Monday, October 17, 2011

The many hats of a Writer

Oh the responsibilities of a writer. I've noticed the networking world is being overtaken by so many fabulous writers as a way to make sure their books are being taken seriously. It's here I wondered what part of the process they started first.

Most blogger will tell you that starting your blog BEFORE your novel is out is key. I agree with them. It's a lot of work to up keep, it's a lot of work to gather an audience and keep them captivated. Though your main goal is to sell your book you can't overflow them with BUY ME! SERIOUSLY BUY ME! In doing that you'll alienate yourself completely and no one will want to even look in that direction. Nope, you need to look for friendships, long term relationships for book number two even.

Then shows up Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. When does it end? How does one keep up with it all? For me, it's impossible. In fact, just last week I gave up watching my klout score, the battle of the up and down was intense, the pressure to stay connected was too tough.

I forgot what I loved to do most. Comment and visit other blogs. It's where I want to spend my time. As well as writing. It's not easy juggling all the hats of a writer but when you start to juggle them all no one notices your trying to reach perfection because you're drowning in your own need to be everywhere.

I guess what I'm saying is focus on the loves and let the others go.

How do you handle all the hats of a writer? What's your number two (since I know #1 is writing.

38 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

This frustrates my writing partner all the time. Social media freaks her out, but she knows the importance of it. I have a system for the blogs, but they do consume a lot of time. I find I don't use Facebook and twitter enough. I'm not sure there is an answer to this, other than cloning.

Laura Pauling said...

I do what I like to do and focus on the writing. We can't do it all, well, maybe some people can. :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

I can identify with this. Recently I was kind of off the grid for a couple of weeks, family obligations... and man did I feel the separation when I came back. I lost 5 twitter followers in one week! Klout - I don't know what that is, but it sounds stressful. Try to relax - the people who are valuable followers or readers will stick around no matter what.

Antimony said...

Writing and blogging are always my #1! After that is Twitter. I love my Twitter, and all the fab friends I've made. I try not to overload myself trying to be everywhere - not enough time in the day!

A xx

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think finding the balance is hard. I know I'm spending too much time reading blogs and commenting rather than writing. But I'm a relatively new blogger and know it's important to widen my connections to support my own blog. And I agree with you, blogging can't be just about your own books. You need to support others and provide interesting info.

If you ever figure out the balance, let us know.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm on a couple different sites, but blogging is the first place I focus my energies. And I can't imagine starting one after a book is released!

Cristina said...

blogging and writing is where I spend most of my time.
Twitter is fun, and definitely a great way to connect with others, but I just don't have that much time for it.

what did writers do before social media????

probably get a lot more writing done, right?

Diana Mieczan said...

I think finding the perfect balance is very hard and Im pretty sure I'll never find it:) Which is ok with me as long as I enjoy what I do. You are awesome, sweetheart. Have a great start to the week. Muah

salarsenッ said...

I think most writers share this struggle and from time to time it feels overwhelming. That's when we need to sit back, reevaluate, and remember what we love about blogging and writing. It's the same in life. I'm a mother of four kids and with that comes an abundance of blessings; yet, there are times when I want to bury my head in the sand and pray no one notices me. :)

Jessica Bell said...

I can't keep up, but I try my best! I think you know what my number two is :o)

Sarah said...

I do my best to keep up, but I do find it pretty overwhelming. Twitter is the first thing to drop out for me, followed by posting on the blog. It's fun, but also a lot of hard work, and difficult to find time when so many other things are going on!

Murugi Njehia said...

I think i agree with Miranda! The time consumption is too much!Although..twitter is not too complicated. :)

Vicki Rocho said...

hahaha balance doesn't exist. The best you can hope for is not falling over the edge.

My #2 changes. Just got of a mini reading binge. Now I'm crocheting a scarf when I'm not at the computer.

Jessica Hill said...

This is SO tough. I agree with you, we should focus on doing what we love and do that most. My #2 is a tough choice.. I probably spend more time connecting with writers on Twitter now than I do with blogs. I still love blogging, but I just feel like I can never keep up. Twitter's a little easier for me to keep up with right now.

Joanne said...

I handle the hats by keeping them focused and limited. My #2 is definitely my blog. It seems to me the most personal and conversational, and I make great connections with it :)

tracikenworth said...

It is hard to juggle the hats.
I've recently began to cut back
on the social media some, it was
cutting into my writing time and
making me less happy as a person
because I felt there was no way,
"I could do it all." Blogging
twice a week helps too.

tracikenworth said...

