Rachelle Gardner, agent at Books & Such Literary Management in Santa Rosa, California, has hit it on the head: When asked whether an unpublished novelist (like me) needs a platform she said, yes, but…
Don’t spend to much time trying to build platform yet. Get a head start, yes. Do some blogging and social networking for fun and leisure, so that you’ll know how it works. But I recommend a 90/10 ratio. Spend 90% writing, 10% on platform building.
Great advice, Rachelle!
Like everyone, I tend to spend my time doing what is easiest, and what I know best how to do. After being a blogger for over 5 years, I know how to blog, and use social media to promote. I have been blogging as an independent contractor for About.com since 2008, and as an independent blogger, with several different blogs, for almost that long.
Now, I’ve been spending my time blogging, starting on this blog and another that is promoting a non-fiction book. It’s fun, it’s easy, and I can use my blogging and Facebook/Twitter time to procrastinate. That’s the problem. I realize I have my priorities switched around.
I’ve finished my first very, very bad draft of my first novel, and now that I have a better sense of what I need to do to fix it (read my post on how Storyfix helped me), I need to get going on the second draft.
It’s easy to do. Switch priorities, I mean. It’s not just me. Even when we know what we need to focus on, we get distracted. I call them BSO’s: bright shiny objects. Those distractions that are fun and easy and very, very tempting. But to give in to them means to ignore our main purpose.
My favorite quote of all time, ever:
The life that conquers is the life that moves with a steady resolution and persistence toward a predetermined goal. Those who succeed are those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of planning in life, and the tragic brevity of time. (W.J. Davison)
I won’t be blogging as much. That’s a promise to myself. Just letting you know. I’ll get back to you in a month or so and let you know how this works out.
Just as a final note: In the time it took me to read Rachelle’s post, write this, find and include an image, I could have written about 500 words of my novel. Sobering thought.
I’m off on my 90% writing adventure!