Ok, let’s face it. Writers have their work cut out for them. Even traditionally published ones. Not only do we write books, but most of us have a series of other tasks to do. These tasks often include:
- Website maintenance
- Content marketing (blogs, podcasts, videos, courses, social media)
- Reading books – a sure-fire way to become a better writer
- Improving in the writing craft with courses and writing exercises
- Connecting with other authors to collaborate
- Connecting with bloggers to collaborate
- Connecting with podcasters to collaborate (you get the idea!)
- Connecting with authors for support / joining writer groups
- Connecting with readers via social media or email
- Managing paid adds
- Creating merchandise related to their books or content marketing
- Keeping up-to-date with the latest news regarding the writing business
- Creating a reader magnet or first in series permafree book
- Writing newsletters (the number one marketing strategy experts recommend; more than social media!)
- Updating book pages / websites
- Plotting / Planning Books
- Thinking about book concepts
- Book research
- Researching and outsourcing work to beta readers / proofreaders/ editors /cover designers
- Book signings and launch parties
- Publishing and launching books
- Selling direct to readers at events
- Learning to use new software to aid with writing and content marketing
(and much, much more)
Of course, this list of tasks will not be the same for everyone. If you’re traditionally published, you may not need to do some of these tasks – for instance, outsourcing tasks to beta readers and getting a cover designer.
Similarly, if you’re an indie author, there are tasks you can choose not to do, like book signings, social media and content marketing. Indeed, there are indie authors who actively choose to have a day-job, write their books in the evenings, and pay for adds to market their books. That’s it.
However, in my conversations with other authors, I’ve found the opposite is more common. Most authors I know – including myself – are driven to create an author business.
Traditionally published authors because their publisher requires they do content marketing, email and social media. Independently published authors because they choose to do it. Writing is their passion, and they want to be full-time writers, pronto!
I don’t know what camp you’re in, but I do have a question: when you read the list above, did you feel overwhelmed? Did you feel you needed to do some of those tasks? I know that when I focus on the list of potential things I should do, I can easily fall into a place of anxiety.
What God has taught me, though, is that I don’t need to do all things. I can choose /adapt / delegate. There will be seasons where I’ll be able to do more, and there will be seasons where I will have to do less.
It’s ok. God is in control. His grace is sufficient. If it’s His will for me to do something specific, I can trust He will give me the resources to do it. He will give me the strength. If something is not the right priority at that specific time, He will guide me.
So my encouragement to you is this: submit all your plans to the Lord. Trust in Him to take care of YOU. Trust in His grace and provision. Ask Him for direction.
Surrender all to the King of Kings.
Your writing pal,