Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keeping Up With the Jones': Staying True to Yourself

Often in the life of a writer you'll find someone with more expertise or more writing experience, and you may find yourself trying to keep up.

Since I married into the Jones name, I often smile when people say things like,

"Just trying to keep up with the Jones'."

Or

Photo by: booyaa, courtesy of Flickr
"I just can't keep up with the Jones'."

Since I am a Jones, I'll be the first one to admit there's not a lot for you to keep up with. I don't write in every genre, I don't make tons of money or drive a new car. I just purchased a house that was built in 1964.

But I think that many writers (myself included) often get trapped into thinking that they need to keep up with it all. A book a year, daily marketing, monthly classes and teaching opportunities... and do everything equally well.

You want to sell books, right?

I'm of the firm opinion that the best thing a writer can do in the selling of his/her books is to take one thing at a time. No one person can be the ultimate writer if he/she is too busy marketing their books. A great marketer needs time to write. There are opportunities to take classes, read books on writing, and even teach a few, but none of these things need to happen at the same time.

Instead of keeping up with your favorite writer, and all you believe he/she does to make his/her books a success, consider what you want to do to make your books a success, and focus in on a few things rather than on many.

While it's true that a good book is essential to success, so is marketing, and so is every other writing opportunity out there. For me, if I make my primary focus writing, and second to that marketing, I don't have to keep up with anyone. I just do what I can.

I may do some online marketing one day, and a week later teach a class. But I try to stay true to myself and what I really want in life. Is it to make the big bucks, or is it to share my writing with others?

Staying true to myself is the bottom line. For amongst all writing and marketing has to offer is life, and this life doesn't always include making it to the New York Times bestseller list.

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