When I started this blog my main goal was to be honest, I wanted to record this journey and be truthful about how it was going and how I felt about it. This is one of those posts 😀
So, over the past few days I’ve been in a bit of a weird head space!
I love writing and I’m very lucky to be able to dedicate all of my time to it as my full time career.
But when I thought about it, I’m not dedicating my full time to it. I write for around 1.5-2 hours a day, five days a week and though that’s a lot more than most people get the chance to do, it’s still not enough for me.
Most of my workday is spent doing social media.
Now, I’ve gone on about my inability to make proper use of social media before 😀 I’m also not good at using it for marketing, etc.
I’d say I’ve not done bad in book sales, more than some indie authors, but I also have to say that not seeing a rise in sales throughout the year but just a steady stream, kind of put me in a bit of a funk.
Why was I spending so much time on creating my author platform etc, if it isn’t going to help with sales?
Now, my writing isn’t all about they money 😀 But I do want to make a living off of it and though I understand I am a new author, it can be incredibly disheartening to see indie authors put out one book and they get to number 1 without seeming to do much at all, and my books float in the sea with the rest.
It just got me thinking about if I am using my time wisely. If my hours on social media aren’t gaining me sales or getting my name out any further, should I be spending so long on it?
As you probably have heard me say many times before, I really don’t like marketing! Those who do it well are successful, but I don’t do it well, I barely do it at all. The thought of shoving my work in people’s faces constantly really drains me and social media is a part of that. Trying to get my name out there and my work recognised is emotionally exhausting because I’m just not that type of person.
Now that I have established myself with a blog and things, is it time to allow myself to take a step back and wait for my books to speak for me?
What I’m trying to say is, I miss writing.
I could write all day if I could 😀 And that’s exactly what I’m going to do for a while.
I have made the decision that for the rest of the month, I am going to take a bit of a back seat on the social media thing. I’ll have a few blog posts, but not too many I don’t expect. I will still read others blogs, because I always enjoy your guys posts and find some great tips and information! But I probably won’t comment as much as I normally do.
I think not commenting as much on others blogs is part of my hesitance to cut back on blogging and social media. I have made a great many blogging friends and am so incredibly grateful for their support, I like to show mine by commenting and sharing their posts.
The social media side of things is important, I know, it’s the only way to get my name out there, but I really need to just write for a while, to give my everything to the craft I love so much.
So, if I’m not commenting as much as usual, please don’t think I’m not reading, because I will be! I hope you guys understand 🙂
Have a brilliant weekend everyone, I hope it’s a good one!
Very honest, good on you. It’s funny how much time a writer spends not actually writing 😉
I know, when I looked at how much writing I actually do compared to everything else I was really shocked! I knew it was time for a change then 😀
Thank you so much for commenting 🙂
I fully agree with you. I get most of the day to do writing, so I can’t complain. Yet I still find I spend most of my time on WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter. So I don’t utilize my time as well as I think I should. It’s funny too because the social media stuff seems so justified the books are selling, but then you start to wonder when you hit a slow patch. One has to wonder if it has any major effect in the first place even though I personally think the blogging helps more than everything else.
So with you on the first time authors rushing to #1 with very little marketing while I’m busting my butt. I hit that odd sensation of being happy for them and being jealous. I stay happy by always saying I’m playing a long game.
I think writing really is a very long term career, like you say, and those who stick with it, past the hard times, are the ones who succeed 😀 It’s just getting through those tough times!
Thank you so much for sharing your opinion, it’s good to hear from those in similar situations! 🙂
You’re welcome. If it helps, I had a slow month where I was tweeting, facebooking, and social mediaing all over the place. Sold 1-3 books a day. I did the usual yesterday and sold nearly 20 spread out through my 5 books. There is no way to tell when something will hook into an audience, so all we can do is keep trying.
Very true, thank you so much for the encouragement 🙂
I hadn’t sold anything for a few days before I went on my vacation in September, even though I was doing all I could. Then I got back from vacation (when I’d obviously done nothing) and had sold a bunch whilst I was away! It can be so confusing 😀
August was a nasty month. I debuted my 5th book during that time, so I didn’t feel the full effect. June and July were tough too. I think part of the benefit of being a series author is that eventually I’ll have enough books out that each one selling a little is a good thing. So the harsh periods won’t be as devastating.
I wish I could spend just an hour a day on writing. It usually comes down to an hour or two once or twice a week. Mostly that’s due to my daughter refusing to go to bed at a decent time these days. I also spend far less time on social media than you probably do. Wish I could do more.
