Did you miss me?

Two and a half months ago, I announced that I was “Going Narrow”, meaning I was going to limit my focus to the Step into the Story videocast and writing my next historical fiction. Marketing, social media, and “platform building” would take a back seat until I got closer to release time. The idea was to use my time in the most productive way.

Blogging, by the way, is considered by some experts to be one of the least effective marketing tools available. And yet, it’s the first piece of my platform I added back into my calendar. Why? Because I like it. Blogging, like journaling, helps me organize my thoughts. It’s also a very controllable way of sharing my ideas and opinions. 

Social media, on the other hand, is too full of conflicting chatter for me. Chatter clogs the brain and makes creating difficult. Plus, frankly, I’m not sure what I get from being on socials right now. So I’m reducing the time I spend on them.

Correction: I’m reducing the time I spend on Threads because, let’s face it, that’s where the chatter really happens.

Traditional vs Indie Publishing – Part Whatever

Speaking of Threads, I keep seeing posts debating the merits of Traditional vs Independent Publishing. Most of the conversation centers around control – over artwork, content, marketing dollars, etc. — with indie authors pointing out that they have far more control over their products. As an author who has done both, I have thoughts.

Indie authors are right. They do have more control. Trad authors must contend with reader trends and internal hierarchies that indie authors can avoid. However, this doesn’t mean independent publishing is for everyone. Some of us have strong reasons for choosing the traditional path, which has little to do with control and much more to do with personal preference. I blogged at length about my decision to go traditional last year.

At the end of the day, there are no wrong answers when it comes to how you want to publish. The beauty of our industry is that we can choose the path we want, not as a last resort or because of outside pressure, but because it suits us.

Thought for the Week (Courtesy of David Brooks’s How to Know a Person

There are two types of people in this world: Illuminators and Diminishers.

Illuminators are those rare people who make you feel as though talking with you is their most important priority at that moment. They put you in the spotlight, and express genuine interest in what you have to say. Their goal is to listen and get you to open up. You know when you’ve been in the presence of an illuminator because you leave feeling positive – like you’ve been seen. My friend, Susan Meier, is an illuminator. It’s a gift.

Diminishers are the opposite. They are conversation hijackers who tend to direct the conversation according to their agenda. To paraphrase David Brooks, if conversation is the length of your arm, diminishers are thinking of what to say at around the elbow. It’s importat to note that Diminishers aren’t energy vampires. Nor are they purposely rude. They simply prefer to be the one talking.

Most of us are Diminishers, because it’s way easier to be self-focused. After reading How to Know People, I’ve decided I want to work harder at being an Illuminator. It’s a great quality to have.

If you’re interested in being an illuminator too, David Brooks has a great TedTalk on the topic.

What I’m Reading:

The Trouble with You by Ellen Feldman. In an exuberant post WWII New York City, a young woman is forced to reinvent her life and choose between the safe and the ethical, and the men who represent each…

What I’m Watching

Ghosts on CBS. Am I the only one excited for Isaac and Nigel’s wedding?