When I first committed myself to completing my book project by the end of this year, I thought it would be as simple as just pinning my butt down in a seat until I finished the first draft. Very little did I understand of the “business of writing.” To me, writing was writing… the art of creating. And, writing a book was simply a matter of writing (and editing while you go) until your story was finished. How hard could that be?
Well, after the first week of rereading my rough draft to figure out where I stopped last, I spent that weekend and the following week rewriting, editing, and later falling down the rabbit hole of researching literary agents, which then lead me to reading about submission guidelines and book proposals, until ultimately I discovered I had a whole lot of work to do beyond just writing until my story was finished.
Enter this blog. Did I set out to become a blogger in 2015? No. Did I envision starting my writing career with an online place to journal, publishing weekly posts about life, writing, and reading? No. Did I have any clue where or how to start a blog and what to write about or how often to write? No and no.
What I did know is that I needed to create a platform – a place where I could build and then maintain a relationship with my “audience” on a regular basis – and I needed to do this sooner rather than later. Why? Because, according to my research, having a platform is essential for writers of all types, especially nonfiction. And this is needed for a number of reasons:
- to show literary agents and publishers you have an established audience, a following,
- to aid publishers in promoting and selling your books, and
- to put you, the writer, in the habit of being on a regular writing schedule if you’re not already on one.
My chosen platform is this blog, which may or may not grow into other avenues of self-promotion. And what a difference starting it has made in a month’s time. Not only has this new writing “side project” jump-started my drive to complete the book I’ve started, it has helped me get on a regular writing schedule. I’ve gone from “pinning my butt down” once or twice a year to at least once weekly. Working on this blog has also forced me to be more deliberate in what I write about and disciplined enough to stick with one main topic… instead of rambling on (like in my earlier posts).
In return for my efforts as a new online voice, I’m getting noticed by other bloggers, and that’s very reassuring. It lets me know I’m on the right path and encourages me to stick with my writing goals for the year. To those who’ve given me this early vote of confidence, I thank you and wish you all continued success with yours as well.