Launch the Internet these days and you’ll find a deluge of opinions on what it takes to make it as a writer. You can glean expertise about search engine optimization, how to build a platform or leverage social media, garner advice on author branding, book promotion and networking, and find out what’s happening right this moment in the explosive world of ebooks. If the odds were against a writer back in the day, they really have their work cut out now.
You might tremble before the daunting writing, publishing and now marketing journey and wonder how you can possibly succeed. Do you look around and ask, “Are my writing dreams even relevant anymore?” Maybe you think…
- With ebooks at everyone’s fingertips, the number of titles available has skyrocketed. There are simply too many books out there for any one author to garner much attention. Besides, you’ve missed the latest trend. Your chosen genre has been overdone. Editors have seen it all before and you have nothing new to offer.
- The economy is still too scary, weak or unstable for you to venture into something so uncertain, and few authors earn enough to quite their day jobs anyway, so why bother?
- Publishing houses aren’t taking many risks on new authors, and if they do, they aren’t investing in them the way they used to. The good old days are over, and while self-publishing is an option, you don’t have money to invest in it, let alone a website and SEO, and it’s all too complicated anyway.
- Everyone else is better at social media than you. You’re not part of the ‘in’ social media networking crowd, and that train has already left the station without you—agents and publishers will take one look at your Klout score and break a nail trying to hit the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ button. You can’t possibly catch up.
- You’re too utterly exhausted after working, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, commuting, going to church, tweeting and generally living life to step it up in the writing and publishing game, especially to keep up with rules that seem to change everyday. If you thought you didn’t have the time before, you really don’t have the time now.
- You don’t have a platform—you’re not even sure you know what a platform is. It probably takes too much time and effort to build one, and frankly, you’d rather stick a rusty fork in your eye than have to promote yourself anyway.
- It’s easier to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Industry changes may be a passing phase you can wait out—maybe when the kids are grown, you graduate or you retire. Eventually, the world will revert back to the way it was before, when writers had only to write and there was plenty of ozone left in the northern hemisphere.
- Your old writing dream is in jeopardy, and you can’t come up with a new one you’re as passionate about, so you’re left to lurk about in a fog no one can lead you from with any certainty.
Maybe you believe some of this—maybe not, but the most likely reason you may fail to achieve your writing dreams is you will simply give them up. Any excuse will work. Pick one.
You can be paralyzed by the changes of today and uncertainty of tomorrow, or you can refuse to dwell on the reasons ‘why not’ and learn what works and what doesn’t from trial and error and from those working alongside you—those who keep putting themselves out there so others can keep dreaming.
What about you? Has the industry changed too much for the dream to appeal to you anymore? Or are you in it for better or worse?