The crashing tides of social media, where many voices urge us writers to use the many online streams as tool for self-promotion, have made it hard for me to hear another, stronger voice that has been speaking inside me.
It says: ”Don’t worry. Just write.”
Every time I panic that I haven’t blogged or tweeted enough, that I haven’t branded myself powerfully, there it is, a gentle sigh, a feather brush:
Don’t worry. Just write.
It’s not that I don’t believe in social media. Self-promotion is clearly important in this new dawn of publishing. Connecting and branding are real and make a quantifiable difference in selling books and getting read.
But there’s nothing to promote if we don’t write it.
And when I say writing, I mean connecting with your deep inner stories, using them to discover and transform yourself and others, and releasing them to the page. THAT is the most real thing you can be doing as a writer, the reason for doing all the rest of it.
And if you, like me, ever find yourself overwhelmed by the effort of standing up and announcing your presence on your lonely shore, then I exhort you to come to the same conclusion:
Don’t Worry. Just Write.
When I stop to ask myself about my purpose in life when I’m feeling unmoored or unsure, I just look back to the beginning. I’ve been writing stories since I was 8 years old. Those first ones were written in pencil on lined binder paper with no awareness that one day I’d have such a thing as an online presence, much less a computer I could hold in my hand. So, as I begin to turn down the noise on all the other voices, and listen to the voice telling me not to worry, just write, you’ll see the nature of my posts here changing. I’ll be writing more, doing everything else less. But it will be real.
Be real with me.