The UPS and DOWNS of Content Creation
This is very meta; I’m writing about the thing I am doing at the same moment.
Although I consider myself a writer and novelist, what I have to confess I really am, in today's lingo, is a content creator. (But not an influencer, which seems like a euphemism for pitchman.)
I have several outlets for this content: three blogs (this one and two free ones.) A podcast. Several books out, including a popular OER on public speaking (not all my work, though). Research publications, and teaching materials.
Lots of effort, and very little audience and even less money!
Yet I keep doing it; and one has to keep doing it, or not do it at all. This morning, a Saturday, I have already posted eight "essays" to the Internet, and tonight I will revise my ninth novel. I hope to do three podcast interviews this week.
Ironically, I do not post to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook very much or at all. Why?
Twitter is a cesspool of people who will attack you for anything. If I posted an innocuous photo of my dogs I would get criticism from some wise guy about their being neutered, or that Butter looks fat (he's not, I took him to the vet yesterday), or something. I really do not understand why people subject themselves to Twitter.
Facebook is about friends, and short posts. I like to finish an argument I'm making (or observations).
Instagram is about photos, which I have to borrow from Creative Commons usually.
YouTube: videos, and I don't want my mug plastered all over the place (it already is too much).
Snapchat: too ephemeral.
To be a content creator, one must create content. Regularly. As in several times a week. My podcast is on a hiatus and no one is listening. Folks only consume content that is fresh (sort of like a yellow banana v. a brown one).
To be a content creator, one must have something to say. Hey, that's me. I take the Constanza approach to Festivus here: "This is the airing of grievances--I have a lot of problems with you people, and you're going to here about 'em!"
To be a content creator, one must have something to say of benefit to others: (scratch that last one, then). And this is where I fail, often. If you want to read my "stuff" to know me or be entertained or get a different view, it's there. Only about half of them are of immediate or long-term informational benefit. Some I am just trying to be cute or funny, like my observations that "homeless pets" is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp or military security (I am writing this while a Chinese balloon flies over the Eastern U.S.!)
And finally, to be a content creator (a successful one), one must be a shameless and shameful self-promoter. It has to be one's life, one's calling card, one's identity, one's way of introducing oneself. I am not there.
I recently heard that editors in the past didn't believe a person could write a good novel until they have written a million words. Well, I have--much more than that. Probably two million of prose and fiction. So I should get my due, right?
Maybe soon. Colorful Crow Publishing likes me, they really like me, to quote Sally Field,and is publishing my eighth novel. I hope this is the beginning of a longer relationship.