Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm a Writer! ... Right?

   Aspiring writers (as well as established ones) are encouraged to have a "strong online presence". All of the reasons for doing so are valid. So why is it that every time I get that particular suggestion, whether from an article or a hopeful friend or a helpful acquaintance, I feel the exact same way -- drastically unmotivated?

   Oh, wait! I know why. Because I'm an aspiring writer. (Side note: I mean that as in aspiring to have a career in the writing world. I believe in the concept that I'm a writer simply because I write; I don't have to aspire to a be a writer.) It's difficult for me to spend time trying to recruit followers when I don't have an actual product to offer these people. I've completed two novels, but neither of them is published yet. So wouldn't that make me akin to an insurance salesman with no company? A teacher with no degree? A doctor  with no office or hospital association?

   WHY would anyone want to support my talent if they have no evidence that I actually have talent? Sure, my family and friends are all about it. But how do I get the attention of a much larger group of people who are all strangers? Let's be real. Everybody and his or her cousin's ex-girlfriend is "writing a book". When I mention that I've written two books and am working on a third, I mean multiple drafts with lots and lots of editing and  relying on the help of others to proofread it. I mean researching and polishing. I mean waking up at one a.m. because a great idea pops in my head, and setting the alarm to wake me up at four a.m. so that I can write a few hours before going to my day job at seven a.m. But how is someone supposed to know this and believe in me just because I say, "Hey, I'm a writer. Not a published one, but please follow me on Blogger/Facebook/Goodreads anyway!" 

To be honest, it makes me feel silly. Worse, it makes me feel like a fake. Like I'm in denial or something. The  ugliest, weakest version of me whispers things like, "Having a website doesn't make you a real writer. You think you're something special because somebody commented on your witty little post? Ha! You're just tricking them. You're not published."

Generally, I punch that bitch in the face and get rid of her. Still, those remarks echo in my head. So what happens next? I start to ignore my blog altogether - for months actually <insert sheepish grin>. I refuse to write anything on my newest novel, and I stop submitting to agents about my completed manuscript. Like I said earlier, drastically unmotivated. 

Well, this is me admitting it in hopes of overcoming it. I've started a Twitter account (with 15 whole followers so far, yay me!), I've started "putting people in my circles" on Google+, and here I am writing a post for my blog. Fingers crossed that I'll continue to do this every Tuesday. I also have every intention of reading the blogs of other talented unrecognized writers like I used to do (reap, sow).  

This is me aspiring a little bit harder. Wish me luck! (And for crying out loud, follow me!! HA.) 


  1. Lack of motivation kills all kinds of dreams and great ideas. To be more accurate, you'd be more like a teacher without a school, or a doctor with no office, or a salesman with no customers. The best way to get stuff out there, is to put it out there. I've had some of the same problems with my talents. Being a writer has been redefined so much with the internet age. Facebook and Twitter are great venues, the problem is that you mostly get friends there. I wouldn't be so quick to give away money on publishers without trying to get my product out myself first (note that I don't know what you have or haven't tried). Another great thing about the internet is that you can create digital books. I'm sure yours are already saved to your computer. Maybe talk to some local book stores that would allow you to put stuff on their shelves. I don't want this to be too lengthy, but I don't like to see people giving up either. Maybe some of this will help you. You have a great talent and all people need is a way to get what you have.

  2. Ooooh, I haven't given up. I just, um, slowed down for a little while there. HeeHee. Thanks ;) And best of luck to you in all your endeavors!