Being an independent author is a juggling act trying to balance creative writing, publishing, networking and marketing.
After completing and launching my last book it was time to switch to promotion-mode and I’ve spent the past month trying new marketing methods.
With my first four books I set a schedule of publishing a new book in the series every six months, leaving very little time for promotion. I felt harried much of the time and decided not to push myself with the current series. My goal was to relieve my stress levels, but in doing so I had a chance to catch my breath and see something else I had been overlooking in my urgency to publish: I had not taken the time to hone my craft. Rather than a regimen of write, publish, promote, I should be spending time honing my craft as a very vital step. The schedule should be hone, write, hone, publish, hone, promote, hone, etc.
Taking time to study and research writing craft is essential if I hope to grow as a writer, not just amass a high number of books.
To that end, I have been reviewing some of my favorite writing texts and have found they mean more to me now that I have written a few books than they ever did before. The guidance is more real to me. I can compare the principals to my existing works, seeing where I could have improved, and I am excited to apply what I’m learning to my current work in progress.
With the accessibility of independent publishing it is tempting to shortcut the process and shortchange ourselves as maturing authors.
In this burgeoning and competitive field, I believe it will be the excellent craftsmen and women who succeed in the long run; not simply the ones with the most books or the most hits on Twitter.