I’ve taken webinars, attended seminars, read books, and listened to podcasts. I’ve read blogs and news posts, attended conferences, and bought and received numerous books on how to market my own renderings.
I’ve created websites, blog sites, a brand, and a following. I’ve created Twitter and Facebook accounts, and I’ve learned how to tweet, post, and create YouTube information. I’ve given talks and presentations, handed out “free samples,” and given away promotion items.
However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned regarding the marketing of my books is: I’m an author and a novelist. I’m not a social media adept; in fact, I’m not a social person at all. I’m an extreme introvert, who would rather continue writing stories and books, than go through the ordeals of trying to market what I create.
I, like many a “starving artist,” simply do not have the constitution nor the personality for marketing. On top of that, I do not have the time. I have a full-time job that pays the bills for both me and my spouse, another full-time job of creating the books, and a part-time job of editing and publishing materials for other writers. All of this barely leaves me any time to eat and sleep.
So, when faced with a choice of whether to catch four or five hours of sleep or to attend a conference or speaking engagement and face a multitude of strangers, I choose to catch up on my sleep.
It’s a choice that I made long ago when I first entered this marvelous world of creative writing. As much as I would love to be able to make a living writing books, I have learned to content myself with an abbreviated form of that: I make a living writing.
Granted, it’s not the type of writing that wins awards or wows audiences. And I doubt anyone would option any of the writing I do at my day job for a movie or a play, but it is writing, and it does pay the bills. I consider my day job a warm-up to my real purpose—telling stories. So, once my day job is over, I can let my imagination run rampant and start putting all those wild and crazy ideas I’ve had stewing on the back burner down in print.
I may never become a Louisa May Alcott or a JK Rowling, but I can still say that I am a full-time author. After all, I do put out at least one book per year (or try to), people do like my fiction and non-fiction stories, and I get to enjoy and indulge myself during the weekends and evenings when I put my stories together.
I’m sure there are people out there who would say I’m copping out and not living up to my full potential. And that’s probably true. I suppose, I could quit my day job, leave my bills unpaid, and just write stories all day long forever. But quitting my day job is not going to help me become something I’m not—an advertising and marketing guru. So, rather than thinking of myself as a failure, I tend to think that I’ve made a decent compromise. I write to live, and I live to write. What a wonderful life to have.