Indie writers need support. Doing this whole self-publishing thing is a long and lonely road without support. You need to establish fans, friends, and network your ass off. Seriously. This isn’t a road for the lazy to travel and unfortunately for me I do tend to have a huge lazy bone.
We can make all the excuses we like (and I do!) but the bottom line is when deadlines are looming sometimes life gets in the way and other times we just forget. Today is one of my (many) “forgetful” days. Between life being chaotic and looming self-imposed deadlines stressing me out I have once again forgotten my SPE post. Luckily for me I had already figured out what I wanted to write about, which was supporting those who support you. Isn’t it advantageous that my forgetfulness works into a post about support? Why yes, yes it is.
Anyways, so here I was lying in bed nursing one of my killer headaches that usually lays me out for at least a full day when I get an inbox from Alex gently reminding me that today was my SPE posting day. Alas, when it needs to be done you drag yourself out of bed, pull up your boot straps and get to work. That is what I am doing now.
Now Alex didn’t send me a bitchy email saying “Hey lazy, get off your ass and post! You are messing up my blog!” No, instead she was supportive, knowing what a busy morning I’ve had, she knew that I had just finished eating and was dealing with a headache, it was a gentle nudge, a reminder not a demand. If my headache was already to the point of no return then I wouldn’t have been able to get up and start typing but it is at a moderate pain level that I can deal with for the time being, so I let her know I’d be getting to it. Communication. It is key in every type of relationship, professional or personal, you will ever have. Alexandra and I communicate, if I’m feeling under the weather I let her know, if I forget something she lets me know.
On the Twisted Tales blog we are on there are seven different writers all with different schedules, family lives, spouses, significant others, children, no children, pets, jobs, obligations. We can’t always get our posts out on time, but we try and when we can’t we let the rest of the writers know. Not because we are obligated to, but to communicate so that everyone knows what is going on. And when we post we do our best to promote everyone’s writing, not just our own. We tag, we share links, and we spread the word for all of us.
Support. It’s a huge thing, sometimes it is the only thing that keeps you going.
Support from colleagues is the same as it is from fans and friends who support your writing. When a friend of mine posts a link to one of my projects, or my author page, or recommends that people follow one of my blogs I always do my best to acknowledge them. These people who recommend my page, or share a link to our blogs, they are doing so because they like what they read and want to share it with others. They aren’t asking for a kickback, they do it because they are great people, great friends and as such I am always extremely grateful.
I’ve seen other people who do not acknowledge when a fan shares a link and tags them in a post praising their books, but that is not my style, I can’t be like that. I’ve seen some people flat out ignore fans comments or questions in a thread because they are too busy sharing inside jokes with their close friends. I always think to myself, “I never want to exclude anyone.”
This is all just my own, personal little musing on how I want to conduct myself as a professional. I want to cultivate relationships (friendly relationships, get your minds out of the gutter) with the people who support me. I never want people to see my every post on social networking as “Oh poor me, come listen to me have a pity party for myself. Nobody likes me. I’m getting rid of all my friends. If you don’t talk to me then why are you on my friends list?” kind of thing. Everyone has their moments (and my personal page is different from my author page. On my personal page you will probably see the random bitching about my husband who just did some really dumb thing that made me mad, or you might see me posting about my kids… And honestly a whole lot of food pics but my author page has none of that). We all have our sour moments in life, but we should never be sour when it comes to people showing us love and support.
I got my start writing again in the role playing world, because of that I always try to show mad love to the RPers on Facebook, I promote them on The Indie Writers’ Collective and on my personal page. I show love to other authors that I enjoy reading, the authors I write with at Twisted Tales, and to my friends. My friends, most of whom I’ve met through social media and Facebook Role-Playing, they keep me going. They encourage me and pick me up when I’m feeling down. But even the people who are on my friends list that I am not close with (yet) I still show as much support as possible. Even if it is somebody I don’t talk to, I still enjoy seeing their posts in my newsfeed and “like” their posts.
I hope that one day when I’m an attending author at a convention and someone from FB comes up that they are actually excited to meet me because I’ve been accessible online to them. And yes, I realize that being a featured (or attending) author at a convention is a huge pipe-dream, but you just never know, it might happen for me one day.
And so in this crazy, lonely, scary world of Self-Publishing relationships and support are key.
That is my goal, no matter what happens in my writing career. I will support others and be kind. You never know what someone else might be going through or dealing with, a “like” or a nice comment can sometimes turn someone’s day around and that makes taking a second to show some appreciation, a like-back, or posting a random *hug* to someone who has supported me is totally worth it.