Yesterday, I read a blog by Kristen Lamb (as I often do) which talked about how riding coattails of the "MEGAs" online is like being plugged into the Matrix. She wrote about how The Huffington Post and other web publishers get away with robbing content creators in exchange for "exposure dollars," which is parasitic. She made the point that with Web 2.0, and the attitude of Millennials, anyone can build a brand on their own to MAKE money. I pay for my domain, but rarely use it. Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, YouTube, Goodreads, Patreon, Smashwords; for the most part, these are free platforms. And I'm not taking advantage because I don't think I'm worth it. That has to change.
This brings me to the point of this post. I'm considering finishing my Patreon page before the end of the year, so I can cancel my Weebly site (the one you may be reading right now). This would also require posting more on tumblr, setting up Instagram and other social media sites I'm not on yet, and using all social media MORE to build my own brand. It's a shaky brand... and one that needs a LOT of work... but I need to make some major changes.
First change I need to make... get off my ass and start editing older works so I can self-publish them as new releases and market them as such. I have three books on Smashwords, and haven't uploaded anything NEW in years. There is no excuse for my NOT editing. I get bored easily, and I should start filling that time with edits. I don't think editing is fun, but if I'm going to be serious about this writing as a career thing, it's a necessary evil.
I also need to try to boost my creativity so I can write NEW stuff, or, at the very least, finish OLD stuff that I'd written summaries of and never completed. I recently went back and wrote the ending of my 2011 NaNoWriMo book. That just leaves the middle! And then there's my paranormal romance spoof that I started in early 2013. I got stuck, but recently revisited the characters with a new idea. The ideas ARE there, I'm just not giving them life, so to speak.
I don't know if it's the psych meds or what, but I need to talk to a doctor about it. I had the opportunity last week, but I chose mental stability over writing... But now I know it takes mental instability to BE a writer, and I miss being a writer too much. So, if we can adjust a dosage, or if I can start taking my meds later... something... I'm willing to let the crazy back in. Because what's a writer if not crazy?
Something else I need to do when I go back and edit these old works... adjust my voice. Almost all of my "finished" books were written prior to 2005. I was most productive from ages 16-25. I've changed a LOT since then. In the short stories, poems, and flash fiction I've written since 2009, when I started college, I've been more influenced by black comedy than horror. As a teen, I would consume the horror genre and regurgitate scary ideas I had from my questions left vague by these books and movies. Now that I'm older, I've learned to see more humor... dark humor, yes, but humor all the same. So, if I'm going to edit/finish these older novels, I need to update my voice. I'm not a naive kid anymore. Maybe I'm still naive, but some cynicism has crept in, and I think my novels could use a hefty dose of sarcasm to fit new readers who don't have the same worldview as readers did in the 1990's.
I also need to start researching more. I have books full of advice on every aspect of writing. I just need to read them and follow that advice. And not only do I need to read more researching and writing and marketing self-help books, but I also need to read more, period. Novels, history, biographies, science, anthologies... maybe even some erotica so I can brush up on what sex scenes should be like. (I may be a freshly-realized ace, but I still need to write them if I want my characters to seem realistic.)
Then again... That's another thing I could change in my edits. I need more diversity. As a writer on the queer spectrum, I need to write from the POV of people other than white, male, cisgender, heterosexual characters. With the rise of white nationalism, I'm starting to appreciate my Native American roots more, as well as my friends from different races. I would check my genealogy, but I don't trust the online DNA tests.
But anyway... I KNOW what I WANT to do, I just need to find the motivation/courage to DO it:
1. Set up Patreon, Instagram, etc.
2. Start USING social media for more brand-building.
3. Save everything from the website, then delete the Weebly domain.
5. Embrace the crazy..
6. EDIT, UPDATE, FINISH.
8. Publish, promote, and, if all goes well, sell books.
So... I guess I'd better get off my ass and make the Patreon video, huh?