Updated: Jun 3
Over the last 15 months, I have written and published 4 full-length novels and 2 short stories. I have learned quite a bit about the publishing process as an indie author. I have also made so many mistakes along the way that one of my passions besides writing, is helping others not make those mistakes.
This post isn’t about mistakes though. This post is about learning to change. Learning to let things go and not get hung up on the stupid shit.
Okay, I still hold true to the belief that you need an author platform. An author platform, IN MY VIEW, is merely a vehicle to reach your audience. You need to have ways to get yourself out there, let people learn about you the author, and share your writings.
It can’t and shouldn’t be 100% about your books. You have to give something back to your audience. Something that totally benefits them.
The second thing your author platform should allow is for you to share what makes you...you. Give your audience a chance to get to know you and why you write. This can be done in as little or as much of a capacity as you see fit.
Now, even though my philosophy hasn't changed, I have changed how I achieve that. That’s what this post is about.
I recently shut down all my social media, but for 4.
2 active: Twitter and Vero, and 2 passive: Facebook page and Pinterest.(I don't spend a lot of time on FB or Pinterest.)
I did it out of a necessity, which now I see was a blessing in disguise. I love the writing process and all that goes into a story. I love that moment when I get it back from my editor and realize it isn’t totally marked up with red. And she tells me it's good. I love that moment when I hit the publish button.
But over the last few months, I became so preoccupied with my social media that I lost my way. I spent more time answering Twitter posts or trying to find that perfect photo to put on Instagram. I started looking at everything as “is this a good post for Twitter or Instagram or Facebook?”
I was literally drowning. I quit writing. I had lost the love I had for my creative process, and I just wanted to walk away.
I was so entrenched in all my social media accounts that I lost sight of why I was doing this in the first place.
I had to take a step back and ask why do I write? Am I seeking the prominent status of being a bestselling author, am I in it for the money, did I just want to be a name on the tip of everyone's tongue, do I want men to desire me and women to want to be like me? (hell yeah) While there is some part of me that will answer yes to all those questions, ultimately, that is not why I write.
The plain and simple reason: I love to write.
I want to stress to you, as a writer, you need to keep things in perspective. Yes, you need social media. It is a given. But it is not the end all. It is not what will make you the writer you hope to be. Maybe I should say, I realized it wasn’t the way to make me the writer that I want to be. You know what does that? WRITING.
I finally decided I needed to let go of everything. I ran a critique group. I am still in that group, but now, I am not responsible for it. So, guess what, I enjoy the group more now than I ever did.
I removed myself from Facebook except for my page.
I dumped Google plus, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The sense of release I had the minute I pulled away from those accounts is something I can’t describe.
My advice to you, don't get caught up on how many followers you have or don't have. Don't worry about whether your posts are being liked or shared. Instead, get caught up in writing the best story you can and then sharing it with others.
I can tell you, if you concentrate on your writing and not on the platform or the social media aspects of being a writer, it will pay off.
Above all else, remember why you are here in the first place. You love to write. That’s what you should focus on.
IF you feel like you are overwhelmed, then let some things go. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Don’t be afraid to say to the masses, “NO, I don’t need to do all that.”
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories. If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.