“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Sometimes the book industry seems nothing but an immense sea of writers all doggy paddling toward the same hard-to-reach beach. Going adrift to assess my position I found that I work diligently at certain marketing strategies and avoid others.
Particular self-promoting canvassing efforts make me very uncomfortable. It feels so much like a rat race that I’m left yearning for a glimpse back into humanity. I’m also not convinced they’re that effective in reader/fan authenticity. But that’s just me (apparently).
The differences in us (writers) might explain why certain marketing methods work well for some and not others. It’s said authors can’t afford to be choosy, but I doubt I’d rise to the NYT Bestsellers List by, for instance, like-fests, i.e., I’ll like your author page/tag if you like mine. I’d rather leave my future to providence, work hard at what’s right for me, and enjoy what I do and how I do it. It may be dark, but at least I’ve taken the leap. Besides, I’ve recently discovered the ocean of publicists who are dedicated to providing lifeboats, equipped with sonar, for those like me.
I recently read a quote by Marguerite Duras.
“A writer is a foreign country.”
How true! We’re as diverse as the cultures of the world, as different (and complex) as France is to China.
Some days I feel as though a member of the allied forces – unified and well supported, networked in a broader form of patriotism. The sense of power in terms of accomplishment is almost tangible and I can do anything—nothing can stop me. Other days I feel as remote as a tiny island-nation wherein the only one believing in me is myself.
There are so many ways in which to interpret Duras’ insightful quote. I suppose that’s why it’s now one of my favorites.
Branding remains an enigma for me as a genre-blended writer. I find it sticky to pinpoint author taglines, even after clarifying discussions. The topic has even entered my dreams. In one someone asked, “What kind of writer are you?” Working my jaw as if chewing a cud, I answered, “Mooooo” which transitioned into “nooooo!”
Even if I settle, the market today is such a crapshoot (marketing gurus may cringe) that something which works today might not tomorrow.
Creativity is like wind, unpredictable. A writer is like a wild mustang… You know it’s a horse (author). You can expect certain characteristics such as neighing, rearing, and tossing its mane (message, although variable). What you don’t know is where it’ll go (what he/she will do next) and how (medium)—while stirred by the wind.
Leo Tolstoy said, “If you want to be happy, be.” On that note, if you want to write, write. Perhaps a perfect depiction will come in the process. If not, maybe versatile and free will come to the minds of observers.
“Everybody wants to be a writer.” Have you ever heard that facetious phrase?
Well, I’m currently serving as a judge in a literary contest. Actually, this is the fourth competition to do so in five months. And after reading all the entries, I’m convinced everybody IS a writer. There’s so much talent out there that it’s mindboggling. It definitely makes a judge’s task more complicated. When all the entrants’ submissions are exemplary and practically flawless, it requires even more fine-tuned examination for accurate scoring. Which should truly rise to the top? Hum. Yet, there’s joy in the process. And it comes by reading these engaging stories and then having the opportunity to follow up with encouragement and support for fellow writers. Really, I’m so impressed. Instead of the transitional and challenging time in the publishing industry suppressing creativity, it seems manuscripts are just getting better—and that’s exciting. So, everybody, write on!