Everyone loves making resolutions for the New Year. Everything seems so possible before the ball drops over Times Square—you will go to the gym three times a week! You will watch an art film or documentary for every blockbuster or B-horror trash flick you consume! You will keep your house cleaner, make sure your kid spends equal amounts of time outdoors and on his iPad, try to cook a new dish every week, go on dates with your spouse more often… the list goes on.
Personal goals are great, don’t get us wrong—but you should also be making professional resolutions. And unlike personal resolutions, which can be as pie-in-the-sky as you like, your professional resolutions should be achievable, and specifically targeted to grow your business in the way you want it to grow.
When you own a business, be it large or small, there are a host of strategy guides, books, and other resources full of ideas on how you might want to expand or grow. Unfortunately, if your business is writing, there are far fewer clear-cut paths to getting where you want to be. If there’s one thing we can say for sure about being a successful writer, it’s that no two writers’ success stories are alike. Everyone takes their own path to the place they want to be—and it may be a straight one, or one full of detours, road blocks, and bumpy patches.
There are a few things all writers should consider, however—including cultivating an online presence. Online presence is crucial for writers in this day and age, be they traditionally or self-published. Readers want to “get to know” the authors of their books; they also want to keep abreast of the latest news. Therefore, we here at Clockpunk Studios want to encourage you to cultivate an online presence in 2015.
But how?, you may ask, if you’re one of the writers out there who needs to do more online. Well, just look around you! Authors have all different approaches to cultivating an online presence. Joe Abercrombie blogs about his works-in-progress, sure, but he gets an incredible response to his tweeting of lines from his 1-star reviews. Chuck Wendig blogs about the writerly process, but he also gets on Facebook and asks questions of his fans—“What did I get you for Christmas?” “What new album should I buy?” and so on. Cherie Priest religiously records her metrics when it comes to her latest books, and Joyce Carol Oates muses darkly on all matters on Twitter. And as for George R.R. Martin, well… he still uses LiveJournal, but it doesn’t matter what Mr. Martin does, because he’s George R.R. Martin.
Even if you’re not a Joe Abercrombie, George R.R. Martin, or Joyce Carol Oates, online presence will work for you. Consistently updating your blog and keeping your website active will ensure there’s something out there when someone Googles you. Cultivating a personality on Twitter or Facebook will help fans and future readers “get to know” you, and keep them all up-to-date when it comes to your new releases, in whatever form they take.
We urge you to add “cultivate an online presence in 2015” to your professional resolutions. Happy New Year!