You don't have to do it all

I love social media. It helps me feel connected to the rest of the writing world and not so isolated all the way out here in west Texas. I learn, I connect, I help, and get motivated with my tribe.

But it also has a way of making me feel like I'm missing the boat.

That's right. Social media is giving me a serious case of Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO has hit me hard lately in the form of conferences. I'm seeing lots of my author friends post about all these really fun conferences and reader events they are attending. And my desire to try to attend all the conferences rears its ugly head.
Accurate representation of me thinking I can do everything
 Last week I was half-way through Googling at least a dozen different conferences before I finally knocked some sense into myself.

Hard truth coming at you: You don't have to do all the things.

Yes, conferences and other events can be fun. But they can also be expensive and draining on your creative juices and writing time. They also strongly reward authors with lots of books out. That is not where I am right now. And even if I did sport a big back list, I still couldn't attend every conference that sounds good.

And the list doesn't stop at conferences. I feel like we, as authors, put a lot of pressure on ourselves to hit other goals like getting short listed for awards, getting into libraries, having your book qualify for AR readers, attending reader lists or getting on Goodreads lists. The number of  ways we try to make ourselves relevant goes on and on.

I'm here today, proudly declaring that it is okay to miss out on some things. While you should definitely do what you can to market yourself and your books, you don't have to do it all. All you absolutely shouldn't compare what you are doing for marketing to other authors. We can use social media to learn from each other, but we need to stop using it as a measuring stick.

There's probably nothing I can do about my case of FOMO, but I am going to go into 2016 trying to focus on my own personal journey instead of aiming for another author's accomplishments. I hope you'll do the same.