Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Finding Balance between Writing, Blogging, Social Media, and Marketing.

with 3 comments

Okay. A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post: On reading and taking advice about writing. And frozen yogurt. My sentiment was that I can’t pay attention to advice about marketing my novel, or approaching writing as a business, because that kind of stuff distracts me from editing my novel. That is still true to an extent.

It is also untrue in a lot of ways. I have already been thinking about marketing my novel, because I started writing about my novel-writing journey here on this blog. I started tweeting my blog posts, and I started following professionals in the writing and publishing industry on Twitter. I have plans to write short fiction and include it here for free to begin building a readership. I’ve just reached my 11th follower for this blog the other day. Thank you, all 11 of you, for following my blog! I appreciate that you care to read what I have to write, and hope that it brings some value to you.

What I was complaining about was really my tendency to daydream. The internet is a good time waster for daydreamers. I daydream about the future a lot, no matter what situation I’m in. Since I know that my commitment to AmeriCorps ends in August (or after I complete 1740 hours, whichever comes first), I’ve been daydreaming of what I’ll do next by searching all of the jobs boards I can think of, even though I couldn’t realistically get the job because I’m not available to start work yet. I also daydream about becoming independent and working as a writer, so reading those advice pages is another way of distracting myself from the fact that, if I don’t ever finish writing a piece, I won’t have anything to market or build a career around.

Still, there can be a usefulness to daydreaming about the future. Today I’ve been calling it planning and allowed myself to waste a bit of time researching. First, I made myself write 1,000 words in the second draft of my novel. See? I’m thinking it’s all about balance. Yes, I need to make sure I’m writing and working at my main goal of finishing that novel. And yes, I also need to dedicate myself to this blog and my other social media efforts if I want them to count for anything.

My research today included poring over the many valuable posts that Alexis Grant has to offer on her blog. She has a lot of posts that are inspiring and at the same time offer practical advice on pursuing a career for yourself, doing what you want to do. I read every post in the blogging category from her sidebar, and then I clicked a lot of links that appeared in those posts and at the ends of those posts.

I particularly liked her Blogging 101 posts:
Blogging 101: Do you have what it takes to start a blog?

Blogging 101, Part II: What makes an awesome blog?

Blogging 101, Part III: A 5-step guide to getting started

I’ve made a list of things that I need and want to learn more about to become better at blogging and social media. I will also need to spend time on my writing. On top of that, I need to focus on a job search, because I know I’m not at a spot where I can make money with my writing online yet. It may be several years. Still, I’m hoping to land a job where I can not only build my skills for that job, but that will give me experience and skills that will help me universally in all I do.

Luckily, I will have some extra time to spend on all of that this summer. By the end of the school year I will have served most of my required hours with AmeriCorps, meaning I won’t have to work as many or as long of days to finish my hours this summer. I can use that extra time I’ll have to do Camp NaNoWriMo to motivate myself to finish this second draft! Word count goals will still matter, because my novel is morphing and requiring lots of rewriting and adding of scenes in this second draft.

Still, I will need to remind myself to keep balance. As if I’ve come full circle, I’ve stumbled upon Jody Hedlund’s blog through one of Alexis Grant’s posts, and found this post: 3 Ways to Keep Social Media from Taking Control of Writing Time. It’s a nice reminder that I need to sift through all of the advice out there, take what works for me, and make sure my priorities are focused. I hope everyone who joins me on my blog enjoys coming along for the ride!

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3 Responses

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  1. I totally understand how twitter can suck your day away. I recently started tweeting, and I was mainly using twitter to watch Lit. agents I wanted to query once I’ve edited my manuscript. The issue was, it gave me anxiety, because the agents constantly talked about a lot of terrible queries. They also scared me because I never knew that agents might not be interested in my book, if they just picked up something similar. Even though I think my book is pretty unique, I worried, someone else must surely be shopping a book similar to mine, and therefore dash my hopes of landing the agent I really want.

    Instead of inspiring me to write/edit more, it paralyzed me, because I was new to self-editing, and it was hard, and I didn’t want to go through all the pain and suffering if it was going to be for nothing. So I understand. The good news is, you’ve got a plan, and it seems to be working for you.

    As for daydreaming. Instead of losing hours on the internet, I now walk around my town, and listen to writing podcasts. I find it helps recenter me when I’ve lost my way.

    Well I decided to follow your blog, so you’re up to 12 now =)

    kyoske

    April 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    • Ack, that sounds so familiar! I get anxiety about things like that, too. Sometimes, when I see people doing what I want to do, like writing and publishing books, I get this feeling like, “They’re already doing it and and look how far behind I am from that” and then I get discouraged.

      Do you have any writing podcasts to recommend? I haven’t done much podcast listening, but I should, because I often need something to do when I’m knitting something that’s too difficult to knit it & watch TV at the same time 🙂

      Thanks for following!

      nikkinbird

      April 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

      • I have SEVERAL podcast recommendations.
        I started with, and am the most loyal to, “I Should Be Writing” with Mur Lafferty. She’s a great starter podcast, because she is very encouraging.

        After that, I would say sifting through the archives of “Will Write for Wine” which is now no longer in operation, was good for me. One of the podcast ladies from there now hosts “Storywonk Sunday” (formerly Storywonk Daily)

        In addition, “The Writing Show” podcast had some great info.

        I recently found “Dead Robots’ Society” which has some great episodes about editing.

        Although it is about writing for television, I have learned a lot from “Nerdist Writer’s Panel Podcast”

        There is also “Writing Excuses” which some people really like. I find them too focused on sci-fi to get anything out of it most of the time.

        Still. That’s at least a year’s worth of material =)

        I Should Be Writing: http://isbw.murlafferty.com/

        Will Write For Wine: http://www.willwriteforwine.com/

        Storywonk: http://storywonk.com/

        The Writing Show:http://www.writingshow.com/

        Dead Robots’ Society: http://deadrobotssociety.com/

        Nerdist Writer’s Panel: http://www.nerdist.com/podcast/nerdist-writers-panel/

        Writing Excuses: http://www.writingexcuses.com/

        kyoske

        April 9, 2012 at 9:31 am


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