It is hard to juggle the hats.
I've recently began to cut back
on the social media some, it was
cutting into my writing time and
making me less happy as a person
because I felt there was no way,
"I could do it all." Blogging
twice a week helps too.

Carrie said...

I like blogging and commenting too. I have an iPod touch and lately I've found I really like checking in with fb and twitter via that instead because it is easier not to get sucked in.

Talli Roland said...

Exactly, Jen. It can be very overwhelming. I do what I can, but ultimately the writing comes first. I've been trying to have a computer-free Sunday and just let my mind relax.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'd rather do one thing well than a lot of things badly. (Excluding writing, like you say that's always first). My first love in social media is blogging. Now I'm a bit more settled with my blog I'm looking at twitter. I've joined but haven't done anything with it yet. Beyond that, right now, it's a no.

LynnRush said...

There are a lot of hats, yes. But they sure are fun. Some are more trying than the others, but I don't find social media to be one of them. I love it. It's fun. Keeping up with so many people. Reading their tweets, blogs, and Facebook posts are fun. They often make me smile JUST when I needed to smile.

LOVE it. As for how to handle the hats? Just take one at a time. Just like I take it one day at a time. It's all good. :)


have a super day.

Daisy said...

I understand the need to be everywhere too..

Carolyn V said...

The hats are so hard to juggle. I'm still trying to figure it all out. =)

Janet Johnson said...

Well, I haven't joined the myriad networking sites, so blogging is where I give my love. :)

(Though I'm assuming you mean writing is #1 after family, right? :D)

Jessica Salyer said...

I'm still trying to figure it all out. I know my writing has taken a back seat for a little while because I have too many other things going on. :( I try to give myself time limits on each thing I do.

Sarah Allen said...

I think sticking to what you love doing and what works for you is the best way to go. It makes what you do more effective, whereas if you stretched yourself too thin then nothing would be quite as effective. IMO. And you're blog is freaking fantabulous all the time, so as far as I'm concerned you're doing great ;)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

GREAT post, Jen, and SO true! It's difficult (and sometimes frustrating) trying to keep up with the many forms of social media these days. Blogging and Twitter are my current faves. :-)

Bish Denham said...

I tried facebook twice and quit. Blogging is where I like to be.

Laura said...

Good point - I love to blog and to hop around on others, but FB is far more random for me, and I just don't get on with twitter and Linkdin... and as I barely find time to write and blog, I'm happy to let the others slide.
Laura
Ps if you have a mo, I'd love to get your vote on my NaNo poll on the left bar of Daily Dodo
Lx

Johanna Garth said...

Good advice sweetie (or should I call you Tweetie) or are you giving that up too?

Heather said...

thanks for checking out MY blog and supporting that! i love getting comments over there! i've recently stumbled into the world of OTHER WRITER'S blogs...i love it. helps me feel not so TOTALLY alone in this thing. but yes, i can get carried away commenting/debating on other blog. since i'm in the process of revising my novel, i really need to stop for awhile. and yet, here i am on your blog, just enjoying myself no end!

Melissa Pearl said...

Great post. It's good to be reminded not to sink into the bog of social networking.

I'm a blogger first and foremost, but I do have Twitter and Facebook on the go as well. They don't get quite as much attention, but if I tried to do everything I'd never get any writing done!

Julie Musil said...

"Focus on the loves and let the others go"--excellent advice! I've never even heard of Klout, so there you go.

I love the relationships that we're all building because of tweeting and blogging. Selling books doesn't even factor into it for me. I just love hanging with you guys & learning from everyone.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I agree, it is hard. We need to put ourselves out there, but we can't possibly be a presence in every possible media outlet. I stick with blogging, visiting blogs, and Twitter. I don't even have an author FB page b/c I put all my thoughts on my blog.

Amy Richardson said...

I'm with you... Do what you love. I would say do the writing first if you don't have time to do the other stuff. I would also say do the social media that you like as well. I haven't even checked into LinkedIn or Klout because I already feel overwhelmed with Twitter and Facebook and life in general! You have some excellent advice in this post!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Absolutely, we should do what we love. It's not worth it otherwise.

That being said, I do enjoy Facebook and Twitter and blogging. But there are times when I need to step back from it all because it's consuming me to the point where I don't have the time or energy to write. I've hit burnout before by not recognizing when my balance is off.

I'm getting smarter!

Susan Fields said...

You're so right - there's so much out there it's impossible to keep up with it all. My blog is definitely #2 and then Facebook. Great advice to focus on what works and not worry about the rest.

Laura Barnes said...

Great post, Jen. I always wish I had more time to comment. I love to interact more. So hard to balance it all. Can't I just quit my job? :)