some trust in our audience and dare to share one thing personal every once in a while. It goes without saying that oversharing and whining are not advisable. Honest status updates and ‘day in the life’ type posts are more than welcome.
3. Social Media
See blogging. I’ll keep this one short. We all work across a range of social networks that keep us connected to our audience beyond our primary blogging platform or author website. Be it Twitter, Facebook, snapchat, Reddit, goodreads or Instagram, say something open and honest about your writing process, projects or ideas every so often. This way you can show your authentic author self in public and engage your readers and fellow authors on a whole new level. I still have a lot to learn here, too but I am getting better. Baby steps.
4. Writing Challenges
This one is not for the faint-hearted. Take part in a crazy writing challenge (either official or self-imposed) and share the experience on social media. I heard that Chris Fox did this via YouTube but if you’re a bit camera shy, like me, you can try photo documentary, storify or virtual hangouts…I am looking into google hangouts and am beginning to think that this might be an interesting avenue to explore. I recently took a private writing challenge and tried to write a 24 Hour Novella. The project report is coming out this weekend and if you’d like to read up on my journey in detail…for FREE (!) … just keep your eyes on the blog or google #24HourNovella to see the live tweets from the challenge.
Start a writer’s podcast and summarise problems and opportunities that you encounter on your way to writer stardom. Again a viable option for the camera shy and another way to connect with more potential readers. Explain a particular writing-related event and talk about your thoughts, feelings, decisions and approaches. If you solved a problem, don’t be shy to tell us. Others might benefit from your experience.
So, that’s the five tips off my list. If you have an others, please feel free to add them in the comments below.
And …if you LOVED this post and want to help me keep writing:
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