Apologies for the unannounced hiatus. To be honest, I was on the precipice of giving up blogging altogether.
As much as I enjoy blogging, I was starting to feel it could potentially overshadow my whole reason for blogging in the first place: Writing.
I have no plans to ever give up my writing dream, but I believe I’ll be putting that dream in jeopardy if I allow myself to succumb to the PR fiasco that has become the minimum requirement, apparently, for “building an author platform”.
It gives me the boak to see poorly written novels with countless 5 star reviews on Amazon. You can't help but wonder if they're borne of some kind of reciprocal obligation from other bloggers/book reviewers. I’d rather have one fair and honest review, over a thousand copy & pasted efforts from frazzled (but well-meaning, I’m sure) participants in this whole circus.
The appeal of being a writer was once about escaping the rat race. Now it hosts a rat race all of its own!
If “Author” was advertised in a recruitment website these days (humour me), I believe it’d probably state the following requirements:
· Daily liaisons through social media
· Relationship building with others in the industry
· Networking and sourcing new clients (readers/other bloggers)
· Attend writer’s conferences and workshops
· Organise, manage and distribute press releases on blog tours
· Promote your brand through blog hops and guest interviews
· Host giveaways
· Oh… and write a book.
Am I the only person who is pissed off with this priority list? I'd genuinely prefer to write for the love of it and remain unpublished, than adhere to the above expectations in that order.
I've been bitten once by this. Someone sent me lots of friendly emails, then asked me to post a guest blog for them (with no offer to read any of their stuff). Intimidated, I obliged and never heard from them again. If I ever do a blog tour, please don't accept my request unless you believe in me and/or my writing. I promise to do likewise from now on.
Do you want to know what's prevented me throwing in the bloggy towel, though? Reading some lovely, honest writer’s blogs, such as Is Anyone There, Mothers of Brothers and First Draft Cafe. In fact, the majority of bloggers I interact with don't succumb to these daft priorities. And that makes me feel optimistic once more.I’ve decided to move my goal posts once more (and I’ll go ahead and keep changing them till I figure out what works for me). I won’t be blogging every Friday anymore. I may post more frequently, or less. If you'd like to keep up with my erratic behaviour, please subscribe or join my lovely 59 followers via Google Friend Connect.
It feels liberating to break away from these unfair expectations of new writers. “But the industry demands it” some might say? Well, the industry changes constantly. New boundaries are being made with each new technological advancement. With the ability to self-publish, writers aren’t dictated by traditional publishers anymore (quality of work is another issue altogether. Lets not go there today...).
Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future, but I do know one thing: my books will still be there at the end of it all, so I’d better bloody well give them the love and attention they deserve, instead of rushing out three books a year whilst simultaneously trying to promote my previous three, etc. Fair play if you're into all that, but it's not my idea of a fulfilling life.
I’ll continue to participate in events like A-Z Blogging Challenge and NaNoWriMo, as I enjoy them and they’re fun. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how interactive we’re all pressured into being: writing is a personal, lone journey. So I’m going to do it my way and I continue to wish you all the best with your own journey. :)
If you want to have a gab about writing, feel free to email me, or if you're in the Glasgow area I'd happily meet up for a coffee. We can despair over the lack of publishers knocking down doors to meet us, or have a good old jealous-bitch session about those more successful than us, whether they deserve it or not.
P.S. If you read my last post... I didn't win the Euromillions. Huff! I've also scrapped the "chapter a day" redrafting idea I had. It's coming along well at its own pace. :) x◦