Entropy is REAL and Author Careers Need Feeding DAILY

Look! I made my own breakfast! Daddy left out CHOCOLATE!

Look! I made my own breakfast! Daddy left out CHOCOLATE!

One of the traps we can fall into is we believe the world is somehow static. We feel overwhelmed because we are doing dishes again, the laundry again, mowing the yard again and cooking meals again. It’s easy to feel caught in this loop that can get depressing with a quickness. The same thing can happen in writing.

The world does not reward perfection, it REWARDS FINISHERS. It rewards DOERS. What are we doing?

Our goals in life need daily feeding. Our writing needs daily care. Our brand needs daily care. Entropy is real, and she’s a $#@%$. She will make sure everything we do falls apart faster than a three-year-old’s sock drawer if we aren’t vigilant. Our In-Box will never be empty. The rest is easier if we just accept that.

Our Brand is a Living Thing

Living things need to be fed, just like pets, kids and husbands. They need daily care. We can’t say, “Sure, I fed the dog last week” and expect Fluffy to live long. A lot of writers (me included) whine about social media.

What is the bare minimum? What is the minimal attendance? Do we really HAVE to blog?

We can feed our kids once a week and they remain alive. Probably a super bad idea. We don’t have to play with our kids or even talk to our spouse. Yet, how healthy will kids, pets, family and marriages be if we only do the bare minimum to sustain life?

Our brand is the same. Our author CAREER is the same.

No one will haul us to writer jail if we only tweet once a day. Don’t use Facebook. No one will force us. But here’s the hard reality. In a world where people are inundated with advertising and free books, they have learned to “unsee.” The cerebral cortex is very efficient at processing chaos of the modern world.

How does the visual cortex keep our computer brain from crashing with all the massive influx? It ignores virtually everything but what we are specifically looking for.

Ads Don’t Sell, RELATIONSHIPS SELL

When was the last time you bought something off a Facebook ad? What about pop-ups? Ever buy anything off a dancing ad you didn’t ask for? Or did you shut that sucker so fast you couldn’t even tell what they were selling? What about automatically generated tweets? When was the last time, you bought a book off author link spam? Or a form letter?

*crickets chirping*

Brands are Formed with Relationships and Relationships NEED FEEDING

I encourage writers to blog. Heck, it should be an area of strength—WORDS. Writers write. Blogs have the power to create long-term passionate relationships with…readers. Only about 8% of the population defines themselves as avid readers. This means 92% of the population still needs entertaining and informing. Most of them have smart phones, and a lot have tablets. They won’t go to a bookstore…but they will buy on-line.

Are we talking to them?

Again…Relationships Lead to Sales

Regular people (the 92%) like short works. They LIKE blogs. If they like our blogs, not a stretch to think they might even enjoy our books. Who cares if someone only buys one or two books a year if it is OUR BOOKS? People buy from who they know and who they like.

Blogs are the most resilient form of social media. Friendster? MySpace? *POOF* GONE. Blogs? Still here and going strong since the 90s.

Blogs grow in power the longer and more frequent we contribute content. It helps our SEO. Blogs can be harvested for books.  Blogging trains us to ship. Blogging helps us get over perfectionism and hones our skills.

We learn to meet self-imposed deadlines no matter what. Family drama, crises, injuries, sickness and housework don’t magically disappear once we are successful. If anything, the workload increases. With blogging, we learn to write, leaner, meaner, faster and better, because we are training. Blogs are the gym for the author.

How good is a gym if we go once a month? Our bodies won’t retain muscle and general health if we don’t train. Why would our writing be any different?

If blogs can create long-term, loyal relationships, and relationships lead to sales, how much are we feeding those relationships?

Don’t want to blog? Don’t, but DO focus on people. Focus on relationships. Serve first. Talk about kittens and laundry and kittens doing laundry. Just be human a few times a day and CARE. Relationships are about giving not taking. Do you like friends who only remember you when they decide to sell vitamins? Or when they need to borrow money? Noodle on that ;).

