Readers – Who Cares?

The cat mooching for food is Plan K.

The cat mooching for food is Plan K.

There’s a popular saying that I’m quite fond of – dance as if no-one’s watching…

I like to follow that advice myself, but as I tend to dance mostly in my own living room, no-one is watching anyway. Unless you count Google Maps’ sneaky satellite cameras beaming into our homes and my own peculiar moves might turn those cameras off right away anyway.

Let’s adapt that saying though – what about ‘write as if no-one is reading’? Or more importantly, as if you don’t particularly care if anyone does? I admit, defensiveness does motivate me here. “So, three trillion people aren’t reading my blogs – ah well, who cares anyway? I don’t need three trillion folks to read and comment on what I write.” That kind of thing y’know.

I love writing. It’s why I left my safe, well-paid office job and launched myself into the foolhardy venture of carving out a career as a full time writer. Plan A is that I complete the book I started last year (hey, two thirds of the way through), manage to get it published and it sells in sufficient quantities for me to make a living from it. The path to book selling, though, is littered with broken dreams and insane folks flogging books no-one knows about it, no-one reads and no-one buys.

So there’s Plan B too. Write a book, get it published and sell it in small quantities whilst also supplementing my income through freelance writing opportunities a la elance.com and people per hour.com.

Plans C and D also exist. Plan E is get a full-time job office job once more. Maybe I should make it Plan Z instead and figure out a few more creative options for how I can make money before that one has to be launched…

Create the world’s first paint-on non-orange fake tan? Make films of the cat mooching for food and turn him into a YouTube sensation, resulting in sponsorship from giant cat food manufacturer? Establish an online vintage shoe company? Write a diet book based purely on anecdotal evidence and with no scientific backing whatsoever?

But back to that writing for yourself malarkey. I’ll reference Joe Warnimont here, as that’s one of the messages he promotes. And if you aren’t actively trying to promote your blog (Facebook, Twitter, endlessly liking and commenting on other people’s stuff, finding guest bloggers, posting links to your blog on Q&A forums etc), then you can tackle any subject you want. I tried niche blogging – if you’ve ever Google-d anything relating to diet and fitness, you’ll realise why niche blogging is so incredibly popular – but my gnat-attention span wore out by post three and I soon resorted back to writing about anything which took my fancy that day.

My original understanding of a blog was that it was some kind of online diary. Blogging isn’t really about that any more – it’s about raising awareness, marketing your business, creating fresh content for your website, increasing traffic to websites and making money. Hey ho! For the moment, I’ll keep on writing as if no-one is reading. Creative fulfilment comes in many forms.

Ah, the thrill of the blank page...

Ah, the thrill of the blank page…

Ooh, phone the boss; it’s Thursday morning and I’m pulling a sickie…

That’ll be a quick phone call to myself then. Yup, I am now the boss of me having waved a fond, slightly manic farewell to almost 20 years of office employment, regular wages and financial security. The paid sickie day (and the paid holiday for that matter) no longer exists.

As it is early days yet in the world of self-employment, I greeted the arrival of this morning with delight (before rolling over for another small snooze, as the tyranny of the daily commute no longer applies).

Hello brave new world – another writer wishes to join you and wonders what to do next. As I am a top procrastinator, I’ve come up with the following list of the best things to do to delay real work:

  1. Write to do lists (oh joy, updating my blog after a long absence was on the list so there’s one item ticked off already
  2. Start up a Twitter account – hey, Twitter is awash with procrastinating writers
  3. Tidy up the spare room and turn it into an office, complete with a proper filing system
  4. Do wedding-related stuff (actually, this isn’t procrastinating seeing as I am getting married in exactly four weeks’ time eeks, eeks where did all the time go and why have I yet to make a decision on the cake, my hair, what I wear on my head..?)
  5. Update social media profiles – hey I’m at home and I’m available for all kinds of writing, proofing, editing work and the odd voiceover…
  6. Plan what to have for lunch and dinner, admittedly this can take up as lot more time than it should and can involve several detours through bakery websites and blogs
  7. Put the washing out/iron shirts/clean the bathroom (insert your household chore of choice).
  8. Write another list of luxury items you can no longer buy (magazines, premium skincare, a foundation to add to the collection of eight or so I already possess and blasted DIET COKE).
  9. Phone a friend or two with angst-related ‘what am I doing, will this work out, do you think I’m insane…?’ woes.
  10. And finally – read other people’s blogs! There are marvellous examples out there and if you look to the right you’ll see just some of them!