Why I’m Tuning Out in February . . .
The Truth, through a Self-published Author’s Eyes
I’m an author. I’m not New York Times best-selling author, nor am I an author that has been published traditionally—yet. (Hopefully, someday) I’m a self-published, struggling to make a name for herself, author.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, first off let me paint a picture for you. There is now a huge slush pile of “authors” out there. Sites such as Amazon have made it entirely too easy for anyone to publish a book. Sure, there are some great Indie authors/books out there. Some of these “Indie” or self-published books put N.Y. Times best-selling authors to shame, but they only make up a fraction of the cesspool of books now circling the drain.
There are four circles in the published author realm:
Quick to Print Authors -These are the writers who are so excited to become a “published author”, that they don’t take the time to love and perfect their babies. Unfortunately nobody can write a book in a month, publish it the next day and not have major editing problems. Authors can’t edit their own books. Why? Because they will never see all the mistakes, or catch all the story plot holes and character flaws. As much as I am afraid of Amazon’s new rule of letting you know when a book has major editing mistakes, I’m also happy, because it will let the readers know what’s going on inside a book before they pick it up. It will help sort the slush pile a little bit better.
Middle of the road authors - are the ones who invest in their books. They are the people that will hire an editor, cover artist, and formatter so that they can publish the best book possible by that dreaded release date. They are the ones who spend hours promoting their books, doing Facebook Takeovers, creating ads and teasers, recruiting street team members and simply trying to get their name out of the slush pile and write that one book that catches a reader’s attention.
Well-known authors - can be one of two things. They can be an author who wrote that one book that got their foot into the door, or they can be an author who has been working for years, putting in the time, putting out the books, making connections, advertising themselves, and simply cared about their books. There are only a handful of authors that make it to this point in their writing career, even less make it to the Cherry status of becoming a traditionally published, New York Times best-selling author.
New York Times Best-selling Authors – Authors like Colleen Hoover, started out Indie like the rest of us and their writing is sooooooo good that they are now a traditionally published, highly followed, sought after, and a best-selling author. Every Indie author thrives for that kind of lime-light, but the truth is not every self-published author is going to make it. Whether you write for the money, write because you love it, or write because there are too many voices going on in your head, 90 % of us are never going to make it big. Hell, some of the people who take the time to become traditionally published don’t even make it.
THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY BOOKS IN THIS WORLD AND NOT ENOUGH READERS ANYMORE!
So, I asked myself where do my books fall in this cesspool of publishing? I honestly don’t know where to classify myself, middle of the road maybe? Like I said, I’m just a tiny fish in a sea of piranhas, surrounded by sharks, with no room to swim. That is the life of a self-published and even some of the traditionally published authors today.
Let me let you in on a little secret . . . Self-Publishing is 80% advertising yourself and your books, 5% rubbing rabbit’s feet, searching for clovers, wishing on stars, and crossing fingers, and 15% actually writing. That’s it 15%!
That 15% is the whole reason for this post today. I’m in a slump—a major writing one. I haven’t had a single character talk to me in the last THREE MONTHS! That’s like nine years to an author. I’ve taken the time to analyze my writer’s block and I’ve come to this conclusion. SOCIAL MEDIA HAS KILLED MY TIME.
Before I published, I wrote relentlessly, every day. It never failed. I could bust out a couple pages here and there, maybe I’d take a break for a week or two, but there was always someone talking in my head, and I’ve never been in this kind of slump.
Then I published . . .
Now, I spend 80% of my free-time obsessing over social media. I am literally checking Amazon and Goodreads for new reviews, and Kindle Direct Publishing every hour, just to see how my books are doing. EVERY HOUR PEOPLE. It’s turned into an unhealthy obsession. I’m typing out the websites before I even realize I’m doing it. It’s become so normal that I can’t function.
Add that little slice of unhealthy to the major pain of selling-myself on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, and I’ve got no time to write. Zero. None. Zilch. I’m so consumed with the whole process of selling my books that I’ve lost my characters, and that makes me one sad author.
My Temporary Solution:
So I figured out a solution. A temporary one that will hopefully pull me out of this writing slump I’m in. What is this solution you may ask? I’m simply TUNING OUT in February.
Yup, I’m stopping the tweets, limiting my Facebook activity, placing a chastity belt around my fingers so I don’t visit those three very addicting sites, and I’m focusing on me and my writing. I’m simply TUNING OUT for the entire month of February.
Here are the steps I’m taking:
I’m not allowing myself to visit Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing, or Goodreads Feb 1 – Feb 29, 2016. (February is a short month, I figure if I’m going to get a handle on my obsession February is a good month to do it in.) I’m not allowing myself to look, check, or even think about my reviews and book sales during the month of February
Limiting my Facebook activity. LIMITING is the operative word. I will only sign in twice a day. Once in the morning to pop in and say hi to my street team and check in with everyone, post anything that needs to be posted, and simply make sure I don’t get a million notifications. The second time will be before I go to bed, this is to also minimize the amount of notifications I get and answer any messages I may have received. (Trust me this will be hard for me, I’m a Facebook junkie.)
No Tweeting. No chirping. No quacking or squawking of any kind for the month of February. (I don’t do it a lot now, but if anybody else out there is joining me for this writing crusade, and they have a tweeting obsession, I’m throwing it out there.)
I’m not a Pinner, an Instagrammer, or a Tsu type of person. My social media is Twitter and Facebook only, but if any of you out there are planning to do this and you use any of those sites, those should be limited, too.
WHO’S COMING WITH ME?
That’s about all I can think of right now for limiting my social media and starting my Tuning Out in February Crusade. If you think of anything else, comment below and let me know!Like I said this is for me and my writing, but maybe some of you out there will want to join me!Maybe you are a writer like me who has lost their writing mojo or needs to meet a deadline, or maybe you simply are just sick of social media altogether and need a break . . . whatever the reason if you’re tuning out for February I want to know! Sign Up Here Let’s do this together.
I know I’m crazy for even attempting this, but who knows maybe there are a lot of crazies in this world willing to Tune Out in February with me!I created this Facebook Banner and profile picture to spread the word. Feel free to use them if you like :D
So as the great Tom Cruise (Jerry McGuire) once said . . .
V. Kelly Author