Tuesday, March 08, 2011

writing in the "new world"

I'm a little late to pipe in on the Amanda Hocking buzz, but I really like what she has to say in this post (thank you, Erin Reel, for directing my scattered attention to it!)

What I like in particular is the demonstration of how a "lowly" writer now has the power to set the record straight with nary a phone call or magazine interface. Hocking has a half-million page views and nearly 1,000 followers on her blog, and a choir of tweeters crowing in her behalf. She's honed her audience through sheer will, hard work, and savvy.

That she's the latest poster child for self-pub success not-withstanding, Hocking isn't all that different than other women who set their sites on a goal and exploited their natural sourcing ability and intuition, backed up with a solid strategy. Mrs. Fields and her chocolate chip cookies, remember her? Mary Kay and her drive to turn housewives into entrepreneurs. Amanda Hocking had a vision, a skillset, and the drive to see it through, and while her nay-sayers are pounding out cautionary missives throughout the blogosphere, she's parlaying her success while being careful not to kill the kernel of passion that fuels it.

It's easy to get side-tracked with all the media at our fingertips. Easy to get sucked in to burning cycles and spending our writing energy in secondary pursuits. Talking about writing instead of writing. Ahem. I have well-published friends who never read their reviews because of the derailing factor. I have writer buddies who don't tweet, or facebook or blog, deciding instead to use their time at the keyboard to enter the alternate universe. Other friends of mine are good at compartmentalization, and segment their day and exposure to Internet noise judiciously.

As for me, I'm a binge type. I use the energy of distraction to propel me into my line of flight, and then, when it works the way I like, I can glide in the zone for hours. This tiny talent is what keeps me from being truly ADD, I think. It's a state of hyper-daydream. A high. But, alas, it's not available to me every day, I have to carve space for it. Put it on my Outlook calendar.

What about you? Are you a multi-tasker (have your creative writing doc open while attending to e-mail and social media), or do you do one thing at a time?


  1. Great post, Suzy. I'm a firm believer in time and content management. You could spend an entire day chit chatting on-line and following one link to the next. And where does it lead you? You're certainly not any further along in your work. So, I devote a few hours a day to re-connecting, email, status updates, researching the latest news in publishing, etc., and then the rest of the time I'm working or in a session.

  2. i need to be a single-tasker. i know i would get more done. but, alas, here i am reading blogs, thinking about what i may blog tonight, with a work window open on my laptop for changes i have to make to a corporate site, and my personal email open, while asking my husband, "you want to watch a movie?"

    i'm not a multi-tasker, i have zero discipline. how do you fix that???

  3. I am feeling like I'm lost in the sea that is the Internet, as well. I am in need of a schedule to keep myself from
    Following one link to the next, as Erin said.

  4. Thanks for the confirmation, writers! We all seem to fight the urge to follow the yellow blog road.

    As far as discipline? It's like exercise. Start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up...


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