Forgive me if this is a bit “stream of consciousness.” I’m writing this on my phone when I should be sleeping. (NOTE: Yes, I’m typing this on the computer the next day, so really I should edit it, but…)
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, and blogging, and what it’s all for. I saw a great post this week about sponsored content and how much there is of it now. On some blogs that seems to be all there is. I had to look at a lot of blogs this past few weeks for a project I was working on, and it was disheartening to see how little REAL content there was on some highly-considered sites.
I’ve been talking to more bloggers lately, trying to find ways to increase my visibility, and maybe, just maybe, increase my book sales. Or at least to find a way to make decent money from writing, just in general. I start hearing about their incomes from these sponsored posts, and hosting Twitter parties, and how they get all this free or at least discounted stuff and I start salivating just thinking about it. I have four children. In case you didn’t know, that’s kind of expensive. Actually making money from a blog, or getting discounted (even FREE) vacations, or free tablets and cameras kind of sounds pretty awesome. So awesome that I actually started thinking about starting a new blog just to try and make money from it.
But here’s the thing: that’s just not me. Truthfully, I don’t like reading that stuff, so why would I want to write it?
That’s not to say I haven’t gotten some free stuff over the years (mainly books, but still…) or that I won’t ever do a sponsored post if it made sense to do so, but I could never be one of those people who only tweets their own links, or the links of their “tribes”, and who is constantly pushing this giveaway or that one. If that’s you, and it’s working for you, more power to you, but it’s not me.
I suppose that’s one reason I may never be a bestselling author: I just can’t shill. I hate it. I’m terrible at it. I’m always convinced that I’m bothering people if I even mention my books. Every time I schedule a tweet promoting one of my books, a tiny little part of me dies.
And yeah, it may all just be a part of the game. I’m pretty darned competitive at times, and yet this is one game I don’t think I’m going to win. Is it possible to be ultra-competitive and independent-minded at the same time? I don’t want to play by their rules. I don’t want to force my books down people’s throats. I don’t want to write things just for a paycheque. I want to write what inspires me at any given moment.
People who have read What Lies Behind are often shocked when they read Idol Hands, and vice versa. My new project – the first draft of which is almost done – is nothing like either of those books. I’m considering at least attempting traditional publishing this time, just to see what happens, but I think I might be an agent and/or publisher’s worst nightmare, because I don’t like restricting myself to one genre of writing. Heck, I don’t even like restricting myself to a genre in a single book.
Hmm… yep, this became pretty stream of consciousness, didn’t it? Have I made any sense at all? Or am I just spilling self-aggrandizing twaddle about how much better I am than everyone else who is willing to do what they have to to get their writing in front of people? That wasn’t my intent.
So what was my intent? (Cue the awards show wrap-up music…)
I hope that if you’ve read this far, you like my writing. Maybe you’ve even read one or both of my books, and I hope you liked at least one of them (because believe me, people have no problems telling me their preference between the two.) I hope you can find something of value in it, because I’m not going to stop writing, even if I never make millions – or even enough to pay for a family vacation.
I’m not going to bombard you with “buy my books” – or at least, not very often. I’m not going to turn this site into a place you can read my shining review of the latest kitchen gadget – and you can win one, too! My Tweets won’t be nothing but links – unless it’s a funny cat picture or video: everyone likes those 😉
And in return, all I ask is this: if you read something, whether it’s a post, or a book, please consider sharing it with people you think might be interested. No need to bully everyone into reading – that kind of defeats the whole purpose of this. Just a “Hey, I read this and liked it, and I think you might, too” will do.
Thanks for reading. Now buy my books, will you?