Recently, I was listening to a Texas Rangers game on the radio along with some friends. During the game, as we were reading and listening to other sport blogs, we were approached and asked, “What are you doing?” Fair enough. Anything we do must be practical. If some effort does not contribute to our well being or the well being of others, either in the short or long term, then it is a waste of time.
What Am I Doing?
So if I’m playing Hearts on my laptop instead of writing my blog, that is a waste of time. But is writing a blog a waste of time? Not if it is done as part of my writing career. That begs the question “What goes into a writing career?” This is what I am doing, and let’s hope it’s not a waste of time.
Ø Writing every day – I commented on this in my last post, maybe because I have had been aware of this for a while. I do not currently have a fiction project so it is easy to neglect writing, but still I do now every day. It may be a blog, flash fiction, a writing prompt, free writing, or utter garbage. Still, I write now every day because that is what writers do.
Ø Blogging regularly – I did a lot of research about blogging before I began, as I am still learning this craft. One thing I consistently found was that blogger should blog consistently. Some start up and quit within weeks. Maybe they’re frustrated, or possibly they ran out of things to say. I have decided to post twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. I have also created an editorial calendar so I know what posts are scheduled for certain dates. This will keep me blogging regularly.
Ø Interacting with others through Social Media – by using Facebook, Twitter, and all the other usual suspects, keep old connections and make new ones, not just with other writers, but with readers, as well. It may be the readers who are the most vital connection made through social media
Ø Networking – this is primarily having relationships with other writers, but also with agents and publishers. It’s good to know as many people in our business as possible. it creates greater name recognition. But you have to use that recognition in order to create good will. So the more people you know, the more people you can help out, and in turn, the more people you may be able to assist you.
The Big Picture
When we were asked during the Ranger game, “What are you doing?” it seemed to have a sense of urgency. It was almost as if I should take my bat and glove and go out there and help. Maybe I should pinch hit for Hamilton or go in and relieve Holland. Possibly I should sit next to Washington and tell him how I would manage the team. But thee was no emergency I could do anything about.
Our writing careers should have a sense of urgency in that we should not waste our time. Still, it sometimes feels as if we are in state of emergency. How many new writers, having finished and polished their first novel, feel as if there is time limit put on how soon the book must be published? There is no statute of limitations on these things.
While there is no emergency, my writing career does have a sense of urgency because it is important to me. So what am I doing considering the big picture of my writing career? I am constantly learning.
Ø About writing – I am constantly learning about writing, and I believe I will by studying this art as long as I live.
Ø About platform building – this may be the most difficult to study because it involves so many different things and these are always changing.
Ø About the publishing industry – In school they teach you the craft of compsition, but not the business of publishing, and yet we are all aware as writers that this must be learned as much as “show, don’t tell.”
Ø About aesthetics – This is a bit philosophical, but it’s still important. Aesthetics must contribute in some real way to the benefit of society or the individual, if not both. If not, then we are all wasting out time by writing. Maybe I’ll blog about aesthetics someday.
I feel as if I continue to do these things, then I am well taking care of my writing career. And who knows, but I may end up winning more than losing, just like my Texas Rangers.
Let me know what it is you are doing as a writer, or what it is you would like to learn more about. Or if you have any Comment at all, please leave it. I would be glad to take a look at it.