Right now, we’re not able to just be writers. We’re also marketers, planners, and basic business people thrust into a digital world of instant communication. We don’t get paid to write, at least most the time. We publish our own works, scramble for people to edit and review our stories, and shamelessly self-promote through every flash or possibly obsolete social media site known to the rest of humanity. Gone are the days where you could settle into one genre, be represented by an agent, and hole up in your study for the rest of your life smoking a pipe and sipping red wine. Even those established authors have to provide their own social media presence, market their books, and be multi-genre based in their voice. A lot of mainstream writers teach, produce other projects, or buy goddamn racehorses. Sure, there are a few stalwarts still carving this path, but it’s getting narrower every day, and the trees are closing in, you can smell them standing around like a gym locker room.
Yes, I could write an entire blog, or book, or story about how as a modern writer I’m caught in the industrial conundrum of traditional and self-publishing. I can’t focus on the conflict, because it harms my writing. I just work and write, and if writing now includes promoting, so be it. I want people to see my stories. If I have to pimp them out through my blogs, literary magazine, or else-where, so be it. If a traditional publishing house wants to do this for me, so be it. Writing in the modern world, due to your necessary social media and professional presence, is stopping me from writing. Luckily, in a paradox like this, thanks to chaos theory, there is usually progress. Writers have all the opportunities in the world to be successful thanks to technology, but can we stomach begging people to read our books? I’m of the opinion that as writing changes, so does the delivery method and industry. Writing is changing. People are reading more, but they expect smaller amounts. You’ve got seven seconds to figure out if you like something or not, or if you’ve hit the audience. Whatever the case, you’ve only got so much time.
This brings me to my final sentence. Make the time to write, but know you have to promote. Writing/Promotion are becoming synonymous.