The One in Which I Need Your Opinion
Hello! I hope everyone had a great weekend.
This week, I want to be frank with everyone, after which I'd love to get your opinions. I'm really hoping you've got the time to read this and share your thoughts.
Being an indie writer has its own unique sets of challenges, just like other forms of indie artists have theirs. My unique issue is this: A painter can share their work, we all see it, we give it a thumbs up. A musician can share a one-minute clip of their new hit, garnering an immediate reaction. A filmmaker can share their five-minute movie on streaming sites, resulting in bite-sized entertainment that we consume while browsing through other things.
But a writer -- the very hard truth is that for many people, reading just isn't fun. The time commitment is too great, and it requires more focus than we possess these days. We want quick. We want easily consumable. We want to experience multiple things during our brief free time. And reading doesn't fit into that multi-tasking lifestyle.
With that said, being a successful indie artist requires audience engagement -- we have to find ways to keep everyone entertained (while subtly reminding them that we exist), because in our current society, if more than a week or two goes by without a word, an indie artist is quickly forgotten in the shuffle of life and other social campaigns.
But how does a writer keep an audience engaged in between published projects when the concept of reading is already unappealing to the masses?
That's why this blog was born. It was an experiment that I hoped would engage people and remind them that Timothy Boyd is a writer working on a new book. I wanted to create excitement, foster discussion, and hopefully get you to talk about my work with your friends and family. I had hoped to shed some insight into my process and offer explanation as to why I've made some of the decisions I've made -- to provide an inside look at what a writer actually does. The experiment has not been a great success. (And that's perfectly okay -- struggles are as important as successes. I'm not saddened by this realization; it's merely a problem to which I'm trying to find a solution.)
The first post of the new year, where I announced this project, garnered fifty views. (Exciting!) But each week, that number has significantly decreased. Last week's post received eight views. (Not quite as exciting, but still cool!)
I've received feedback from close friends. Some suggested it felt like I was trying to teach you all how to write, and they weren't interested in that. (Fair and valid.) Some suggested that building an audience won't matter if I never finish the new book, so I should stop the blog in favor of getting the book done instead. (Also fair and valid.)
So, I've wondered what could be done (if anything at all) for a writer to keep an audience engaged in our current social climate of fast-paced consumption of low-commitment media.
I've debated doing a podcast instead of a written blog. I've thought about a video blog as well. I've wondered what to put here that people won't find boring -- sharing some unpublished writing samples of the new book? Talking about the new book? Sharing weird facts I've learned in my research for the book? Continuing to share insight into the writing process? Doing something weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or only post when something strikes me?
Or, perhaps I should give this a rest all together, focusing all of my attention on getting the book done.
Obviously, the end goal is to one day not be an indie writer -- to gain credible representation at a publishing house that can appeal to audiences for me. But I'm not there yet. My current work-in-progress will hopefully be the stepping stone to get me there.
So, bottom line:
Do you want to hear from me? What do you want to hear from me? And in what medium do you want to hear it? Are you uninterested but still click on the posts to support my endeavors? (If so, that's a valid way to support an indie artist, and I thank you for it! Reading isn't appealing to everyone, and I understand that!)
If you want to chime in, but you'd rather not sign up here to gain access to the comment section, you're welcome to visit my Facebook page here and comment on the thread about this post over there (which is scheduled to go live at around 6:00am, PST). If you'd rather avoid Facebook, you can also try the thread on my Twitter feed here.
Thank you for all of your time and support. I appreciate you.
Until next time,