Marketing, a necessary pain?

Last autumn I went on writing course run by Patricia Mullin at The Sainsbury Centre in the University of East Anglia. This was a fun and positive experience and Patricia packed in an immense amount of information and writing practise and managed our diverse group in the gentlest, most effective way. She has kindly posted a guest blog from me on her website:

One October day I found myself, aged 52, standing on top of a telegraph pole. Below me the rest of my ‘team’, five youngsters half my age, two of them clinging to the free end of my safety harness, were urging me to jump. At eye level to my right, but way out of reach, dangled the bar of a trapeze.

Another 867 words at Patricia’s blog

Tackling the writer’s To Do list

Finally, I have faced the list on my desk. Actually this is a rolling list, I tick off some things, then as the page fills up, I start a clean sheet and roll the undone items forward. Some things have been there for months because… they are all to do with marketing and I find them somewhat embarrassing.

Today’s task was to wipe out the list so, among other things, I have joined goodreads.com, and I have accepted an invitation (which may by now have lapsed) to be interviewed as a Sunday Guest on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life. I have ducked on asking my old college if they want to do a piece on my last novel in their newsletter (previously another person has done this on my behalf and I lack the chutzpah to ask them myself). I will do this for my forthcoming, more academic, non-fiction book. The list is now empty.

Why, oh why is this so difficult?

I have spent a happy three weeks doing DIY, lining our 9″ solid brick walls with 4mm fleece, doing really tricksy measuring and cutting.DSCN6936 DSCN6939 I have the fortune to be able to choose what I do. I could be happy all the time, gardening, doing DIY, reading, going Lindy Hopping, or to the opera and I have endless other occupations, so why write, publish and have to market books? Do I think I have something so important to say that others have not already said? (no) Would I become bored after all without the writing? (possibly) Would I think less of myself if I didn’t attempt this challenge? (probably). Do I secretly enjoy it?… Actually, no secret, I definitely enjoy parts of it. I love the challenge and the project aspect of the work (that’s another whole post). I just hate marketing…  (Enough of the confessional).

While I was thus occupied, winter made its usual erratic visit to the UK. DSCN6985 DSCN6986 We may get another few inches tomorrow, or it may all have disappeared. Who can say.