Originally published on May 24, 2014 @ 5:09 pm
There was a time when most of the writers I knew, including myself, were introverts. We didn't much care to leave the house, so staying handcuffed to a computer and surrounded by books instead of people was what we looked forward to.
But it's not that we didn't want to be around people. It's sometimes exhausting trying to be around people.
Who would guess that the person with so many stories to write has so few words to say to people?
And I don't mean that in a bad way. I don't mean “ugh, it's so exhausting to have to be around people.”
I mean that in a very matter-of-fact way. Introverts are very introspective. Their thought processes cross many different paths, which means it takes them longer to run from point A to point B — there are just so many stops along the way.
But when we're around people, our brain has to start sprinting to keep up with everything we're doing.
Imagine if you had to sprint everywhere you went, how exhausting that would be. It doesn't matter how much practice you get or how much you love running…if you had to sprint everywhere you went, you would eventually need to stop and rest and recharge your batteries.
And stopping to rest and recharge doesn't mean you hate sprinting. Just that sprinting is exhausting.
As an introvert, the only real way to recharge our batteries is to get some alone time. And for some of us, that's just not possible. Alone time is just a pipe dream.
However, now, alone time isn't even that anymore. A generation ago, writers did what they did best – they wrote. Editors edited, proofreaders proofread. And promoters promoted and publishers published. And agents… Agented? No…
Agents represented writers so that writers didn't have to spend the time doing all that other stuff.
Now, it seems as though not only do writers need to start wearing new hats (and finding the time to perform the duties each of those hats entails) but they have to know how to do a lot more than writing.
Editing, promotions, sales, in some cases even publication and getting stores to carry the book. Now, it's true some of the methods used are not necessarily right in people's faces. A lot of authors use Twitter or Facebook to help promote their books. Most start even before their book has been published yet.
The truth is, if you want to make money as a writer, you need to learn to navigate the more-extroverted activities such as marketing and sales.
Social media has left an indelible mark on the world of writing. Even ghostwriters, like myself, who make a living out of being invisible need to get over onto social media and make their presence known. And it's not enough to be on social media. Not only do you need an online presence, but you have to make that presence known. Once you decide to become a writer, it becomes your responsibility to make sure readers know who you are.
And more and more writers are flocking to the world of social media, setting up their platforms and their profiles. Some more spammy than others. Some a bit more brazen. And what I've noticed? The longer they sit on social media, the louder and more talkative they seem to get.
Which leads me to conclude that there must a be a trend. Either there are a lot of uncomfortable writers out there trying their best to promote their work even though they'd rather not have to…
Or the majority of writers today are no longer introverts and so promoting their work isn't quite the chore for them as it is for me.
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