Writing is a Living Thing in Need of Care

Yes, the brand and platform is important, but only because it should lead to sales. Feed the relationships and feed the craft. Read, watch movies and write. FINISH. SHIP. Again, the entropy thing. Keep writing. Get stronger, better, write more books. Most authors (traditional and non-traditional) start seeing success/traction at BOOK THREE.

As I point one digital finger at you guys I have three pointing back at me. I’m not above this stuff. There are some areas I need to come up higher. I’ve been giving the excuses: But it’s so haaard. I don’t have tiiiimmmme. But I am not gooood at that. Well, if I don’t ever DO something, how can I expect to get GOOD at it? I am kicking my own @$$ about organization today, so this lecture is for me too. Don’t feel left out ;).

Yes, It IS a LOT of Juggling

I know when I get great at writing books, my blog starts getting puny. I start blogging really well and have to kick my own tail to get back to the WIP. It’s like a family. We have laundry and chores and yards and bills and most of us kinda want to stab Martha Stewart in the face.

Again, be realistic. Small steps every day. A lot of the SAME steps. Just like we have to cook dinner every night. Unless we cryogenically freeze our families, we will have to feed them, wash them and care for them every day.

The point of this post is to help shift how you view your career. It is a living thing, a member of the family and it needs tending daily. A lot of the SAME stuff. Once we accept this, it’s much easier and we are far less likely to get depressed and overwhelmed.

How well are you feeding your dream? What steps do you take daily to make sure your writing an brand are cared for? What obstacles do you face? What are your biggest challenges? Do you have an area you’re afraid to face? It’s too overwhelming? Hey, I do. That whole “getting organized” thing is kicking my tail today.

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of May, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of May I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

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  1. #1 by nadinemikhael on May 28, 2013 - 11:30 am

    Hi Kristen,
    Love your post! I agree with you…writers should blog….it is the beginning of a writers journey of the written word which can be really powerful and influential.
    Regards
    Nadine

  2. #2 by Karin on May 28, 2013 - 11:31 am

    Hi Kristen, I love your blog! It’s helpful and feels personal. Keep it coming!

  3. #3 by Satin Sheet Diva on May 28, 2013 - 11:32 am

    Alright Kristen, time for the “tough” question – I find that my face-to-face relationship building pays off in sales, but so far (two years and counting), I don’t see any ROI from my blog, my Twitter or my Facebook other than those two sales of my latest book by a FB friend and a family member who only interacts with me on FB. Is this because I’m not using the social media tools effectively? :-D

  4. #4 by jwtroemner on May 28, 2013 - 11:34 am

    I’m trying hard to keep up with Twitter and my own blog right now, but the thing that’s kicking my butt is Facebook. I keep going back and forth on whether to turn one of my Facebook Accounts into an author page (yeah, I’m one of those people with multiple FBs…)– but without something ready to go in the super-near future, I feel like I should probably hold off. What’s your take on that?

  5. #5 by seakiev on May 28, 2013 - 11:35 am

    I agree, Kristen. I get more positive feedback from an inspiring blog post than a tweet or FB post.

    On the other hand…I’ve been having a real challenge with the stagnation of my Author Page on Facebook. I’m losing followers, probably because I’m as bored with it as they are.

    I’m actually thinking about closing down my FB author page and directing everyone over to my personal FB page, where I actually post more frequently and with greater authenticity as myself rather than as ‘Author Suzanne’ who is, frankly, a cardboard cut-out bore.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this idea?

    • #6 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 28, 2013 - 11:37 am

      Since I have had two questions so far in the comments, why don’t I just blog about this tomorrow? Answer your questions more effectively :D.

    • #7 by Tarla Kramer on May 29, 2013 - 12:08 am

      Ditto!

  6. #8 by Lelia Rose Foreman (@LeliaForeman) on May 28, 2013 - 11:39 am

    Okay, I hear you.

