Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blogger's Block, Book Launch and SM (Social Media) Anxiety

Here I am, ready to launch my first indie novel of close to 150k words, and a totally unforeseen problem has brought the entire effort to a screeching halt.

I have blogger's block.

Producing a novel of 100,000 words or more has never been a problem for me. Actually, most of my manuscripts have to be whittled down from nearly twice that size. My characters tend to have a lot to say, and with so many of them clamoring for attention, that blank computer screen staring back at me fills up pretty quickly.

So why, then, have I dithered for over a week trying to come up with a mere 200-250 words for my first blog post?

The answer is pretty simple really, I just hate to admit it. This blog is not so much about the characters or even the writing process as it is about me. And that's scary. The nasty little voice inside my head, the knee-jerk nay-sayer that pipes up whenever I venture into unknown territory, is telling me no one will be interested in someone who has sacrificed her life outside of the day job to one obsession, creating a life on paper for a cast of imaginary characters.

The writer's life is not a balanced one. Most of us have to make a distinct effort to weigh the time devoted to the different facets of our lives other than writing: family, friends, exercise, relaxation, giving back to the community, and--yes--even food.  Now, as the trad New York publishing companies struggle with their profit/loss margins, providing less and less marketing support to all but a handful of their authors, and indie authors such as myself decide to go it alone, writers have to deal with yet another demand on their time--establishing a presence in the social media.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Luddite. The internet has been the best thing to happen to writers since the printing press. But websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter--not to mention book trailers and virtual book tours? OMG, who has the time?

I'm playing catch-up in a big way, trying to learn and establish the tools needed to reach out to the people who are most important to anything I write--you, the readers. Please bear with me, this is a learning process. The look and even the location of my site and blog will undoubtedly change over time as I get better at this.

There--finally--I've coughed up my first blog post. Maybe the next one won't be so hard to produce.  In fact, I think I'll make it easy on myself and talk about my book.

Happy trails, wherever your journey and your reading take you.


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