What is Really Necessary to Do Online? Authors You Have Surprising Freedom!

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I’m doing a survey of your burning questions for 2015 about writing and publishing. I’ll be answering some of the questions over the next few months.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, it’s a simple 3-question survey.
Answers are anonymous. Takes just a couple minutes. Please take the survey now!

Today’s online world for authors is confusing!
I’ve written about setting up an Author Website.
I’ve blogged consistently here for about seven years.
Please follow me on Pinterest.
Come and check out my Facebook Fan Page.
I have a Linked-In account.
Watch me on YouTube.

What do I think is the most important thing for you to do?

Write.

A writer is a person who writes.
A published writer is a person who consistently submits what they’ve written.

That’s it.
The rest of it? Sure, if you’re a mid-lister, and if you have time to spend, it can help your writing to sell better to be online. Sure, if you network with writers, editors, illustrators, marketing people, and others in the publishing industry, it’s easier to submit and find that right fit for your work.

However, that’s not your main job. Your job is to work on your writing. Period.

What do you LIKE to do?

SocialMediaMonopoly


After you’ve got the writing and submitting down, you can look around the online world to see if you want to join those who create content.

You could just participate by consuming content.

  • Repin or Comment on Pinterest
  • ReTweet or Like on Twitter
  • Like, Share, or Comment on Facebook
  • Do the comparable on the platform of your choice

But most prefer to find a home base where they create content that goes along with what they are getting published.

First, evaluate yourself. Do you like to write short, write long, take/edit photos, produce audio, or produce video? Those are the only options you have, regardless of the platform. Think about which form of communication you are good at, and can consistently produce.

I’d suggest you consider two things when looking for an online home base:

  • What Kind of Content Can you Consistently Produce? The most important thing on ANY platform is that you show up. Consistent posting of content is crucial. Without it, you won’t develop an audience!
  • Where Does Your Audience Hang Out? This is a very different question from, “Where do your friends hang out?”
    If you want your writing to connect with an audience, then you need to FIND your audience. Develop relationships, listen to questions, answer questions, become a part of the community. If they most do Slideshares, go there. If they prefer Instagram, go there. I have a young friend who introduced me to WeChat, an app that lets you keep track of friends and family. It’s her favorite app. Now, when I need to talk with her, I jump on WeChat, and almost instantly, we’re connected. This sure beats leaving her voice mails that never get answered! Go where your audience hangs out.

Your goal is to find that sweet spot between the ways you like to communicate and the ways in which your audience communicates. That’s the only logical way to operate online. Don’t let anyone tell you that you MUST do this or that online. Build your writing career by writing your own work, by submitting your own work for publication (or self-publishing it), and finally, by finding your audience.

5 Comments
  • Linda Andersen
    November 19, 2014

    Write? Right!

  • Sonja Anderson
    November 19, 2014

    Thanks for such a great post! I’m on the cusp of getting my first two books published (an e-picture book for MeeGenius and a middle-grade novel for Sunpenny), and I was beginning to feel like I had to do a little of everything. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, so I appreciate your insights very much!

  • Michelle Edwards
    November 20, 2014

    Wonderful post! Now that we are so close to Thanksgiving, this may be the perfect time to express my thanks to you, Darcy, for all the deeply helpful advice you have so freely give out. Over the years, I have learned so much from you. I truly grateful.

  • Darcy Pattison
    November 21, 2014

    Michelle:
    Thanks! How nice of you to take the time to encourage me!

    Darcy

  • Darcy Pattison
    November 21, 2014

    Sonja:
    Congrats on the MeeGenius book and the Sunpenny novel!
    The more you CAN do, the better. But don’t feel like you MUST. Instead, plan to build a career!
    Darcy