3 Reasons You Can't Do It All

When it comes to marketing ourselves and our work, there are a lot of different options available to us. Next week, I'm starting a new series that highlights a different social media site and lists links to the experts on how to use them. As writers, it's tempting to try every new shiny thing that comes around, but that can be a recipe for disaster. So before you dive in and try to tackle everything, keep in mind that you can't do it all, no matter how much coffee you drink. Here are three reasons why it's okay not to do it all.

My favorite coffee mug. It says "Behold the power of caffeine".

1. There aren't enough hours in the day
Even if you are a superstar who only needs 4 hours of sleep a night and had no other obligations, you still can't do it all. There are just too many options out there for ways to market yourself and your work. And don't forget that you have to write still.

You'd be better off setting aside a specific amount of time every day or each week dedicated to marketing. For me, I like to get on all my social media sites first thing in the morning. Checking in with everyone makes me feel connected to the writing community and gives me a boost of confidence to get my writing done. But I know that by 10am, I need to shut it off and get to work.

2. You can't be an expert in that many areas
Participating in dozens of marketing efforts means trying to master a lot of areas. You may be okay or even good in these areas, but it's doubtful you'll be outstanding in all of them. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to be outstanding.

Instead, pick a few things to focus on. Become amazing in these areas. You can always change your mind and branch out later, but keep your focus narrow to start. 

3. Eventually, something has to give
Even if you are able to keep up with a blog, FB, Twitter, guest posts, 6 different forums, book club, a weekly paper column and that new editing service you started, it can't last. When we start new endeavors, everything is bright and shiny so the newness tends to give us a bit more energy and enthusiasm. But it can't last. At some point, you will run out of steam and then something has to give.

As a writer, your brain is a hot commodity. A  professional athlete who over-trains risks permanent injury that can put them out of the game, and writers are no different. If you burn out, you may have to take a break from everything just to get your feet under you again. The only thing worse than doing too much marketing is doing none at all. Don't let yourself get to that point.

Now that you have permission to not do it all, I hope you enjoy the new series. The goal is for all of us (myself included) to learn enough about all the options available to us as writers, so we can make an informed decision about where to spend our time.