“The reason publishers are signing authors who have built their own platforms is the same reason YouTube sensations are appearing in car commercials. They aren’t waiting to be picked.”
Jeff Goins – Stop Waiting to Be Picked or Your Dreams Will Die
The quote got me thinking about adding a blog to the newly rebuilt Lone Horse Endeavors website. The site, which started back in 2003, highlights my skills a web developer and a writer, offers a resource section of sites related to those areas, and contains a collection of favorite quotes. At one point the site split into two sites, one for the technical side of things and the other for the creative. I imagined keeping both constantly updated with new resources and quotes. It never happened as I got involved with other things and the sites had no admin interface for quick updates. The rebuild came about when I realized I needed to maintain an online portfolio and a platform for my non-SOH book ideas. The sites are back together again and I have already added three new resources and two new quotes.
The blog on the site would serve to highlight those type of additions and offer insight into the non-SOH books. In essence, it would become another part of my author’s platform. The only reason I am hesitating is because what I am already juggling. The two biggest components of my platform are this blog, which focuses on writing, and the SOH one, which focuses on the series. I have a personal vent space over at Medium where I talk about non-writing issues that are bugging me. So far it has a couple of rebroadcasts from SOH and some political stuff. I’m also developing an affiliate bookstore that highlights all the writers I’ve ever hosted here called Meet The Indies. Rounding out the platform are my Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, and Tumblr accounts, all of which mainly rebroadcast what’s posted on the blogs, but do occasionally get fresh content from me.
Of course, it doesn’t help that Google+ started marking my WordPress posts as private, so it looks I haven’t done anything on that site in seven weeks, when I have. Seems they have changed their settings yet again! Privacy is no longer controlled on the Google+ side of things. Publicize requires a reconnect. This will save future posts. Past ones have to be deleted and re-added manually.
Anyway, besides my writing, I have web projects for clients, five different books in progress, a business idea for helping other indies build their author platforms I need to develop, a semi-shelved social media presence I need to warm up, a few other personal things, and the emotional/financial impact of my decisions. In other words, a packed schedule that sees days blur into one another. It’s reached the point where I tell myself I have to concentrate on only three things a day. Some days I do better with the ideal than others. The better ones end with me feeling like I’ve a accomplished something. The ones I don’t, the “I’m the busiest least productive person in the world” mentality kicks in.
I am a tech savvy author who is wondering how loud I have to yell before people take me seriously as a writer, either for web content or fiction. It’s easy for me to fall into “What if…” thinking here, full of self-doubt, self- loathing, and harsh comparisons. Yes, I’ve made mistakes, blown opportunities, and in general, taken a little too long to get going. In the last three or four years, I’ve finally settled down and taken myself seriously as writer. No wonder the world is taking time to catch up! Before then, it was a lot of ego, false starts, and misdirections. Believe me, I’ve learned my lessons. In fact, I’m still learning them.
Ideas are no problem for me. This blog alone has 10 drafts that need finishing. SOH has 26 books plus whatever number I decide Time’s Puzzle needs to finish its story arc. Five other non-SOH books are planned, with a couple of those ideas leading to trilogies and possibly a second series. Then there’s Gravis Ludus, a multi-author general interest blog that I occasionally write for. Who knows how many others I could come up with if I really let my imagination loose? Sharing myself is a little harder because I still trying to find the right balance of perfection, emotion, and privacy in a public profession.
The frustrating part is that I haven’t found the right formula to leverage writing as my primary source of income. Yes, I know the passion should come first, and the money second. Why not build on and market a talent I already have? I’m not in the position to take any classes to learn more about my craft and selling books in the 21st Century where everyone thinks they are an author. I’d love to, believe me. Good advice isn’t cheap, but it’s really disheartening to think that I might be missing out on something because I don’t have the money.
I actually cried when someone committed to sponsoring the YA book I’m writing with editing, cover design, and marketing. That’s a virtual gold mine for any author, especially me. I wish I could pick up such a deal for the other ideas, especially SOH.
Time and audience is a separate issue. I have 1,500+ people who have subscribed to this site and 200+ followers, but it’s been around for a few years. In its official year of life, SOH has 1,152 page views. This blog has averaged 7,152 views per year from 2014 to present. Before than it was pitiful because I wasn’t doing as much as I should. It takes time to build an audience and maintain it. If I added the blog to LHE, I’d be starting from zero and it’d take away from the time I need to keep the others going.
Maybe, I just need to hold off on the idea of another blog and concentrate on the properties I already have. Until I split SOH off as its own blog, this one served the dual purpose of sharing my insights as a writer to other writers and my insights on my books. I know it might be confusing if I go back to that pattern, but I don’t see any other choice until the amount of posting justifies the time.