At best, addressing the other jobs a writer is required to do took up an occasional discussion in the writing courses I have completed. I don’t mean day jobs either. I mean the promotion, blogs, virtual or real reader engagement and blurbs that take up so much time.
Of course bios are ubiquitous and get their separate mention. Almost every place anyone can submit a story to will ask for some details and perhaps even a photo. Bios can be from 50 words to pages long. In addition, no single bio fits all opportunities. Just like job applications, each bio must be adjusted for tone, length and appropriateness. For more formal publications I emphasise my qualifications; for the SF market I link to publications in that genre; for publications where the tone is more fun I might reference my blog posts about Doctor Who rather than my lyrical essay reviewing a criticism masterclass. All this is learned through trial, practice, reading and imitation. And even then it takes time and sometimes doesn’t work.
What takes up more time, but is perhaps more rare, are the chances to go more in-depth and reflect on writing through interviews or in written pieces.
With more words to express interests and talk about the work, comes more responsibility to not muck up. It’s about balancing the public with the private. Sometimes, stories are as personal as writers want to get, even if they are not biographical works. However, the fact that some publications care enough to ask about the hows and whys is nice and such an opportunity should be respected.
While publication opportunities for short stories and flash fiction are almost boundless, attention can difficult to gain without spending every spare minute annoying feeds with promotional tweets and posts. And more often than not, the writers who only tweet promotions are annoying and I question their success. Social Media is about being social and also attempting to engage with other people, otherwise it would be called Selling Media. Maybe.
Beside my pet hate about deluges of nothing but promotional tweets from writers, my point is the peripheral writing tasks writers perform take time. When I’m here talking to you, I’m not over there, finishing my endlessly unfinished NaNoWriMo thing.
Now, here’s my promotion of my very official sounding Author Profile over at Fewer than 500. I know, I know, I mean, while I get frustrated by communication that is all about selling something, I still want people to read my stuff too. Plus, like I was saying, it took me ages with the drafts and edits.
So yeah, thanks:)