  7. #9 by Robin on May 28, 2013 - 11:39 am

    This is awesome. And not only for me with blogging, because you are right…I’m in training and need to think of it as such. With each post, I’m not quick…yet, but I’m getting bettter and my start/finish time is improving. But, my husband is a how-to author in a niche market and has podcasts and some tv shows and he has been lazy about answering facebook and updating his podcast because it’s soooo time-consuming! And I have been telling him the same thing. Just 10 min. a day will mean the difference to these people who love you. Pay Attention! Anyway, I will send him your post….thank you!

  8. #10 by K.B. Owen on May 28, 2013 - 11:41 am

    Perfect timing after coming off a three-day weekend of not *gasp* writing AT ALL. But you know, throughout the weekend, in the midst of cleaning out the utility room (want some Hot Wheels? We’re getting rid of plenty!) and gardening, I missed writing. Maybe that’s a good sign…

    By the way, I feel ya on the repetitive nature of care and feeding of the family. I’m lucky if the kitchen stays clean for 20 minutes after I’ve finished loading the dishwasher, wiping counters, sweeping floors, etc…my boys are stomachs on legs, continually trolling for food – which means more dishes, sticky counters, and crumb-laden floors. Le sigh.

    But I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. ;)

    Hope you had a fab Memorial Day weekend,
    Kathy

    P.S. – I know, I know, back to writing…sheesh. ;)

  9. #12 by Jon Jefferson on May 28, 2013 - 11:43 am

    I agree with you. We have spent so long living in the hard sell of everything we seem to have forgotten how to build relationships with others. A blog can be an intimate conversation with those around you. Something we rarely have time for anymore. It is worth our time to have these conversations.

  10. #13 by Kait Nolan on May 28, 2013 - 11:48 am

    I think it’s so hard to get stuck in the cycle and feel like Sisyphus. We’re trudging the same ground over and over again (WHY can’t the garbage take itself out and the dishes do themselves? Better yet, why don’t I have a Rosie? You know, from the Jetsons). We are very focused on an END result, on an END period (which, when you’re writing books, is a good thing), but I think because we do that, we tend to apply it across the board to everything–even to things that have no end, and the very lack of an end is crazy making and depressing to us (see garbage and dishes above). Something that I’ve been wrestling with and trying better to think about these days is finding joy and gratitude in the PROCESS. Because living isn’t static, as you point out. Things aren’t over. You finish one book, you move on to the next. You finish one blog post, you write another. Life is not about endings, it is about the journey and the way stations we hit along the way (each finished book, etc.). I find I’m a lot calmer about everything when I remember that.

  11. #14 by merryfarmer on May 28, 2013 - 11:56 am

    So much YES! And the sad thing is that back at the beginning of May I had to be away from the internet for 5 days with virtually no posting. And it took me TWO WEEKS to get my numbers back to the level where they were before I took my hiatus. That’s how much you have to stay on top of things.

    Fortunately, I love blogging and Facebook and I have a reasonable détente with Twitter. ;)

  12. #15 by merryfarmer on May 28, 2013 - 11:58 am

    Reblogged this on Merry Farmer and commented:
    Some extremely wise words on why you have to be persistent and regular with your writing career from the Mistress of All Things Social Media and Awesome, Kristen Lamb.

  13. #16 by Jane Bailey Bain ('LifeWorks') on May 28, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    Kristen, you must be telepathic. Sure I’m not the only one who needed to be reminded of this today (British half term, and raining again). Great stuff, please keep feeding our spirits, because we need it. Thank you!!!

  14. #17 by hcfbutton on May 28, 2013 - 12:19 pm

    I love this. I am realizing that even in my deadlines, that I need to feed my creative muse. Well, especially at deadlines, because she won’t shut up during the other things I need to get done. So if I don’t let her run wild at least once a day, she starts tearing up the curtains, the sofas, my focus and my sanity. So I’m trying to convince one other person at my office to do “creativity lunches” where we leave the office and go somewhere for an hour, just to draw (him) and write (me). That way we keep the muse happy and stay accountable to our dreams. So this post is very timely. And here’s hoping my relationship with my muse starts to be more creative and less destructive.

