Finding The “Write” Path
Pour yourself a second cup of coffee. I'm giving you, my readers, the inside scoop.
I have been residing in a strange place in my writing for a while. I love to write stories. I love to see characters come to life on the pages of a book. I like the entire writing process. Yet these past months I have struggled with the craft.
I’ve been praying about it for several months. I totally renovated my office. I created spreadsheets for my works in progress. I talked about the books I have brewing in my head.
In many ways, it seems I have been glued to my computer without results. Okay, that isn’t exactly true. I have boosted my score in several word games and logic games as well as an online version of Yahtzee.
I’ve kept my blog up and running even when I have to pull an all-nighter to string enough coherent sentences together to qualify as a post. And I have resorted to a few “themed” posts when I had to travel or knew my calendar wouldn’t allow anything akin to “being creative.”
Yet, you, my readers have been faithful supporters of my blog. Thank you.
Then there is the once a month newsletter. Once a month should be doable, right? Doable as in done, but to be done right? That is still a work in progress. I actually like the newsletter when I can include great ideas and inspiration for readers and not just a bunch of stuff about me.
The computer is also where I am expected as an author to “build a platform.” Publishers and agents want to know how many followers I have on at least two social media accounts. They want to know how many readers I have on my weekly blog. They want to know how many people subscribe to my newsletter.
I have followers. I connect with readers in the newsletter, others through the blog, many on Facebook, and a large number on Twitter. I am not a good “Instgram-er” so though I have an account, I can’t say I do much with it. But like a good little soldier, I keep plugging along at the keyboard, posting and tweeting on a regular basis.
The thing I haven’t been doing with my computer is writing.
The very thing I want to do, I have little to no time to do. Yes, I know I mentioned the games I play and you’re thinking I should simply use that time to write. Not so. My mind must not be working all the time. It needs time to play.
I have come to three realizations in this past week.
Writing is my gift. Not my calling. Teaching is my calling. Writing is a piece of that, as is speaking and researching and helping people see things from differing perspectives. Writing is my gift.
Social media, blogging, and newsletters have a place in my life as a writer. Those very elements can also be traps keeping me from the joy of opening the gift of writing.
Finally, I am comfortable and even excited to promote my books. I am weary of promoting myself.
So what is next?
My blog posts from now on may not be clever and trendy, but they will be open and honest. Maybe sometimes raw. Think of me without make-up. No, that isn’t a particularly good descriptor. I never wear make-up anyway. I think you get the idea, though. I am willing to write what I feel and experience on this side of writing. Not particularly an audience builder, but true to who I am. I only hope you can stand it. And if not, then maybe the blog has run its course and needs to be phased out. We’ll see.
I am not going to beat myself up over social media.
I do enjoy the newsletter concept. Once a month I pop into your email feed with a short reflection or inspirational thought and a brief paragraph about what is going on in my writing. If you are not signed up for my newsletter (I see it as more letter than news) then shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on the list. You can unsubscribe at any time but I do give away free books to subscribers from time to time so that’s kind of cool.
And finally, I am writing again. And I am loving it.