I have started writing Blogs, reluctantly, I have to admit. As a new Author, this is supposed to be the thing to do, to help create a name for yourself. Twitter has regular posts for newbie Authors telling them the dos and don’ts. A Blog is a big do, do!
I love writing, so… this shouldn’t be a problem, right? In theory… no. In reality, it is in fact, an extra demand thrown upon a writer. Let me explain…
At 47 years of age, I have written my first book about a subject that I have studied and explored for over 30 years. It is the Occult, the Paranormal and everything else associated with the Esoteric or New Age, including comparative religion.
I have worked professionally in this world for over 15 years and have put many of my findings into practice. Therefore… I thought it was time to put it all into a series of books, with the aim to lift the veil of a most controversial subject.
Those that choose to work within this world belong to a variety of people whose intentions have been genuine and honourable. However, these kind-hearted people are overshadowed by a larger crowd. There are individuals within this following that will use their knowledge and at times, lack of knowledge to cause harm and create a bad name for those that truly mean well.
The world of the Paranormal attracts Charlatans but also those that have lost control over their mental ability. The latter group is even larger than the folk that try to extort money from the ignorant.
Exploitation isn’t an art that is solely practised with the Body, Mind and Spirit population.
Every organisation, club, society, profession, work or mainstream religious environment will suffer from similar dodgy types of people. The difference between the mundane, accepted practises and everything that is associated with the Alternative or Paranormal is that there are guidelines, schools providing education and qualifications. There are also a good set of laws and regulations to sift out these con-artists and deluded people. The world of the ‘mysteries’ has no such luxury. There is little organisation and to a large extent, it still is a ‘free for all’.
When the media reports on the supernatural or the alternative, it is often done by those that have absolutely no knowledge or little understanding about the subjects and this ignorance adds towards the ridicule or the negative image that some of the many practices have been labelled with.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, to be honest. After all, some of the great names that have added their knowledge to the Occult and other followings have also contributed to this negative image. Former members of the Golden Dawn having ‘magic wars’ and cursing each other in the street, doesn’t give an image of confidence. Secret Societies that act as a cover for fantastical sex games throw an entirely different light to notorious Alastair Crowley’s ‘Do what thou wilt’.
Mediums, psychics, healers, paranormal investigators, occultists, Wiccans, pagans, practitioners of alternative therapies, not one of them is without a negative taint.
It is a shame…
While science is rushing forward, people are losing faith (any faith), the imbalance between Body, Mind and Spirit increases. Science and Mainstream religion are restricted or have been corrupted by centuries of politics. While we are trying to find ourselves, the effects of our shaken beliefs are shown by our polluted environment, the increase in people suffering from mental disorders and… from a paranormal perspective… There is a significant increase in supernatural phenomena.
But… I digress… The Blog post is about why write a Blog post and why I find it such a chore…
As a yet to be published Author, I have the choice to find myself a Literary Agent or go Indie. Finding a Literary agent is as easy as winning the lottery. These good people are bombarded with thousands of manuscripts. Secondly, they follow a trend. Yup… it is a bit like fashion. What is popular or… let’s rephrase that… what does the Agent think is popular and will bring in the next Bestseller for them?
After all… it is a business. If you finally have been able to find one (which can take years.) The entire procedure will take at least another year before your book is finally published.
However, most agents would like to know that you are worth investing in. They expect you to have a website, hope that you are already collecting a great following from your Blogs, are active on a host of social media accounts and in the meantime… you still have to write your next bestseller while you are at it as well as writing tons of query letters.
The alternative is to go Indie… I don’t know about other authors but… despite being able to publish your own book on a shoestring, the more money you can invest, the bigger the chance is to get people to buy your book. Effective self-marketing is also a full-time job…
Therefore… all the expectations and good advice… is great, but… there isn’t enough time in the day. From my perspective… all I want to do is write book 2, 3 and 4. Each word I have typed up, to approach agents, sort out my marketing and all other issues that pop up that are part of the entire campaign is stopping me to really get going into writing my next volume.
I am what I would like to call, an expert in my chosen subject, who happens to write in an engaging manner. Therefore I can call myself a writer too but… I am not a marketing expert, I am not a sales person or a negotiator. Unfortunately, that is what is expected of you when you want to get published.
So… do I really want to write a Blog? Yeah… when I have the time. For now, I think I just dive back into what I am really good at, helping people… and to do so? I make sure book 2, 3 and 4 will follow book 1 as soon as possible.
If it is meant to be, it is meant to be but the more time I spend in trying to find an agent… is time lost that I could help that teenage girl deal with her sleep-paralysis or tell the person who hears voices what it really is and how to deal with them. I think that is far more important than joining yet another rat race.