Do you ever find yourself getting so caught up in things you feel you should be doing, that you never seem to have time for the things you WANT to do?
I recently signed up to do an online course with the Australian Writers Centre on building an author platform. An author platform is a little difficult to define as it can take many different forms. Essentially, an author platform is the presence an author creates for themselves, be it a website, social media, public speaking, and so on. Most author platforms include several of these things, but sometimes only one. It’s not meant to be a selling or promotion tool, but a way of making connections.
The course was fantastic! Me being me, however, I started to get a little obsessed with statistics, and worried about building numbers.
I lost sight of why I was doing it.
Writing. It’s all about writing.
I asked my husband recently whether all this work I put into my writing was worth it. His response? “You enjoy it, don’t you?”
That simple question brought everything into perspective. I love writing. I love getting those stories out of my head and onto paper so they can be shared. There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of creation, of allowing characters to live. While having an author platform is important, if there are no stories to share, then having a platform is a little pointless.
So I started to plan the next book I’m going write. The only problem I then had was actually writing it. I’ve been too tired and too short of time to get any words out. It didn’t really bother me - I knew I’d get there, but then I had another awakening.
Last Sunday morning I sat in my armchair and mentally planned what I would do that day, and the plan included finally starting the next book… after I’d checked my Twitter feed, prepared my picture quotes for the week, prepared my Word on Wednesday, done some pinning on Pinterest, started writing my next blog post… you get the picture. I wasn’t going to get any words down on my story. Again.
So I made another decision. I had to cut back on the things I do for my author platform. I needed to allow myself time to write; to do the thing I love the best.
As a result, my Twitter list has been culled, Instagram will be saved for occasional use only, and the number picture quotes made for Facebook has been drastically reduced. I have enjoyed making the quotes, but they take up a lot of time. There’s one more thing - my fortnightly newsletter will now become monthly. This, I think, will be an improvement. The newsletter will be a bit longer and more interesting.
I know most of you are also busy people, so I know you’ll understand that sometimes things have to be let go. I didn’t think it fair to do so without offering an explanation to those who have joined me on my writing journey.
So now I have finished the course and taken a step back and assessed the reasons for the things I’ve been doing. It’s been a slow series of discoveries, but I’m now clear on what I want to achieve, and I’m ready to keep writing.
Just as well, I’ve got stories queueing up to be told…
Thanks for listening.
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