Friday, 11 July 2014

It's Not All About the Writing

So once again I’m drawing on recent experiences in order to make a point (trust me, you’ll get used to it – I do it a lot).  I am currently in the process of moving house with everything that entails, crazy busy days trying to get it all done in time, no internet for almost a week etc, etc. When I was speaking to a friend about it, I happened to mention how difficult it was going to make it for me to get any work done. She looked at me kind of oddly.
“Really?” She said. “Can’t you just write whenever?”
Such a simple little thing, but it really made me think about what people think when I tell them that at the moment I am a full time writer.
 I have a feeling that the image they have in their heads is me, lounging on the porch with a drink in hand, staring at the ocean and very occasionally pecking away at the keyboard.
Which, I will admit, might be the case if you are just writing for fun, but as any decent Indie Author knows there is so much more to our job.
For a start I can’t just ‘peck away at the keyboard’ whenever I feel like it. I have set hours, and a daily word count. Sure, I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck, or even an editor/agent giving me a deadline. But personally, I think that only makes it harder. The deadlines I set are the ones I set myself, and so it would be all too easy to let them slide. But if I do that one day, what’s to stop me doing it the next, and the next. And before you know it, it’s three months down the line and my readers are none too happy with me because that sequel I promised them is still in the draft stages.
But that isn’t even the half of it. As all Indie authors know the writing is only about 50% of the job – if that. It is a very important part, but there is so much more going on behind the scenes that no one else sees.
Social media is not fun for an Indie author. Social media is an essential tool in our advertising and marketing tool box. I have two pages that I manage on Facebook that I try to update as often as possible, and weeks like this when I’m not able to get online those pages suffer. The same goes for Twitter. It’s very easy to get forgotten if you’re not a visible presence. I also have my own blog in addition to this one, and both need updating. Creating an online presence, something that is key for an Indie, takes work and a lot of time. It may not seem like work from the outside, but it really is.
Then there is research. Not book research, although I guess that counts too, but less fun research. Researching new blogs that might be interested in featuring my book/s, researching new blog post topics, researching new tools and sites that can help with marketing, or actually help improve the quality of the book itself.
Then of course there’s formatting, editing, cover design, promotions, and too many other things to mention.
The simple fact is, I wish my job was as simple as staring at the ocean and occasionally writing down a few words.
So fellow Indie authors a couple of questions for you. 

What do you find is the hardest or most time consuming part of your job? If you have a day job as well, how do you find the time? Do you have the same problem with people not really understanding what you do? 

We’d love to hear from you. 
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