  15. #18 by Writer / Mummy on May 28, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    The analogy with housework is brilliant, it makes it easier to cope with the monotony! I set myself a daily blogging challenge this year and it has been like having an extra child that demands constant feeding, to the point where I’ve had to put all my other writing commitments on hold. But some days I can get the thing written in record time (especially when I don’t get to sit down to it til 10pm because of all those other daily things you mention!)
    Interestingly I barely tweeted for a whole week when on holiday, but kept up the daily blog, and my number of followers hasn’t suffered. I learnt quality over quantity works okay too.

  16. #19 by Jim on May 28, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Great post and much needed. I’ve decided to change how I blog and this post has resonated with those changes. A close friend of mine has started a blog and he is posting daily. He’s not a writer and isn’t doing it to sell books. He’s doing it because he has a passion for biking. I looked at him, typo’s and all, and realized that as a writer, that’s what I should be doing.Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  17. #20 by LMBrowne on May 28, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Very good post. I have one blog for a specific out-of-print book I’ve made available as an ebook. I’m posting tomorrow and will link back to this. I’m trying to work myself up to another, steadier, more frequent blog for my soon-to-be-published mystery fiction. I know I’m dragging my feet because it means I will have to crank up my output. Thanks very much. This helps.

  18. #21 by billgncs on May 28, 2013 - 12:46 pm

    good points — one thing I noticed with my blog is that alot of the initial followers expire, like their blogs which means it is necessary to attract new readers. Harder than it seems.

  19. #22 by genacourtney on May 28, 2013 - 12:50 pm

    Good post. How do I start a blog?

    • #23 by desertdweller29 on May 28, 2013 - 5:41 pm

      I recommend WordPress. They’ll give you preliminary instructions, which are easy to follow, even for a luddite like myself. There are tons of YouTube instructions if you find yourself stuck on something. Once you’re settled, there are blogs that give good tips. Good luck.

  20. #24 by Dona Matthews (@donamatthews) on May 28, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    thank you, thank you, Kristen! I love how you frame this–my writing career as a living thing–so my blogging isn’t really taking away from my ‘real’ writing. It’s the exercise I do, the necessary daily maintenance to keep it all happening.

  21. #25 by Shea Ford on May 28, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    I’ve just been reading the section that addresses this in your WANA book over the weekend. After this post, I’m realizing, especially since school gets out next week, that I have to write a daily schedule. I’ve neglected my WIP over the last several days…

  22. #26 by Jess Witkins on May 28, 2013 - 1:10 pm

    All smart advice. Another post that gives the writer a kick in the pants while still lifting em up by their bootstraps.

    Now, when you said blogging is the gym of writers, you meant that literally right? :D

  23. #27 by Carol on May 28, 2013 - 1:10 pm

    How an anti-social person like me became addicted to social media is a puzzlement. I’ve been blogging three days a week for five years now and have developed some wonderful friendships within the writing community. Just this week, though, I recognized that when I spend more time writing blog posts/comments and popping in and out of FB and Twitter, I spend less on my novel writing. I started questioning my priorities. Finding the appropriate guilt-free balance is a challenge. Thanks for reminding me that all aspects of the writing which is such an important part of my life require as much daily nurture as other more demanding, in-my-face things.

  24. #28 by amyskennedy on May 28, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Okay, so, I know you’ve written on this subject before…but this is the first time I felt a big old light bulb click on over my head! It was the analogy of only feeding your kid once a week that did it, I had a visceral reaction to that. So, thanks.

  25. #29 by cynthiagrstacey on May 28, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
    I just recently got into blogging but I am really enjoying it! I hope everyone else is too!