I am very lucky to be in the position I am, that’s partly why I am looking at reorganising my schedule. Seeing as I do have the time to dedicate to writing, I really should! 😀
Thank you so much for commenting, I hope you get some writing time in 😉
I’d love to reorganise my schedule. My daughter is asleep now, but my wife might not let me write tonight.
I feel your pain, my dear. I came to a similar decision last month about my social media – blogging in particular. Since I stopped forcing myself to write posts (yes, I was forcing it – I always have trouble thinking of what to say) my productivity with my novel has more than doubled. I wish you luck, and want you to know that while I’ll miss your cheerful presence in the blogosphere – I support your decision. I’ll be rooting for you!
Yeah, I saw your post about blogging taking from your novel! I think it’s a decision a few authors come to in the end. There is only so much we can do 😀
Thank you so much for your encouraging and kind comment 🙂
My social media is limited to WordPress posts, which works well for me. I still seek out mainstream publishing markets and that takes up a lot of extra time connecting with editors and publishers. Like right now I should be polishing my 10 pages to send off to an agent under consideration instead of writing about doing so.
I think that’s part of it, I can get lost on social media talking about what I’ going to write, but then I need to find the time to actually write it 😀
Thank you so much for commenting 🙂
Balance is so hard! I hope you’re able to figure out out… Sending well wishes.
Balance is a struggle, it can be so easy to let one part of your work overtake another 😀
Thank you so much for the kind comment 🙂
Mishka, I’m relatively new to your blog, but what I’ve seen so far, I do enjoy. After reading this post, I see we have some things in common. Mainly, our loathing of marketing. I’m great about sharing other people’s things, but not so much my own. I always worry that I might be putting myself out there more than I should and come across pushy. I’ve encountered those types and they do nothing to make me want to buy their book. Being that I work outside of the home and writing is done mostly I night, trying to fit in social media can be time consuming- and bothersome to my writing time. I read a great article (wish I still had the link), by J.A. Konrath, that outlined a lot of these frustrations. His advice … write more, tweet less. I’m trying to follow that rule. Best of luck to you.
Your feelings are exactly my feelings 😀 I hate being pushy, as, like you say, those types of people never inspire me to buy their books!
I think concentrating on only writing will definitely be good, at least for a while!
Thank you so much for your encouraging comment, it’s really nice to know other writers feel the same 🙂
Mishka, you will figure this, cos you are on smart cookie and I mean that in the nicest way. You’ve come miles from where you were and I see you every day dedicating yourself to your craft right across the board, from commenting, to writing, to going back through your work. This is a tough biz and those who get there are the ones who keep at it and in keeping at it, they find the balance. I know you will xxxx
I think writing really is a long term game and it is about finding the balance needed! 😀 I do love writing, so it will be nice to concentrate on the writing aspect of things for a while.
Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comment, it really means so much! 🙂
Oh great, as usual Bt internet’s supposedly fibre optic connection booted my BIG reply with stuff about Endgames and pawns on social media boards ( u can tell my latest wip is about chess) Look, those who get there as you say are those who see the long game. May we be reminding ourselves of this in…(How long does it take to be making a living authors OH, I meant best selling….) Whatever it takes you will be there, cos you have the right attitude, and like me, you love to write. You cannot put money on that. xxx
I hear you and I think you’re probably right. I’ve been using social media too and it’s doing nothing for me. Maybe I’m doing it wrong or maybe my book just isn’t what people want to read. So I’m going to spend more time on the actually writing. Well, when I’m not working or studying that is!
Yeah, I think it just got to the point where I had to decide if it was worth my time, or if concentrating on the writing would be more productive. I will still blog and FB and things, just a lot less and see how it goes 😀
Thank you so much for commenting! 🙂
Reblogged this on roehilldotnet.
Mishka I fully support you taking a stance on this! You are so right, social media does take over. I’m not great at it either, actually I’m pretty crap! But its drummed into us that SM is the way to go, and in fact, in my opinion, most people are sick of us so called Indie authors hijacking their social media sites and begging for sales or reviews… I know I am, and I’m one of those indie author persons myself! So go take a break and write, we’ll all still be here when you surface! And you may not have noticed, but I have dropped from daily posts to 3 a week, and may drop down to 2 as I grapple with Book 3! Good luck!
