by Karen Ball
Do you hear it?
Voices… all around you…thoughts and opinions on the state of publishing, on what sells and what doesn’t, on good ideas and bad…words zipping back and forth in the ether. Write this. Write that. This is how you market. This is the key to platform. Buzz words. Marketing. Blogging. Craft. Deep POV. Are you Pinning? Tweeting? Linked-in? Google plussed? Skilled in hashtags? Metadata? EcommerceQRcodesDiscoverabilityNanowrimoCross-siteblahblahblahBLAH!
It’s enough to drive a sane person around the bend. As for writers? Well, we know they’re (we’re) already around the bend and up the next rise, so what does the cacophony do to us?
All too often, it fractures us, leaving us torn between loving and hating what we do. It freezes us in our tracks. Rips the creativity right out of us until we’re left sitting there, staring at the computer screen, wondering why we’re putting in all this effort when the darned book won’t sell anyway. Or it slams us into hyper mode, where we churn out idea after idea of what we can do, throwing it all at our advisors/agents/crit groups/cats/dogs/goldfishes/Magic 8-Balls to see what we should do.
Well, allow me to cast my vote on what we should do.
Take a deep breath. Push back from the computer. (Yes, you! Fingers off the keyboard!)
Breathe in. Now out. In. Out.
And ask yourself this:
Do I love what I’m writing? Is this the one thing above all others I want to write? Is this the story that God planted deep within me, at the core of who I am?
If the answer is a resounding Yes!, then carry on. But if your response is not so enthusiastic, then may I make another suggestion?
Find your focus.
How, you ask, do I do that? Well, tune in next week! Until then, let me leave you with this thought:
“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”