What are you trying to prove?

So somebody sold a thousand books for 99 cents. (Reality check: they made $350 less their expenses, not a solid grand.) Somebody else has 5K followers on twitter. (Reality check: here's some sobering stats that might cause you to rethink the actual value you're getting in return for the time you're investing there.)

We're all trying to get a handle on the brave new world of publishing, and the numbers can be daunting. The squawkers who claim to have all the answers are loud and plentiful. We have a natural tendency to look at author acquaintances and feel like we're getting left in the dust as everyone else revs up the engine and blasts off down the highway. I think it's imperative that we mentally separate PR that has actual value (in that it sells books and enhances author brand) from PR that sucks money and time away from writing and funnels it into the activity of trying to prove you're a writer.

This week, I think I'll focus on doing what I want to do. What everyone else is doing/ getting/ tweeting is irrelevant to me, my career, my direction, and my artistic spirit. If I quietly write the books I want to write and bravely present them to the world in a way that feels organic to the project, authentic to me as an artist, and appealing to the audience who's open to it, my integrity stays intact and the rewards will be real and satisfying - artistically, emotionally and financially. It won't matter to me if another author zooms off down the highway without noticing that I'm happy.

Comments

Suzan Harden said…
ROFLMAO! Love that commercial! And it's so true. Thanks, Joni. I so needed that today.
Hilarious commercial, and your words struck a chord, Joni. Much as I hate quoting Dr. Phil, thanks for keeping it real!
Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I really needed that, especially as so many of the twitterati are about to go into NaNoWriMo with their amazing word counts. I can easily get down on myself for not measuring up to the quality someone is producing or their levels of productivity, or their social media savvy, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. But really, all I can do is just keep going, working on my own projects in the space of time I carve out for them, and accept that whatever happens is meant to be. It doesn't mean that we don't invest some time into looking around and seeing what's out there, but there's absolutely no point in becoming obsessed.

Thanks. Yet again, you've read my mind. You're like that youth pastor I had in eighth grade who always seemed to speak my truth.
Oh, and hilarious commercial! :D
Kay Hudson said…
Those statistics are enough to keep me off Twitter for a while longer.
And I love the commercial.
Joni Rodgers said…
Yes, Kay, I read that article and felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It's like an expression I once heard to describe New York: "Everyone performs; nobody watches."

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