  26. #30 by cynthiagrstacey on May 28, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    Awesome advice Kristen. I love your blog by the way. I have re blogged this post on my blog! Mentioned your book too!

    http://cynthia2729.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/entropy-is-real-and-author-careers-need-feeding-daily/

  27. #31 by Kerry Gans on May 28, 2013 - 2:12 pm

    How did you know that my 3-year-old’s sock drawer is empty and she CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE SHE PUT THEM? You are spot on, as usual. I do the round-about every day/week. I’m still trying to find the balance, though. As you say, when writing the rest falls apart, when doing the rest, the writing goes away. I’m pretty sure balance isn’t actually possible. Maybe it’s more like what the doctors say about toddler’s eating: focus on the weekly intake, not the daily, because the daily will fluctuate wildly. Maybe instead of balance in the short term we need to make sure everything balances in the medium term instead.

  28. #32 by Pirkko Rytkonen on May 28, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    I’m a newbie to this social media and blog stuff. I don’t even have a blog yet, but planning is in the works. I realized from reading your blogs and others, I do need to get a blog going as I have just started my first novel. It is hard work, but I am loving it while learning about fiction writing at the same time. I have instruction books and will be attending my first Writer’s conference in Guelph Ontario in June.

  29. #33 by Gloria Richard Author on May 28, 2013 - 2:29 pm

    Before DFWCon, I might have bounced off this post without commenting. Why? The truth is not pretty.

    It appears you’re going to blog about Facebook Pages versus Timelines tomorrow. In discussions with you after the social media panel, you recommended using my main FB versus Author FB Page for all FB interactions.

    My dilemma? I have relatives who will not be readers of my books. Seriously. Trust me on that one. One of my ultra conservative and religious aunts “liked” the Memorial Day link I posted to Bayard & Holmes on my timeline

    I can and do get saucy with content and comments on my blog. Never mind, my shenanigans blog-jacking. For those types of linky-love, I use my author page. Hindsight being the nifty tool it is, I would have done things differently and set up a special “main” Facebook account for my career, keeping family interactions separate. Am I stuck?

    As for Martha Stewart and doing her bodily harm. In that same social media panel Jenny said she sets aside an hour each weekend to write her four to five weekly posts. I moved to sit next to her so I could smack her with my notepad soak up her blog MoJo. An hour? She gets that done in an hour?

    I’ve set a goal of one per week. I’ll grow from there as I become more comfortable, and less of a perfectionist when crafting blogs.

    Oh! Look! This comment could qualify as an entire blog post.

  30. #34 by Stephanie Noel on May 28, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    Dividing my time between my WIP and my blog is difficult. I’m trying to find a good balance but it’s a work in progress. I’m lucky not to have children and to have a partner who supports me in my projects. Aside from work, I have no obligation.

  31. #35 by David Todd on May 28, 2013 - 2:45 pm

    The biggest obstacle I face is Genre Identity Disorder (GID). I have nine items self-published, and only two pairs of them are related. So that’s 7 genres out of nine items. And my tenth will be self-published in a week to ten days and it’s in yet another genre, so that will be 10 books and 8 genres. Unfortunately I write the same way water flows: along the path of least resistance. At least my next novel will be the sequel to an earlier one. And my next after that will be a sequel to my first. So by then it will be 12 books in 8 genres.

    So far I have just written where the creative urge directed me. Whether or not I can structure that in the future remains to be seen.

    • #36 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 28, 2013 - 3:18 pm

      Genre isn’t that important in the Digital Age. Blogging hooks people to love your writing voice, so they are less directed by genre and more by you. They may never read that particular genre, but they will read one that YOU wrote.

