The world must be full of potential writers that are overwhelmed by the daunting task of how to brand themselves. How do I Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, GoodReads, AND Pinterest my way into having readership? Is it even necessary to have readership if the goal is to simply write? Monetarily, no. Spiritually, yes. In today’s world it seems that not only is self branding a requirement, you must be good enough at it to develop a fan base. Communicating and entertaining one’s own family is not lofty enough of a goal.
At my writing group yesterday, one PNWA conference attendee had news of what the real writers are up to. Thirty farkin’ thousand twitterers?!? Yes, that’s right. Apparently, one must have 30,000 twitter followers to even be considered by an agent for a non-fiction book. Okay, I get it. Life just isn’t that interesting and if it is, you will have piqued people’s interest enough to have a following. Should I let this leave me deflated? No. Maybe there’s a built in protection in that rule of thumb.
Truth told, I’d probably be quite lost if I had anything more than occasional encouragement right now. The real fear isn’t not having readership. It’s a fear of letting go of the words. Just mustering up the courage to write in the first place is enough for me without having to market myself too. So what to do? Is there a write way?
Start with some library books about the craft of writing. Buy some books about the art of writing. More importantly, read them and follow the instructions. Join a writing group and be persistent until you find one meets regularly and feels right to you. Check. Check. Check again. Now what?
What now is to stop circling the subject around the way I have here and actually write about something besides the fear of writing. Scratch that. The fear surrounding writing may actually be a rich vein of material. What is it that scares you? Scares me? Truth? Consequences? Consequences for truth? Grappling with google and trying to uncover people with similar thoughts is no help. If you don’t find them, your writing won’t be relevant. If you do, your writing won’t be fresh.
It seems overwhelming. I say just lay all of that stuff down the best you can and let the pen fly and give yourself a chance. Me. Give myself. A chance. Not one. As many as it takes. On napkins, matchbooks, keyboards, in journals, smartphones. When the words come, be at the ready to gather them up and gently and truly put them down.