You start out having a contracted book that you are supposed to be writing and having so many different difficulties, intrusions, interruptions, distractions and delusions that you are proceeding at a snail’s pace, seemingly no matter what you do.
Combine with a previous book repackaged and on the market again, and generating feelings of responsibility in the author for doing something to let the world know.
Add an invitation to join a website that will provide much information and help on how to market your books in a world that is rapidly becoming a continuous, never-ending, deluge of advertising.
Accept the invitation because… um… well, it sounds good, and maybe I’ll learn something.
Attend the first seminar. Take ten pages of notes and end up with TONS of things to do to have a profitable web presence.
[Yes, yes, I know — I’ve said in the past that I’m relying on God to promote my books and what in the world am I doing falling for this? Well… what can I say? I’m weak. Frail. Easily led astray. Rethinking that stand. Maybe it was good for then, but this is now and perhaps I could do some of that now. Not a lot. But some… Maybe this would be a form of stepping out in new ways of using my gift of encouragement.]
Here are some of those things you can do to build your “platform”:
Integrate your website with your blog. Redo both blog and website so that it’s more professional looking, maybe hire someone to do that, which means shop around for various web designers. Or figure out how to do it all yourself.
Write more blog posts. Write better blog posts. Answer every comment.
Go to other blogs and read them. Comment there. Answer any responses to the comment you left. Maybe quote from someone else’s blog and then write about how you disagree. Maybe they’ll link to you and rebut. Then you can rebut the rebuttal and get into an argument. That’s great for getting links to your blog and the attention of the world, which likes controversy and argument.
Learn what Google Analytics is. Get on Google+.
Learn to write better titles/headlines. Study other headlines. Keep a headline file. Spend as much time writing your headline/title as you do writing your post.
Take a bunch of photographs to use on the blog, because They say that you must have images on your blog. Guest blog as much as possible. Get in as many discussions as possible.
Learn how to start a Facebook Author page and then do that. Find out what a Landing Page is. Maybe set one up.
Interact daily with those who come to your Facebook Author Page.
Make an author page for Amazon.
Learn how to optimize your website/blog and do that .
Get on Twitter. Learn how to write good tweets… And don’t forget to come up with your own daily blog posts…
Oh yeah. And get that contracted book written. The sooner the better. (That would be The Other Side of the Sky…)
And thus we get to crazy. Too much to do even aside from all that. And with that I am over the top. Which of all those things should I do? For how long? When? How can I balance that with working on the book and the work I have to do around the house? Where’s the peace in all this? Not there. Maybe I’m just weak… Well, yes. I am weak. But His power is manifest in my weakness, so that’s a good thing.
He’ll do what needs doing. I just have to turn it over to Him and let Him.
And so I’ve taken a little trip without even leaving home these last few weeks. I’ve learned a few things.
Like “A Tomato, A Coin and A Die” is a really bad title. (I should have called it “Two Techniques That Helped Me Get Past Writer’s Block”. Actually I might go back and retitle it just to see what will happen.)
I’ve learned that there are a lot of blogs out there that are highly “successful” (in that they have hundreds of thousands of visitors) in telling other people how they can be successful on their own blogs. Which seems mildly ironic, even a bit disingenuous.
I’ve been praying for direction in all this from the start. And I am pretty sure that I have come full circle on this crazy ride yet again, and am getting off at the platform now, ready to go back home and just focus on writing Sky.
Because the thing it’s all shown me — once again — is that, yes, indeed, all that other stuff takes up not only time but mental space. At least for me. I tend to want to focus deeply on things when they engage me, and when I try to do all that stuff, well, the focus gets fragmented and I get farther away from the world of Sky than ever.
I won’t say I won’t do any of that, but for now I do know that the focus has to be on my WIP.