There are lots of rules when it comes to the craft of writing. And understandably so! Without grammar and punctuation, we wouldn't be able to communicate clearly. Without syntax and context, we wouldn't be able to communicate effectively. Those rules are very important!
Then, there are the rules of the writing world. Point-of-view, show versus tell, ten pages per chapter, and so on. A lot of those rules are a matter of preference, of course. But if you want to garner any sort of attention, it's important to follow those.
And there's the social aspect of the writing world. Conferences, critique groups, beta readers. Again, important, especially if you want to eventually publish and gain a fanbase of readers. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and more! Reaching out to potential readers is crucial.
After publishing, you have marketing to do! You want a book tour? You have to believe enough in your book to pitch it to just about anyone you can. You want book signings? You have to all but wrestle bookstores to get on their calendar (particularly if your book is print-on-demand...like mine.) You want interviews, reviews, and ads? Oh, boy... So much to think about!
So...why am I writing about this today? I am a classic introverted writer trying to figure out all of this. I'd like nothing better than to hide behind my computer and escape to my world. If someone happens to fall in love with my worlds, wonderful! But I hate the idea of pushing it on them. However, that's what I have to do if I want it to be a success. Millions of writers have come on the scene, and in order to stand out, I have to have the loudest voice.
I've lived in a small town for most of my writing career. Finding a critique group was impossible, except online. Critique groups are a lot of work. Not only do you have to prepare your work, but you have to give back and read others. Most critique groups have been established for a long time, making breaking in almost as difficult as finding an agent or publisher. And I think I'm like a lot of writers - the introverted type. New people make the writer nervous!
You can see that there's so much more that goes into creating a book than just writing it. I'm struggling with how very much time is taken up by all these extra things. I'm a wife and a mom. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I could balance a lot of this, but now I work full-time. My writing might get a couple of hours of attention, at the most. I have to stay focused, employing every ounce of discipline I have because it's very easy to get distracted. Social media is indeed a gift, but it can also be a hinderance!
I'm about to embark into a world unfamiliar to me. This weekend is the Pikes Peak Writers' Conference. I've never attended a big conference. Not only am I attending, but I am moderating and volunteering. Jumping in with both feet! I know a couple of people, but overall, I'll be meeting all kinds of new folk. I'm going to have to draw on my stage performance experience and push aside Introvert Ashley to drum up Charismatic Ashley. I recently encountered someone who walked up to every person he saw with his hand extended and introduced himself. I'm going to try my best to follow that example...
Prayers are appreciated. *wink*
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3