  32. #37 by Lisa Ricard Claro on May 28, 2013 - 2:50 pm

    I do understand the necessity of blogging and while I see the time as an investment, there is a lot of reciprocity required, and that is hugely time consuming. If I’m reading other blogs and taking the time to comment (which encourages those bloggers to visit my blog) then I’m not writing. I found myself spending hours reading and commenting on blogs, and then realized my writing time was sucked up. I’ve scaled it back and suspect I need to revamp my blog theme. I’ve done just what you suggest writers NOT do, which is to write primarily about writing! I do throw in a lot of other non-writing related posts, but the writing is paramount. Time for a change. And I suppose reading your book wouldn’t hurt either. :)

  33. #38 by fibrofandango on May 28, 2013 - 3:44 pm

    “The world does not reward perfection, it REWARDS FINISHERS. It rewards DOERS. What are we doing?”
    I love this, and will remember it. Thank you :)

  34. #39 by maggieamada on May 28, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    Kristen, blogging is surprisingly rewarding. I now have friends in almost every continent which is totally awesome. I thank you and everyone else who has taught me and helped me along because no blogger is an island. We all exist in an ecosystem and the more diverse that system, the better our chances of immediate survival.

    Social media is time consuming, particularly when we have kids, husbands that need attention, families, friends, jobs and work-in-progress. When I first started, social media sucked up hours from my day and I felt like it wasn’t going anywhere until I made friends and I genuinely liked these friends. Then I started to find a home and a routine. I learned to put together a list of what sites I would hit and when (Twitter – 5 minutes three times a day, Facebook – 5 minutes in the morning, Google+ 5 minutes in each of my favorite communities). My friend’s blogs or those posts I tagged from the communities (30 -45 minutes). Cheat and go back to favorites during bathroom breaks. It’s crazy and it shows how OCD I am, but it works. If I do it and get the heck out, I’m a happy camper. It started taking less time out of each day so that I could do it more often without sucking the life out of me.

    My own blog has taught me how to write to the point that I look at some of my early works and cringe. How did I ever think that would evoke emotion? I’m not trying to write the Great American novel. I want to sell books someday and that means I have to evoke emotion well. I don’t read so I can waste my time. I read so that I can feel something about a life different than my own. Now that I blog, I write stuff I would buy which is pretty cool. I get a little thrill every time I get a comment. This morning, the most amazing thing happened. I use Disqus and I just discovered through one of my readers that the software won’t let people without Disqus accounts comment. Please withhold judgment.

    Since this is a problem, my reader contacted me on Google+ this morning to comment on one of my posts because the software wouldn’t let her do it on my blog. I was doing the happy dance that anyone cared enough to go through that much trouble. I think that connection is the reward of blogging all on it’s own. Selling is icing on the cake.

  35. #40 by jonnyhatch on May 28, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    This advice is exactly what I needed to kick my rear into gear today! Currently grinding the little darlings off of my third draft. Thanks for the inspiration!

  36. #41 by mummylovestowrite on May 28, 2013 - 5:00 pm

    This post came at the perfect time for me. I have had a busy week in my personal life and my writing has suffered. I haven’t been feeding it this week and you reminded me it isn’t good enough. I don’t want what I have built so far to die. Thank you Kristen. Inwill get back into it today.

  37. #42 by Tammy J Rizzo on May 28, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    I reposted this on one of my blogs (http://poppycockpublishing.com/blog/entropy-is-real-and-author-careers-need-feeding-daily-kristen-lambs-blog/). It’s been a while since I’ve come to your blog and read and commented. I had forgotten how much I enjoy your blog! Plus, I’m reading ‘Are You There, Blog?’ and getting a whole lot out of it. Thank you so much for what you do for us. :-)

  38. #43 by danielocceno on May 28, 2013 - 5:40 pm

    I was looking at reports of the big-time publishers. It is what I do to stay in the loop. Selling their eBooks in self-publishing eVenues was the topic. It is like the Miami Heat with King James wanting to go one-on-one with you, Kristen, on the Internet as the basketball coliseum. It should be very exciting for self-publishers. The big-time publishers are acknowledging that there is money in those eVenues for self-publishers or why waste the time and money to take on the shorter player with less talent. The competition is trivial, since it is like the self-published could be the same height and with trained talent as King James and the self-published is allowed in the playoffs for the big money. I can have a trophy made! I prefer the prize money.

