I love writing! I want to share my words with everyone. But at times I question whether this is the right path for me. As an introvert (so many writers are) and someone who suffers from severe depressive disorder, I find it difficult to consistently put myself out there. But there is this beast called a platform, the author’s platform, that I must feed if I want to succeed.Recently, I’ve met several authors who’ve published works and are having trouble selling because they haven’t established their platform. I have a platform and no published works. Guilt assails me when I think about it. When someone subscribes to my newsletter, likes my Facebook page or follows me on Twitter they are basically saying, ‘I’m keeping my eye on you and expect great things.’ It’s like I’m not holding up my end of the bargain because I’ve very little to show for their loyalty.
Yes, I’ve shared bits and pieces of my work and it’s easily accessible under the For Example tab here on my website. Are these breadcrumbs enough? My skills are constantly evolving, growing. My writing group pushes me to be better and I find it rewarding. In truth, joining their ranks has been the best decision I’ve ever made in my writing life. My WIP has taken on a wonderful shape under their watchful eyes and while it is nearing completion it isn’t ready for the public. My WID is fermenting nicely. But I’m constantly aware of that attention demanding beast and my writing suffers for it.
Social media is a huge time suck unless you come up with a system to deal with it. Even then it takes a lot of energy. I share more about other authors on my social networks than I do about myself. It’s easier to re-tweet or post something to my Facebook page I’ve found interesting than to come up with something Missy-centric to share. It’s enough to make your head explode if you ponder it too long.The desire to erase my digital footprint lurks in the corners of my mind. Tempting me, taunting me, whispering ‘Your influence is miniscule. No one will miss you.’ But I know certain stories can only be told by me, in my voice. I don’t expect to be the next J.K. Rowling or John Green, but I would very much like my words to make a difference in somebody’s life.
So, I step back from the ledge and continue to structure my days around self-promotion, all the while wishing that precious time could be devoted to writing. Or reading!