Once I start to think about goals for a new year, I start to think about goals I failed to achieve in the previous year. And one of those goals was to blog more frequently. Well, guess what? Having written only 6 blog posts of substance in 2016 (only about half the number I did in 2015), I think I can firmly say that goal wasn’t met!
However, being the analytical person that I am, I decided to blog a bit about why I think that happened.
First, when I began blogging in December of 2009, I was primarily detailing my own journey as an independent author, in a time when we were rare enough creatures to actually be quite interesting to others.
Second, I soon discovered a few selling strategies that were working very well for me that not everyone had heard of (for example, using free short stories to hook readers, tweaking categories to help make a book more visible, using KDP Select marketing tools), and as a result I felt that I had something valuable to share with other authors.
And in addition to blogs about my writing journey and strategies, I wrote pieces detailing the historical background to my mystery series, set in Victorian San Francisco. And as my readership for this series grew, positive reactions to these pieces followed.
And frankly, what writer doesn’t like to write about things that other people are interested in reading?
So what happened this year?
Well, first, indie authors are now a dime a dozen, and many indie authors are enormously more successful than I am in terms of books written and sold.
And, not only have most of my strategies been discussed to death in detail elsewhere, but they are no longer as universally applicable, so I feel I have to qualify every piece of advice I give.
In short, I began to find it harder and harder to believe that continuing to tell about my writing journey or providing detailed discussions of my current marketing strategies was of much interest or particular value––or couldn’t be found just as easily on some other author’s blog.
As a result, I found myself hesitating whenever I looked at my to-do list and saw “write a blog post” on it. And what I usually decided was that I would rather spend my time working on my next work of fiction. Or, if I was going to spend time doing something on social media, I would rather do something that takes less time.
Which brings me to the third reason I haven’t been blogging. I take too long on each blog, including the historical ones. Generally, it took me at least a day, if not more, to review what others are writing on a subject, put together my own marketing and selling statistics, or gather together the historical research I have done on a topic. Then at least another day, to write and edit the actual piece.
So each time I get to that “write a blog piece” on my to-do list, I ask myself how many chapters could I write on my WIP in that time? How many facebook posts could I compose? How many pages of someone else’s manuscript could I edit?
Well, you get the point.
Yet the truth is, that I know people still want to hear more about Victorian San Francisco…something I am uniquely qualified to write about. And at least once a week or more I find myself giving marketing advice on different group forums, or answering emails from beginning writers about things they should consider as they make the jump to independent authorship. In short, it does appear that there might be some people who would still find what I have to say on these subjects of value.
So, this year I have decided to try something different. I have decided to try to write a post at least every week. But to only let myself spend one hour researching and writing a draft, and one hour editing that draft, before I hit publish. This might mean simply taking an old marketing post and updating it, or breaking my posts up into smaller segments. Or just trying to be more succinct!
So here goes. Post number one of 2017! And I seem to have completed it in under two hours from start to finish. (Smile)
M. Louisa Locke, January 7, 2017
Oh, and by the way, Maids of Misfortune, the first book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series is still perma free everywhere and Between Mountain and Sea, the first book in my Paradisi Chronicles science fiction series is also 99 cents on Kindle for two days, (January 7-8).