Off the cuff post.
It’s gonna be full of errors and grammar issues, and ramble a bit. One reason for this is I just hung up the phone from one of those annoying to me robo-tele-marketing phone calls. Which gives me a topic to discuss here.
Marketing is not one of my favorite aspects of business; it’s like toilet paper. Everyone uses it, and everyone has their preferred brand that doesn’t irritate personally or clog the plumbing. Something that along with the woes of writing and publishing, is a necessary evil.
Maybe if you don’t intend to share your artistic and creative crafts beyond a limited audience of your family and friends, my personal definition doesn’t hold up.
Which makes me ask myself, for the Nth time, “Do I really want to be doing this?”
Some other questions that pop in my mind frequently—
- If most people don’t even know I exist and won’t notice my work, does that make what I am doing worth the effort I am putting into it?
- If my immediate family and some really tight friends are the only fans I ever have, am I ok with that?
- What if I am rejected because I don’t meet the perfection level of mastering the craft of writing that others think is necessary before publishing?
And the big one—
- What if I am a fool?
The other reason this is rambling, back this summer I went off plan. I had a schedule. I was posting once a week. This was a down-produced once a week schedule because I was busy for a couple of years trying to go to school to become a better writer, then learn to draw to finish the picture book illustrations. My time was eaten up by stuff that seemed to be important to this craft of writing.
Cut to finishing that picture book and look over my shoulder at the research into marketing and advertising, again. Something that I had done prior to my first blog post way back in . . . wait it will come to me . . . I think it was 2003 or 2004.
I have come and gone from this writing career, since the early 1980s. I didn’t think I was smart enough. Yet, I kept coming back to storytelling. My imagination is, dare I say it? Legendary, at least in my own personal circles. I have been pretty comfortable with “what if” games.
Social media is part of the marketing necessary to be successful in pretty much anything any more. Or, you have to be content to struggle for however long it takes for enough people to discover you and create a flurry with “word of mouth” references to generate an consumer base large enough to get you out of tiny circles or pockets locally.
If you want to make marketing complicated, you can. There are dozens of posts and sources out there telling you where, how often and what kind of posts, tweets, and photos to put on the web and traditional advertising. My guess is it probably changes to some degree every so often.
So after reading and researching, I have to be still and quiet for a moment and ask myself some questions.
- What marketing annoys me the most as a consumer? Not going to do that, so marking that off my list.
- What marketing seems to be just too time consuming of an effort for the return? Draw a line through that.
- What seems doable that will allow me the time to create something to market? CIRCLE AND STAR THOSE!
- What can I follow through on, keeping my sanity and life in balance? Add some hearts to those.
So, the circled items with stars and hearts it is. That’s what I am going to do. This process was not much different to the one I had to go through around 2013 in order to get my first book published, though I didn’t really market it. I would have kept editing and rewriting to perfection. Second guessing and just red penning myself to death. There is a huge fat
line between getting it right, and getting it good enough.
If you never move forward to the next thing, you can’t make new mistakes. We, or at least I, learn from mistakes. I learned how to be ambidextrous as an off shoot of trying to become a mountain bicyclist (which I quit because broken bones aren’t my thing).
From all the times I quit writing, I learned that this is my jam. I keep coming back to it. So, I have to stick with it and keep working at it. Failing, failing miserably even, embarrassing myself possibly in order to get better at it.
If you are just joining me on my journey, welcome. You aren’t late to this party. It is still getting started. And thank you. Let me know how I can help cheer you on to your dreams.