This week’s guest post is from my friend Andrea Cumbo. She is the writer of Andilit as well as essays and interviews that have been included in South Loop Review, Science and Spirit, Ginosko, and other publications. She lives on a farm in Virginia that was a slave plantation in a county that just got it’s first stoplight two years ago. Andi and I met via Social Media, shared friends, and a shared love of good music. This is her third post on my blog, the others being: The Glory of Blogging – A Writer’s Perspective and more recently, When Social Media and “In Real Life” Collide. And recently I posted on her blog with Saving Time by Doing it Right the First Time.
It is exactly 11:24am as I start this post for Ken. I have been at my computer for three hours, and the only writing Iâ€™ve done is my blog post for the day. I am a writer, so this fact is sad.
Okay, technically, Iâ€™ve written other things â€“ tweets, status updates on my FB business page, IMs with no less than three friends. But these donâ€™t count. Theyâ€™re important as part of â€œbuilding my platform,â€ but they arenâ€™t real writing. Yet, they can, and sometimes do, consume massive amounts of my day. Sometimes I get to dusk and realize I spent exactly 30 minutes on my actual book and nine hours on â€œsocial networking.â€ I think this might be out of whack, a bit.
As Shawn Smucker said, a sure way to not finish a book is to â€œSpend all of your time building a platform, and no time writing your book.â€
You see, I feel a huge responsibility (i.e. guilt) when Iâ€™m not contributing to the writing community. I feel like I should be reading blogs and â€œlikingâ€ pages and retweeting all the great stuff that is out there. I also feel like if Iâ€™m not promoting my own writing, Iâ€™m really missing an opportunity â€“ all this free marketing, and Iâ€™m not using it.
The fact of the matter, though, is that Iâ€™m not a good member of the writing community if Iâ€™m not, well, writing, and I donâ€™t have anything to promote if all Iâ€™ve written are tweets about how Iâ€™m not writing. Writing has got to be my first priority.
I believe this holds true for everyone. If youâ€™re not doing your REAL WORK, then why do I care how many times you tweet or update your Facebook status? I want to know about your real stuff â€“ the people you fed, the students you taught, the accounts you balanced, the planes you few, the words you wrote. When you have that stuff to share, by all means share it. But if you donâ€™t, please spare me the minutes it might take to read your tweet, and let me get back to my writing. Weâ€™ll both be better for it.
Now, if youâ€™ll excuse me, I have some writing to do.
How do you balance the actual work you do with the marketing or promotion of that work?
- Blog Theft: When Your Work is Stolen – A True Story (inklingmedia.net)
- The Internet is Destroying Me (inklingmedia.net)
- Three Ideas for Self-Promoting Without Being Icky (spinsucks.com)
- 8 Reasons You Should Never Quit Writing, Blogging, and Believing (nittygriddy.com)