This post first appeared on Janet Sketchley’s blog, “Tenacity.”
If you’re a writer—and even if you’re not—you’ve probably seen posts about the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. It makes sense to be concerned about how our personal data is collected, stored, and used, but the GDPR has caused a lot of trouble for many authors, bloggers, and other writers.
While this post isn’t about rules and regulations, all the talk about the GDPR did lead to the thought … why can’t writers just write?
If money were no object, perhaps, a writer could outsource everything except the writing itself. But are there really any writers who do that? Highly unlikely.
Authors and other writers are expected to do so much more than write.
Develop and maintain a website and possibly, a blog.
While creating content is a big part of this, there are domain names to be purchased, website themes to be chosen, and “branding” to be considered … among many, many other things.
Develop a social media presence.
In this, the cyber age, readers want to feel connected to the authors and writers whose posts and books they read. They want to know they’re real people with real lives. They also want to know that their favourite writers are willing to give them a glimpse into their life and that they care about more than simply selling their next book.
Find one’s tribe and connect with them regularly.
People can smell a sales pitch from a mile (or 1.61 kilometres) away—and many will run in the opposite direction. However, if an author is willing to truly connect with their readers and potential readers and offer them something of value without asking for the sale at every turn, those individuals may rise to the level of “super fan.”
Continue to develop and hone writing skills.
No matter how experienced a writer, there are always more skills development books to read and courses to take.
Authors seeking to go the traditional publishing route are familiar with writing and rewriting, query letters and proposals, pitching to agents and editors, and on and on.
Much of what it takes to become a traditionally published author has little to do with writing the books themselves.
Those seeking to self-publish have to write and rewrite, decide what to do on there own and what to outsource, oversee all aspects of their writing business even if they are working with a team.
While some people hate the word, authorpreneur hints at the fact that self-publishing writers are doing more than writing. They are small business owners and must see themselves this way and take responsibility for their business.
And when all is said and done, a writer must …
Continue to create content.
And while writers must juggle their schedule to include all of these pursuits and more, they must also continue to create content—or the rest of the process will be meaningless.
This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. So, the answer to the question is no, writers can’t just write. But, at the end of the day—GDPR or no GDPR—writers can’t not write.
Steph Beth Nickel is the coauthor of Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. They are currently working on a follow-up book. Steph is developing her “Nurture and Inspire” line of books and inspirational products. She is a producer at HopeStreamRadio and has contributed to InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Christmas Stories & More. You can connect with her on her Facebook.