    • #44 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 28, 2013 - 6:26 pm

      There is no prior vetting so talent is a non-issue. You pay you play and their contracts have been known to be very predatory. Caveat emptor.

  39. #45 by pamelacreese on May 28, 2013 - 6:02 pm

    I totally agree that we need to be ‘out there’ meeting and getting to know people. I totally abhor all the blogs and tweets, etc that are thinly (VERY thinly) disguised ‘ads’… I have a new book. Here is my new book. Look at my new book. Buy my new book. BLECH.

    That said… I am going to leap the barrel and ask a question that would actually prequel this conversation… please, where on your amazing blog do you explain how one builds a “brand” before they have a published novel (no, my articles and short stories don’t count, they have absolutely nothing in common with what I love to write)? I understand perfectly platforms for nonfiction authors…but branding for genre writers PRIOR to actual publication? How does that work?

    Thanks so much for all you contribute to keeping us awake and active.

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 28, 2013 - 6:25 pm

      Start blogging. Talk to people. Your brand is YOU, your writing voice. The earlier you start the better because you don’t have anything to sell, so you’re more likely to come across authentic. You build a community. I have a new book coming out soon that lays out how to do this.

      • #47 by pamelacreese on May 28, 2013 - 7:31 pm

        Thanks Kristen… have blogged for years. Even have a ‘special’ genre related post every Friday just for those folks who might wander by and enjoy a fantasy related blog post now and again. It’s not about selling, or writing… just for the love of the whole genre.
        I do a monthly workshop (but that is for writers) but reaching out and connecting with that fantasy reader… not sure how to do that. So I shall be looking forward to your book. Thank you.

  40. #48 by authorleannedyck on May 28, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    I recently gave a presentation about blogging to a room of authors. I didn’t know that I was a blogging evangelist…but I am. And articles like this one is one of the reasons why. Thank you, Kristen.

  41. #49 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on May 28, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Writing in one aspect or another happens everyday. Just like most things in “normal” life. It’s all about attitude — and, Kristen, I really enjoy yours. Every day you remind everyone to have another “go” — commitment, consistency, and persistence are foundational keys to success.

  42. #50 by trackley2012 on May 28, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    You are awesome, and I’m so thankful I found your blog. For the first time ever, I actually feel like I’m receiving wonderful advice about my passion. I love the ‘going to the gym’ analogy. My once a week visit to the gym needs to be upped! Question: I’ve never been to a workshop/conference before and I want to go to learn, learn, learn. What would you recommend for a first timer?

  43. #51 by sharonholly on May 28, 2013 - 8:36 pm

    My lack of blogging/tweeting is in competition with my lack of actual writing. Most of the time, I’m just not sure what to blog about. Trying to remember that I don’t have to become overwhelmed – I can just take small steps!

    I was also curious about whether or not FB pages should only be created for published authors, or if someone like me who has never been published but is working on a first-time novel should have one?

    Great post as always!

  44. #52 by writeopiaguide on May 28, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Journey to Writeopia and commented:
    This here is a great article on the importance of writing everyday, whether you’re a novice writer or an experienced wielder of words!

  45. #53 by Joe Owens on May 28, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    Kristin I really needed to read every word you published in this blog. I know these things, but there are times the maze just seems so hard that it is easy to drift away. I have a work in progress that needs heavy editing, but at the same time I feel i may have stumbled on a trilogy worthy plot and want to develop it. i would like to have both of these ready to submit by year’s end.

  46. #54 by Deb Atwood on May 29, 2013 - 9:53 am

    I found this post encouraging–especially the part about needing three books to really connect. Plus, your opening image is absolutely adorable!

  47. #55 by sonjadhutchinson on May 29, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Excellent post! I’m glad I’m not the only one. I loved this message so much, I put a link to it on my blog. Your little minion is adorable, too, in case you haven’t heard that often enough.

