I’m not a natural joiner

Since I finished writing my first novel a couple of years ago, I’ve joined lots of websites connected with writing, marketing, reviewing, peer-reviewing and reading – always with the intention of taking part in an active manner.  After all, this is what new writers are told they should do, isn’t it?   Get out there.  Become recognised.  Be controversial.  Get noticed.  Sell yourself because that’s what will sell your books.

Over the years and months since then, I’ve been more than a little tardy in keeping up with what’s going on on these sites resulting in me feeling just a little bit guilty. Not that there is any particular reason why I should feel guilty.  If I make a commitment to read and/or review any other writer’s work, I honour that commitment.  I don’t make promises I can’t keep.  I don’t write dishonest reviews.  If I can’t say something good about a writer or a book, I try to keep my mouth firmly closed.  If I do write a glowing review, that’s because I loved a book I read and in my view it deserves to do well.

I’ve recently realised that this is as far as I ever want to go because the truth is I Am Not A Natural Joiner.  Not only that, I don’t want to be one.  I’m happiest tootling along writing, reading and reviewing just the way I do right now.  I write what I like, read what I like, and review what I have enjoyed reading.  I love helping other writers out if they ask me, and I quite like reading and writing blogs.  That Is It.

I can’t stand insincere back-slapping, head-patting and over-hyping of mediocre books by mediocre writers.  I don’t like the trolls who start flame-wars, pulling in the unwary and causing them to make fools of themselves by getting involved.  I dislike the monumental egos of some writers I see on the sites I am or have been a member of.  l hate stuff that stops me from concentrating on what I love most and do best – my writing.

I don’t think I’m alone in this.  Lots of writers confess on writing sites that they love writing but hate marketing.  If they leave a link to their work, I usually check it out and I’ve found quite a lot of these writers have written great books, which I’ve been happy to buy, read and review.

Readers don’t always want to know every detail of a writer’s life – many are simply looking for good books to read.  I’m probably never going to be a rich, famous writer, even though I think I write rather good novels.  I can only trust and hope that some people will seek them out, read and enjoy them for what they are.


6 thoughts on “I’m not a natural joiner

  1. I hate marketing! I’ve had two novels produced by three publishers before and I had eight plays professionally produced, so the idea of marketing yourself was a bit alien to me. And I really don’t feel comfortable with it. You have to tell folk to read your books. I was a librarian for years. I used to buy wonderful books for these libraries and there are far, far better books in the world than the ten I put on Kindle last year. I did this so I could get on with other things for a while (I’m a very committed meditator!), but this clicky clicky stuff really pulls you in. I tried to give up looking at reports, but only managed about thirteen days!!!

  2. Found this again and forgot I must have found it before I saw the comments and one is from me! Still a very nice and sincere post. But I must say the whole Kindle internet thing has given me more fun than I ever expected. And £23 so far after a year! Rich, I tell you! I’m going to be rich! Riches beyond your wildest dreams! But I did love writing. I might get back to that kind of thing instead of all this clicky, clicky stuff. You need a pencil and a bit of paper, if I remember right!]

  3. Yes, John – I do understand where you are coming from. For myself, I was in on the birth of the digital age many years ago when the university department I worked in made an early changeover from punched cards to direct date input onto a huge nuclear physics computer database. Since then, I’ve been clicky clicky, apart from stuff like examinations at the end of some university course. I have only been part of the digital book scene since last June, so not a quite a year yet for me, though I’m really surprised at the various new skills I’ve picked up over the past twelve months.

    As for becoming rich beyond my wildest dreams, well, that’s what it is – a dream. Do dreams come true? We’ll have to wait and see…

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