I’ve been admittedly quiet here on Drinking Café Latte at 1pm for the last few months, thanks to the swell of commitments that have overwhelmed me lately. Notably, I’ve been reexamining my fiction priorities, learning how to better market my books, figuring out whether I should better market them, deciding if I can even pay for marketing, and still juggling a host of matters outside of my writing goals, like exercising, suffering through the recent political climate, studying new avenues of professional focus, eating better, and not shutting the people I care about out of my life in the process.
It’s been a difficult balance, but one I’ve been attempting to keep steady nonetheless.
This blog is one of the things I keep on the back of my mind constantly, but figuring out what my plan is for its future is one that stays in constant flux. Posting the occasional Friday Update is important for establishing a connection with anyone who cares about my writing, but with my writing life caught up in learning how to better edit for genre and marketing and not so much actual production, I find that I don’t have much to say on Fridays at the moment, so I don’t say anything. For those who want to know more, and more often, I can see how this lack of consistency might be frustrating.
Frankly, I’m frustrated by it, too. I feel like I’ve got too many goals to reach in too short amount of time to make significant progress on any of it.
Part of this frustration comes down to this war of requirement I have between writing because I want to versus writing because I have to. Sometimes I think the answer is neither. Often times it applies to both. Keeping up with my blog is part of that war of requirement. Once upon a time I wrote only because I wanted to, because it was fun. Now I write because it’s fun, but also to build an audience. When the writing isn’t fun (and there are times when writing is the last thing I want to do today), building the audience becomes my only motivation, and when that’s not happening, either, I wonder if it’s better if I just pop in a movie and ignore the rest of the day.
I’ve been watching a series of videos this month from established authors, publishers, marketers, etc. as part of the Publishers Success Summit, hosted by Eric Van Der Hope, and I can’t help but think they all have the same message, even if they deliver it through different channels and by different specific measures: essentially, they all say to build a platform, treat your writing like a business, and so on. And given what I’ve experienced since the first day I uploaded Shell Out to Smashwords back on May 29, 2015, I can say that what they preach is truth. Marketing is important if the readers are to come. I haven’t been doing much of that, and the results show. I’m still widely unknown and unread, and I’m constantly worried that I’ve overspent my budget every time I eat out.
But a couple of weeks ago, as I was walking to the beach, I started thinking, well, not all writing has to be business-minded. Sometimes it can really be just for fun. But how do we get ourselves to a point where we can accept that idea and still prepare for the possibility of writing for an audience, business, or fan base someday?
Well, that’s the question I want to explore over the next few weeks in my new short series, Why It’s Okay to Write for Fun, right here at Drinking Café Latte at 1pm.
Tomorrow at 1pm, the first part, “The Importance of Literature,” will go live, so be sure to come back then, and every Thursday at 1pm for the next few weeks (I’m not sure how many parts this will contain as of yet, but I can guarantee at least five), to explore with me the advantages of writing for fun when a business mindset has yet to form, even if one may form eventually.
It should be fun, and please be sure to make comments and encourage discussion as you see fit.
Handy Table of Contents for Each Released Part:
Part 1: “The Importance of Literature” (Posted December 22, 2016)
Part 2: “The Importance of Experimentation and Ignoring Fear” (Posted December 29, 2016)
Part 3: “The Importance of Imperfection” (Posted January 5, 2017)
Part 4: “The Importance of Managing Fun” (Posted January 12, 2017)
Part 5: “The Importance of Balancing Priorities and Knowing Audience” (Posted January 19, 2017)
Part 6: “The Importance of Learning from Our Past” (Posted January 26, 2017)
Part 7: “The Importance of Knowing the Rules of Writing and Storytelling” (Posted February 2, 2017)
Part 8: “The Importance of Finding Useful Education and Resources” (Posted February 9, 2017)