Among the writing community there is a constant pressure to promote. We’ve become a sea of “look at me!” people drowned out by the screams of the writers tweeting beside us. And the complaints are rampant.
One person claimed that to be a writer today you have to write one book while promoting another, spending a few hours a day uploading YouTube videos, livestreaming on Facebook, and submitting all of your stories to competitions (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember the tweet). I even recently read a post by Aspiring Author titled “I’m a writer not a notification checker.”
I feel this strain is one we all contend with as serious writers. But it’s not that we have a heavy load on us as writers, but that we live in a world that desperately and financially wants us to consume rather than create. For my first couple of weeks since I’ve come back to my site for good I got into the habit of checking on my notifications the moment I woke up.
Anyone who has ever tried to accomplish something should know that this is the first step in flushing the day’s productivity down the toilet. And for me it absolutely does just that. It starts innocently, but after an hour I am on Instagram looking at cats or on YouTube binge-watching EckhartsLadder.
Those are my weak moments. The moments when the young me kicks in and ctrl+alt+deletes my life progress.
But those moments are lost on weeks like last week.
Monday I sat down and did our trial podcast recording. Tuesday I worked at a Chinese restaurant and had a job interview to be a writing tutor. Wednesday I wrote non-stop to create content for next week. Thursday I posted a fantastic featured writer and met with my friends for dinner. Friday I went to Writer’s Cafe, recorded the first real podcast episode, and then next thing I knew I was reading poems I wrote in front of an audience.
Today as I write this I’m three hours away from home on a 48 hour trip to the town where I learned Japanese.
This has been the most amazing week I’ve had this year. Never in my life have I felt so proud to be a writer, to be in the thick of it- to be officially doing the things that a real writer does.
Except, I’ve barely written- and I’ve missed several of my own deadlines.