As writers, we frequently find ourselves in two different worlds. And one of them probably doesn’t fit very well. Yet, to succeed (however you personally define success), we need to be in both. This week, I’m going to explore one of these areas.
Creative versus Business
One area concerns the creative side—writing, brainstorming, creating characters and plot twists, spending time with the muse, crafting sentences one at a time until an article or a book emerges. The flip side of this is the practical or business side—the dreaded marketing ogre.
With the exception of those of us who write for entirely personal reasons, most of us want others to read our words. We dream of our efforts touching countless lives and changing them for the better.
We are responsible for making this happen. Not our publisher or our agent, although they can be valuable allies.
And this is where we cower and make a cross with our fingers to drive the marketing vampire back to his crypt. Did you ever wish for the good fairy of marketing to come down from wherever fairies dwell and touch the readers, the reviewers, the bookstore buyers, and the Amazon gurus with her wand? And our book flies off the shelves, and the media interviews flow like Niagara Falls, and the movie studios have a bidding war, and the money rolls in.
POP! That was the bubble bursting. It probably ain’t gonna happen like that.
I’m not going to turn this into a checklist of what you must do to market yourself and your stories. There are enough of them out there.
What I do suggest is to approach the business side of writing as we do the creating side. I mean BE CREATIVE. Be as creative with our marketing as we are with our writing. Just as we create new characters, go at our marketing in the same way with the same enthusiasm and drive. Experiment like we do with our writing. See what works, see what doesn’t.
I hate marketing because I’m not good at it. I wish I was like James Rubart. But I’m not yet I can strive to follow his example and be as creative and smart in the business side of writing as I am on the writing side. We have to trust that the same God who inspired our writing can be just as inspiring and wisdom-giving when it comes to our marketing. Step out and trust him to give us ideas and connections to open doors for us.