The writing fairy has deserted me. She's juts upped and buggered off without a word of warning, which I think is extremely rude after spending most of yesterday sitting on my shoulder, steering me towards another good few thousand words. Today? Not even 100. Shocking. I'm ashamed of myself. Is there any reason why I should have had such a terrible writing day? Other than the fact that selfish writing fairy has decided to pop off and visit someone else today? Well, to be honest, I have got a few things on my mind. I'm trying desperately to think of new ways to market my existing books whilst I continue to write this new one - and it appears that that isn't quite as easy as I first thought it was going to be. But at least I've stopped stressing over the 'X Factor' voting debacle. Yes, that old marketing problem has reared its ugly head again, turning itself into a bigger distraction than I could do with right now, but when sales slow down I can't just sit back and not give them some kind of push. I'm just a bit crap at marketing, that's all. Could be a problem that, in the long run!
Another thing that's been on my mind lately is I can't decide whether I've turned a bit lazy or not. And I don't mean the fact I haven't picked up a Wii remote since March. I mean as far as social networking is concerned. When I first started out on this writing journey of mine I was never off Twitter or Facebook. I even wrote daily blogs at one point, if you remember, for those of you who are regular followers of mine. But now, well, now I'm very rarely on Facebook or Twitter. And blog posts are down to a couple a week. Is that lazy? I don't know. I've started to write more, and that's not being lazy, is it? Because I'd rather write than hang around on social networking sites, because I very rarely have anything interesting to say. But that's where the problem lies, you see. Being prevalent on social networking can be an excellent marketing tool. I know of fellow authors who've not only made lots of new friends via social networking, but also gained a lot of new fans and books sales into the bargain. But they are extremely hard-working as far as making the most of FB and Twitter is concerned. They're also a lot more sociable than me. I'm very much a loner, you see. Have been for most of my life. I've never had a huge circle of friends, and I've spent large chunks of my life in my own company, which is OK. I'm kind of used to it by now. But that's meant I'm a very shy and very reclusive person, who doesn't find it easy to mix or make friends - even on social networking sites. So my presence on them is very low. Is that really going to affect my book sales? I don't know. Sometimes I feel, whenever I post a Tweet to plug my books, that I'm preaching to the converted. I almost feel as if I'm bothering everybody with stuff they already know and if they haven't bought any of my books by now then they're probably not going to. However, what I could be missing out on is the fact that meeting new people, and making them aware of your work can, in turn, lead to word-of-mouth sales. I could be losing out there, I don't know. I have no idea, not really. I'm just having a bit of a week where I think I need to re-think the whole marketing thing as we hurtle towards the end of 2012. Nobody - least of all indie authors - can afford to sit back and wait for the sales to just happen. We're very lucky if that's the case. But I do know that I am the person I am, and I can't really change that.
Another problem I might have is that I do absolutely nothing book-related in the evenings. I knock off at 5pm (ish) and spend my evenings chilling out and, for me, I need to do that. It doesn't mean that I don't want my writing journey to succeed or that I don't take it seriously. It's just that I spend almost all day every day here, in front of this computer screen, writing, or thinking about writing, or thinking about marketing... You get my drift? If I don't step away from that at the end of the day it would kill any love I have for this craft. It really would. So, again, I ask - is that being lazy?
Everyone has different ways of working, different ways of doing things - I just need to mould my own way of working into something that will be both productive, but also give me the time I need to write.
So, it's been a bad writing day - have I just been sitting here twiddling me thumbs until I decided to do something semi-constructive and knock out a random blog post? No, I haven't, actually. I've fired off a couple of emails that may or may not prove to be useful, but at least I've sent them and only time will tell. I've also been making notes on my new Work in Progress, tried to calm the dog down during a visit from the window-cleaners, and spent a little bit of time wondering who else from my TV-watching childhood is going to be outed as a pervert. But I can't help breathing a sigh of relief that I never did write that letter to 'Jim'll Fix It'...
However, what I shouldn't have done was go onto Goodreads and check out some reviews for my books. I've got some decent star ratings, but also a nice dose of people who just didn't enjoy my work. Unfortunately, I write a certain way and I can't change that, so, I guess it's just a style that not everyone enjoys. Such is life. I know there are authors out there who haven't ever received a review less than 4 stars, and they are so, so lucky. Very lucky. They must have cracked that almost impossible problem of finding a style of writing and subject matter that practically everyone enjoys! Please, give me some tips! ;) Anyway, whereas in the past reading a review where someone slates my books would've sent me reeling into a corner to sulk like a petulant child, they are now like water off a duck's back. Some of them are even quite useful, surprisingly. Hey, I'll take advice anywhere I can get it. I'll never profess to know everything. ;) Feedback is always good, as long as it's constructive.
Anyway, this post is in serious danger of rambling on for far too long, and I need to find a new radio station to listen to - so far I've tolerated Olly Murs, Jessie J and some other bland dross that I don't even know the name of, but if One Direction end up coming on next I may just crack completely. I'm off to fire off one more email before close of play today, then it's time to look forward to my weekly dose of backstabbing, betrayal and good looking young men in stetsons. Yes, it's 'Dallas' night! You see, it might have been a bad writing day but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel... ;)
Oh, and I've just heard that Gary Barlow hasn't, apparently, spoken to Louis Walsh since last Sunday's voting shambles. Good for him. Can't say I blame him. I'm giving 'X Factor' one more week but if it looks like descending into pantomime territory again then that's it. Stuff it! As long as I've got 'Strictly Come Dancing' to entertain me on a Saturday evening I don't need anything else...
OK, before I go, I might as well do some shameless marketing so, just incase anyone out there feels like checking out any of my books, you can find them all here, on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Just incase... ;)
Right, now, where did I put that chocolate... ?