  48. #56 by gretchenwing on May 29, 2013 - 10:25 am

    You got me with the gym metaphor. ‘Nuff said.

  49. #57 by Dennis Langley on May 29, 2013 - 2:56 pm

    Well said. It is harder than is sounds to maintain consistency across several social media platforms. Sometimes we take a break, but we need to get back on the horse and keep the brand rolling.

  50. #58 by Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) on May 29, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    I figure learning how to be a writer is a lot like my first year of teaching, I totally sucked at first, but keep getting better as I do. The key is definitely to not give up, though I struggle with writing speed because the perfectionist in me likes to rear its debilitating head from time to time.

  51. #59 by Author J K Broadwell on May 29, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    Thank you for the great article. As a fairly new author and reluctant blogger, this was a message I definitely needed to hear. Very strong points. It’s always good to remember to focus on people and relationships rather than just “selling books.” I know I’ve been guilty of that before. I’m gratefull I found your blog and just ordered your book.

  52. #60 by cicampbell2013 on May 29, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    Thank you for this post, Kristen. As usual, it was spot on! Just what I needed to hear. I’m trying to build my platform, get my brand noticed, and I’ve particularly been enjoying blogging, but I needed to hear someone say that’s the right thing to do.
    Thank you for the encouragement.
    Christine
    cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

  53. #61 by Laurie Evans on May 29, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    YES! I’d also like to read an article about what to do if you have a (thriving!) personal FB page, and you aren’t sure how to go about also having an author FB page. I’m paralyzed with indecision, so I do nothing.

    I also feel as if I do one thing well, others go to pot. Trying to be very disciplined with time spent on each thing, but yes, I’m overwhelmed.

  54. #62 by Tarla Kramer on May 29, 2013 - 11:58 pm

    Excuse me if someone else said this already, don’t have time to read all the comments, but us authors also tend to shrivel up if we don’t get the equivalent of a hug daily! You know what I mean, a download or a like or a follower, or even a response from someone you commented to! We tire of continually putting food on the table if it goes unacknowledged. We need the feedback to keep us going.

    • #63 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 30, 2013 - 7:08 am

      I agree Tarla. It’s why I created #MyWANA. We need the emotional support to make it.

      • #64 by Tarla Kramer on May 30, 2013 - 7:36 pm

        Definitely prefer the days when the writing is going well and I am not so needy of WANAs etc!

  55. #65 by desertdweller29 on May 30, 2013 - 11:12 am

    This inspired my post today. Thanks for the great advice.

  56. #66 by Kitt Crescendo on May 30, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    Thank you. I needed to read this today. What you said about blogging is exactly how I felt until I allowed myself to be convinced that it was a distraction rather than a tool. Shame on me for stepping away. I was at my most productive when I was blogging and writing simultaneously.

  57. #67 by paffenbutler on May 30, 2013 - 7:03 pm

    Kristen,
    I appreciate you being a cheerleader for me today. I need to hear this!

  58. #68 by Kathryn J. Bain on May 31, 2013 - 7:17 am

    Great post. The hardest part sometime about feeding this dream we call writing is that we often feel we are doing it alone. That’s why it’s so important to have friends that write as well. They will know what you’re going through and be able to give you encouragement.

  59. #69 by naomimgruer on May 31, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Your post inspired one of my own! Here’s a link to “Is Social Media A Must?” http://bmoreenergy.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/is-social-media-a-must/, where I write about why I blog and link back to you (and your book). I also Tweeted about it at https://twitter.com/bmoreenergy. Great insight–thanks!

  60. #70 by MarcelleLiemant on June 3, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    So accurate, especially about the advertising. I don’t get how authors don’t understand that? Please stop spamming up my twitter! Thanks for this

  61. #71 by mrynelson on June 3, 2013 - 6:32 pm

    Sound advice, thanks. Mary Nelson

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