If nothing else being an independent author is something of a juggling act. In my case it means balancing a work life, a home life, and a creative life. In fact, sometimes I do not feel so much as a juggler as I do a magician. This is not because I can do magic, although that would be fun, more because I often seem to just disappear.
One of the key activities of an independent author, other than writing, is getting yourself known. Apart from defeating writer’s block it is probably one of the most difficult tasks that you can undertake. The internet provides a host of opportunities to make your presence felt but there is something to be remembered when starting out in this direction; the internet is a massive opportunity but you are only one person!
This is true of most independent authors I expect. Very few of us have a support team who can do all the ancillary activities for us, that comes later when you are rich and famous! Like many another I have to do all my own work in many different areas. I would love to simply sit in my study (another aspect of my dream) and write for a living but I have yet to sell enough books. It is the ‘catch-22’ situation. I have to get known to sell books and that takes a lot of time but I also need to write the books to get known for and that takes up a lot of time as well.
I have tried using a timetable and in respect of social media this proved rather successful. I found that I could run accounts on Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Blogger, and Google+ as well as a couple of other forums that reflect the diverse nature of my interests; dinosaurs, movies, history, philosophy, etc. The big bump in the road, however, was my muse. When I write and the writing goes well that is all I want to do. Timetables go out of the window and I have even been known to miss meals! There are very few things in life that compare to the thrill of writing well, and that is when I disappear.
After appearing all over the internet like a rash I suddenly cease posting and everyone loses interest in me, I think. There is a lot to be said for consistency. People out there like to see consistency in what people like independent authors write about in social media. I understand that but my muse does not, or does not care, one of the two. I think it is the latter. The end result is that I often seem to disappear from social media.
Curiously this phenomenon works both ways. I have often found myself enjoying social media and not realising that it has been sometime since I last picked up my quill and started scribbling again! I know they live in my imagination but I begin to worry that the characters that I am supposedly writing about might start thinking that I’ve forgotten about them. I disappear from my imaginary worlds while I pursue the goal of becoming an internet sensation.
If I did not have a compartmentalized mind already then I think that I might develop schizophrenia!
I did look into hiring my son to help me with the social media aspect as he is the right age and already has a presence on the internet, I suspect it is larger than mine actually, but he was not interested. I would like to hire an intern but I have held an objection against slavery for a long time now and as I cannot afford wages or the prospect of future employment, other than in my imaginary worlds, then it would be a little bit hypocritical of me succumb to this temptation now. The same goes for zero hour contracts. I could ask my wife but to be honest her strongest point with regards to the internet is shopping, particularly for bargains!
So here I am stretching myself rather thin over a multitude of tasks trying very hard to provide a body of work that readers out there are going to think not too badly of, worth an hour or two’s perusal at least. And this is not really a complaint. If anything it is a state of my nation declaration. This is where I am at, two novels completed, two in the process of being written, and a host of others banging on the door and wanting my attention. The thrill is there and I enjoy it. There is something very satisfying about picking up a book and seeing your name on the cover, or browsing Amazon and seeing your work there as well, surfing the internet and stumbling over a review of my work. I guess that I am going to be doing all this stuff by myself for a bit longer then?!