It really is drummed into us that social media is the only way, isn’t it? I had noticed your drop, and a few other writers/bloggers had been posting less too. I think it’s just getting to that point where the writing has to come first, it’s why we become writers in the first place, to write! 😀
Thank you so much for your encouraging and kind comment, I’m really appreciative of your support 🙂
Thats exactly it Mishka, you hit the nail on the head, the writing has to come first. Best of luck!
Ugh, I wish I could say I don’t understand how you feel, but unfortunately, I do. My first book is launching in November and I literally haven’t written anything but blog posts, interviews, etc. in months. Writing is way easier – and more fun – than publishing. I’ve been having the same argument about social media with myself and I really wonder – is marketing the best use of my time? Or would my reputation be better served by finishing another book?
I think most writers feel that way! Marketing can feel like shouting into a sea of other people shouting the same thing, and I don’t like being that way 😀
I think concentrating on the writing is definitely the way to go for me at the moment!
Thank you so much for your comment, it’s nice to know others feel the same 🙂
I’m glad you’re doing what’s best for your writing. You’ve worked so hard to build a platform. I’m hoping it will pay off even as you put first things first–your writing.
Thank you so much! 🙂 It will be nice to take some real time for writing and get to concentrate solely on that!
I understand completely! It is difficult to balance it all. I know. Just remember to share sometimes because sharing helps get over the hurdles in story plots, scenes, etc. – at least for me. Good luck and good writing!
Sweetie, you know my current stance on social media…
I am planning a hiatus in a week or two. A very long one.
I’m with you on marketing.
I HATE forcing people to buy things they don’t want or need. I love my stories and want them to read them, but how am I to make them WANT to read them?
Then add in low self esteem and I just cring. I have a very hard time talking about myself without making myself feel like I’m shoozing. Which is exactly what I need to be doing, but uggg. just buy my book and LOVE ME DAMN IT! Is what I want to say, but of course I can’t!.
You make so much sense, Mishka! I’ve been struggling with the same issue! Good luck with your decision!
I’m happy for you! You should be taking time for you. I wish you great success and productivity.
With the artist workshops we used to run at the office, we always specified setting aside 20% of the time you’d normally spend creating and using that to market, handle business affairs, etc. For most of our clients, it was a struggle to get them up there, but it sounds to me like you’re way over that level. So yeah, take a bit of a break from the social media. Content is king, after all, and you really should be spending more time on creating content than on anything else.
Reblogged this on Confessions of a published author and commented:
You’re just feeling what most indie authors feel Mishka. I don’t think marketing comes naturally to us all, we’re good at creating, but aren’t necessarily good at selling!!
Think we need to get this book club idea of mine off the ground!! It will give us a chance to brainstorm together 🙂
I like your honesty Mishka! As a writer, I wish I could just write and not have to market my work to make sales. I think when things become crazy, it’s important to step away from it all and get back to basics. I do like hearing updates on your work and upcoming books, definitely continue to post on them 🙂
Good on you. I attended a social media workshop over 3 days, and I must say I now spend more time on SM but in a more focussed way. But then my aim is not the same as yours. Focus on what you want to achieve is the main focus of SM , but it can be so time consuming. I am enjoying the creativity of it I must admit. I’ll miss you not being around as much. Good Luck ❤
I know what you mean about missing writing. I’ve changed the amount of time I spend on social media, but I’ve made a goal to do a blog post every day until January to see if it makes a difference in keeping up with my followers. My blog posts automatically go to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Then I spend ten minutes on each site replying. In the last months, it has worked as well as it did when I wasted hours on social media.
Good luck, Mishka! I think most of us can relate to you! I hope you get to spend more time doing what you LOVE!
Even as a reviewer, I feel I need to do more social media, and really all I want to do is read and review whatever book I so choose to explore. Social media takes on a life of its own. Wish you the best, Mishka.
That’s exactly the feeling! Social media can really take over if you let it! 😀
Thank you so much for the kind comment 🙂
This is exactly the kind of thing I am a bit worried about as I work on getting more into actually writing for a living. Marketing… also Twitter seems a little scary. O.O I have a feeling my reaction to it will be quite similar to yours.
Hang in there! I’m sure all your hard work will pay off ^-^ Also, have lots of fun writing all day!
Social media is hard, hard work, and I’m not giving it up all together. But I definitely need to cut back, if I’,m not seeing results from it, it’s better to work on my writing and let that speak for itself, right? 😀
Good luck with your writing, it’s definitely a journey worth starting!