Once upon a time, aspiring authors all over the world slaved over hot manuscripts with painstaking care, hoping against hope that this scribbling of blood and soul might be the next one to wow agents and publishers alike. They waited, and waited. And waited some more. And then a select few of those aspiring authors got the opportunity to take on the literary world. Even fewer succeeded, but those who did were left to enjoy writing in peace without the need for constant involvement outside the sphere of wordsmithy.
It’s not like that anymore.
The advent of e-publishing brought with it the ability for pretty much anyone to get published and the need for those who really want to make it in this business to be constantly open and accessible. And interesting. That’s the biggest part. We’re now supposed to have loud, original, and interesting voices. We’re supposed to be happy people that other people want to be around. We are supposed to sparkle and shine.
Yeah, I’m not good with people. Not really. I can fake it pretty well, but I’d much rather be that person behind the curtain. The problem with most of us writer types (at least the ones I’ve met) is that we’re not the strong, demanding Type A personalities that win friends and influence people. Most of us are the quiet type that would rather not be in the spotlight 24/7.
We’re having to adjust, and it’s not a fun process.
I recently attended a seminar about social media marketing because I’m really clueless about how the internet works and how to better market myself as a human being and an author. I learned that it’s supposed to take approximately 6-8 hours a day of marketing work to make a noticeable difference, and for someone with a full-time job and a family, that’s very scary.
I’m a glutton for punishment too…I write under two names, which means I have to market myself as two separate people in two very different genre spheres. I’m on Facebook a good bit and I swear I’m trying to be a better blogger. But Twitter? I’m still adjusting to the lifestyle. I’ve recently started using Hootsuite to keep up with things better – I can be in both Facebook and Twitter accounts at one time and monitor the goings-on. It’s just getting people to look my way that isn’t easy. With so much shiny to view, why look at the turnip in the corner?
One thing I know I’m good at is self-deprecation. I get yelled at about it all the time, too.
So about that being social thing – Sure, I do the con circuit. In fact, I love conventions. I like meeting people and talking about writing. I’m just not the type to walk up to someone and start a conversation. If I have a topic I can definitely run with it, but carrying a conversation on my own? Nope, ain’t gonna happen. Extemporaneous speaking was never my strong suit.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
We introverts band together. We roll with the punches and take life as it comes. The markets are saturated, but those of us who are worth our salt and plan to be here for the long run will make it through. It’ll take some time and effort, but we’ll get there.
And who knows? Along the way we might even learn how to enjoy being around other people.