|What do you mean overcapacity??|
It doesn't matter what stage of the writing game you're in these days. From newbie writer, just banging out your first query to published author, pretty much everything you read will tell you the same thing. Get out there! Blog, network, and get yourself on every social networking/writing forum known to man or you might as well just throw in the towel right now, because no editor, agent or reader will know you and you're going to be a monumental failure! Who will want to sell your book when you can't even sell yourself? Gah!!@#$%^&*)*&^%$#@!
|I accepted your friend request, what more do you want??|
So, the good little soldier that I am, here is my social networking footprint:
1. Joined Absolutewrite.com (awesome site, btw) just after I finished my first novel and started querying. This was in January of 2008.
2. Started my blog in May of 2009, just after I got my agent.
3. Sold my first book in July of 2009, subsequently went crazy (see below) with worry about promoting myself or no one would know who I was and therefore never ever buy my book.
4. Joined Twitter
5. Joined Facebook
6. Subscribed to every writer's blog and/or website on the planet
7. Joined YALITCHAT
8. Joined Enchanted Inkpot
9. Joined SCBWI
10. Joined SCBWI Listserve
11. Joined Private Online Writers Group
12. Joined Goodreads
13. Joined AuthorsNOW!
14. Joined JacketFlap
15. Joined Chicago Writers Association
16. Joined She Writes
17. Joined Book Blogs
18. Joined Shelfari
19. Joined Mixx
20. Joined Project Mayhem
21. Joined numerous off shoots of Twitter, Facebook, Ning groups and the like...
Are you seeing a pattern here?? How is a writer supposed to write, when we are a member of so many networking groups, because it's so important that we promote ourselves?? These are all great groups/sites, etc., many I would highly recommend joining and I've met lots of fantastic writers, but c'mon, what the heck was I thinking? Did I really think I'd be able to come up with thought provoking commentary on all these sites on a daily/weekly basis? I felt a certain responsibility to myself, that if I didn't make time for everything I was letting myself down! I was letting my book down. Heck, I was letting my family down! Really?
|Uhhh...You're doing it wrong...|
Okay, that was seriously exhausting (scary) to write. I suppose my point is I had to cut down--severely, not to mention quit wigging out that I was tanking my future if I didn't social network constantly. I've had to force myself to realize you can only do so much. I had a talk with my agent a few months back, freaking about how sales were going to go with Nightshade City (before my book was even on sale) and I was so upset! She told me in no uncertain terms I must chill! She said I must stop worrying about all that. She's seen careers ruined, she told me, because of authors being preoccupied with promoting themselves and their work, constantly worried about sales and nothing else and the preoccupation can become paralyzing to a writing career, which she'd seen happen. OMG! Our job is to write--write books!
Long story short, I needed someone to tell me it's okay to be human. That I didn't have to comment on every post on facebook or every tweet on twitter or read/comment on every writing blog in the known universe. We are not super men and super woman--we are just people--people with kids, and jobs, and classes and bills...and dreams--lots of dreams. So, everyone who feels overwhelmed by their blogs, their friends, their followers, their comments or lack thereof, their likes or friend acceptances or ignores, all I can say is don't. STOP NOW! Click out of all those social networking sites, open up that mesmerizing little word doc icon on your desktop and write! PLEASE! You deserve it. ;)
xoxo -- Hilary