So today I should be writing my novel, Gold Digger. Instead, I'm creating a new website and new business plan. WTF??? Why??? Why am I spending hours on an idea that 1) may already have been done bigger and better, 2) is a time suck, 3) I'll probably lose money on, and 4) is even more massive than writing a series of novels.
And now I'm writing a blog post about it, diverting even more energy away from writing my novel.
The new project
It's a secret for now as I'm not finished creating the template. I'll soon invite people I know to participate and then after that I'll share it with a wider audience.
Camp NaNo and Gold Digger?
I'll work on it tonight. I promise.
What skills does a person need to do the JOB of being an author? A mean set of writing skills, obviously, but is that all?
For every job there is a list of required (or highly recommended) skills that goes with that job. Even for someone who loves what she does for a living, chances are there are aspects that are not so enjoyable, but still necessary. A teacher may love to be in the classroom with students. However, if she isn't skilled at lesson planning, and isn't organized enough to grade piles of papers, her chances of success in the teaching profession are low. A doctor may be brilliant but have an atrocious bedside manner. The inability to relate to people will ultimately cause patients to go elsewhere.
So let's look at the current skill-set for having a job as an author:
Promote? Yes! This is an absolute requirement for the job of being an author. Authors have to promote themselves in some way or another, whether it be through social media, attending networking events and conferences, or hitting every agent in New York.
I'm not saying you can't write if you don't promote--of course you can do that. What I'm implying is that if you don't promote, no one will know to read what you've written. If no one reads you, you are still a writer but you don't have a job as an author.
Have you ever applied for a job for which you didn't have the required skills? Probably not. Or, maybe you were ballsy and did apply for the job because you wanted it really, really, really badly. Good for you! How did the interview go? You probably spent a lot of time convincing the boss that your skills were transferable, that you were a fast learner; that you could do 'X' if given the chance. If you were lucky enough to land the position, I bet you taught yourself those deficient skills pretty darn quickly because you wanted to do the other parts of the job you loved.
You want to write, right? Not waste your time promoting.
Would you tell this to a potential employer hiring for an author position? Next in line, please. If you're an author, chances are you're your own boss. But being your own boss doesn't excuse you from needing those required skills--the excellent writing, being a self-starter, AND the ability to promote. You don't even have to like promoting. However, you do have to do it, one way or another.
So do you want the job?
Tell me what you think and leave a comment. Do you disagree? Agree? What are other skill requirements of being an author?
And here are some additional articles on the subject:
What You Should Know About Being A Published Author
How To Become An Author in 5 Incredibly Difficult Steps
Do Authors Really Need to Promote Their Own Books?
Essential Skills-Authors & Writers
Click on book cover to go to Amazon!
Join Scottish author Marsali Taylor as she sails around the blog-o-sphere to talk about her Shetland Island mystery, DEATH ON A LONGSHIP. She is featured as a guest almost every day this month, writing on topics including Vikings, Shetland ponies, the craft of writing mysteries, and adventures in sailing (just to name a few!).
A copy of DEATH ON A LONGSHIP will be given away at each stop, so leave a comment along with your email for your chance!
PLUS, there are two grand prize giveaways at the end of the tour. First prize is for a bangle (bracelet) and a matching set of earrings, both decorated with a Viking ship motif. Second prize is for a $15 US Amazon gift card.
See the links below for the participating bloggers and reviewers. Keep checking back for updated links!
9/2 Fresh Fiction - Inspiration for Cass Lynch
9/5 Earth's Book Nook Review - Vikings in Shetland
9/7 Ink Spot - Creating Cass & the story of the Selkie
9/10 Mystery Writing is Murder - Need Inspiration? Go Out to Find it
9/11 Bookworm Daily Shetland is Wonderful
9/14 I Read a Book Once Shetland is Still Viking Territory
9/17 Desperate Reader Living in Shetland
9/19 Jess Resides Here Vikings are still in Shetland
9/21 CMash Excerpt of Death on a Longship
9/22 Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Shetland mythology as inspiration
9/23 Murder By 4 Author Promotions
9/24 A Book Lover's Library Shetland Ponies
9/25 In Search of the Classic Mystery
9/26 Genre Wench
9/26 Celtic Lady's Reviews
9/27 Mystery Thrillers & Romantic Suspense Reviews
9/28 Mysteries Etc