More than a Novelist
Like most writers, I’m not a one-trick pony. Writing romance novels isn’t all I do!
Some time ago I realised something. I’m sweating blood writing these books, doing the work to self publish them, trying out all these different strategies for marketing them- but my readers have nowhere to go to find out about my upcoming releases, get teasers from my new books, and have a streaming and bubbling font of general info about me, their favourite romance author (or so I hope!).
So, I set up an author website to get all this good info out in the public domain for my hungry public to fall upon with slavering jaws. So far, so straightforward, right? Wrong. I am not traditionally a techie person, and this has massively counted against me in the past, both working for myself and in employment. I still get cold shivers when anyone mentions PowerPoint, but that’s another matter.
I was considering blogging years and years ago and could have got in on the ground floor, so to speak, of the blogging movement, but I didn’t understand how to set up a site – like, I was beyond clueless, and my computer programmer father was no help AT ALL. Also, I had no clue about how to find someone to make a site for me, at least not someone who didn’t charge thousands of pounds (that I didn’t have).
Sadly, in those days, I was severely lacking in self-confidence. You wouldn’t have known it from talking to me as I’ve always been socially confident, but I had zero confidence in my ability to learn, or even worse, to fail and learn from that failure. If I ‘failed’ at anything then, I gave up – essentially, that thing I had failed at was dead to me – like I used to say ‘I physically can’t run, my body just won’t do it’, because I was unfit, and so it was uncomfortable to run. Of course I could run, I’m perfectly capable with a bit of practice and some better trainers (and I run these days, with no significant issues!) but to me, I had ‘failed’ at running because I wasn’t doing a 400m at the same pace as Roger Black, so that was it. I couldn’t do it.
Gosh, it makes me sad to think of that version of me. She really didn’t know her own worth!
Anyway, when it came to making an author website, well, I set it up and, to be honest; it looked like trash. But this time around and with the benefit of many years’ life experience, I knew it didn’t really matter. A crappy website would not be a total disaster, it wouldn’t stop people buying my books, it wouldn’t cause the world to stop spinning in order for the whole of humanity to stop and turn as one, in order to point and laugh at my stupidity. I realised I could edit anything and everything on that site, that I could come back as little or often as I wanted to tinker, and also, that there are YouTube tutorials on EVERYTHING.
Seriously, I’ve just refurbished my flat using YouTube tutorials and a lot of polyfilla.
As usual, once we have done something once, the fear of it abates.The fear I felt of ‘tech’ faded the more times I went back onto that site and tinkered around with it. It did not hurt that wordPress is the most ‘for dummies’ product that exists, and boy am I’m grateful for that!
Surprisingly, I didn’t stop there. I’ve now got three blogs or websites that I run, including this one, and I have a load of plans for more! I have been writing a screenplay with a friend for the last 6 months, and we plan to stream some of our content, using You Tube and via our own site, which I will also make soon. I don’t know a lot about YouTube data or metrics, but I’ve proved to myself that I can learn. Also, I am not a trained performer, but hey, why not just give it all a go, acting, blogging, novel writing? I am definitely not the only person trying it all! The gig economy is pretty well established now, so creating a portfolio career is a lot less scary than once it was.
In short, it seems the student can become the master… Except I know very well that I am still not doing an amazing job with the look and functionality of all of my blogs. But the key is – I’m not that bothered by the imperfections any more. It might not look very good, but I’ve done it, and I can and will make it better with more time and experience. And if you want to, so can you.