Wanted: New Approach to Balancing Marketing, Writing, Oh and Yes, Life – By Nancy Houser-Bluhm

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Today, I am—like many who are reading this post—juggling writing my next novel, while marketing my last (Whispers for Terra). I don’t know about each of you, but I live quietly in a state of overwhelmedness (if that’s not a word, it needs to be). A 4-wheeling Jeep term is ‘go as fast as you can, slow as you must.’ How quickly do I need to write to not lose my readers; how slowly must I write to not lose my mind?  

It seems the list of marketing strategies that will catapult me to notoriety grows longer with each day. Know your reader. Become a master of social media. Join similarly minded groups. Network and sprinkle in the perfect dose of self-promotion. Submit to award contests. Subscribe here, subscribe there. The newbie marketer can make the mistake of throwing a can of paint on a wall and ending up with a mess versus a piece of art.

My head feels like it’s on constant swivel with every new idea presented. Who doesn’t get 20 emails a day with offers for free webinars on writer’s craft, advertising your book, or other marketing opportunities? If you don’t, I want your inbox and your strength to never subscribe.        

BookBub, GoodReads, BookNetwork, ShelfAwareness, NetGalley… the list goes on. Then there are the thousand little nudging questions and issues…how do I update my Amazon Author page? Why did Canva change their home page? Crap, it’s the 29th of the month, don’t forget the newsletter and blog, and oh, should I re-do my cover? I must try IG Reels to increase exposure.

If there’s a day during which it is all under control, LIFE dares to rear its head. What? I forgot to pay my Visa bill, when does the Apple+ subscription expire, and did I feed my dog today? As I emerge from my mind’s cave, look up and look around, the world looms large as guilt seeps in for placing my cultural engagement in the backseat.

When you see me walking down the street, I appear to be a poised, well-put-together person, in full control. Look closely: you will see a twinkle of disheveled crazy in my eye. This author’s journey has me feeling like Brendan Fraser walking out into his new world in Blast from the Past. Dramatic changes to his world cause so much to absorb and to understand.

As a biker who loves the climb, I have lived my adult life with the mantra ‘Keep your head down and pedal.’ It worked when I had 20 reports to write in 30 days as a Speech Pathologist offering others the best anti-anxiety strategy: never flip the planner page beyond two weeks. It was the writer’s equivalent of ‘stay in the step you’re in.’ Head down and pedal continued to work when I was writing my novel and when I was working through the 300 steps to self-publishing.

You are possibly thinking, “Whoa, this woman is cycling off the cliff.” To my own credit, I have been on podcasts, done book signings, checked off many marketing boxes. The same is true for most of you. We are doing great work. It is the din of inner noise and chaos leading me to realize that ‘head down and pedal’ simply is no longer adequate. I need a new life mantra allowing me to drop in and glide between book marketing, writing, and yes, that funny thing called life.

Seriously, I am now accepting new life mantra submissions.

[Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash]

This month’s guest blogger, Nancy Houser-Bluhm, hails from Michigan but has been seeing faces in the trees of her Colorado foothills home for 20+ years. Although a writer most of her life, it was after retiring as a Speech Pathologist that Nancy found time to write her first novel, Whispers for Terra, which beckons you to walk with Mary as she finds her voice, her purpose, and her tribe while discovering the magic in the woods. Visit her at http://nancyhouserbluhm.com.

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