Can we just throw out the phrase "aspiring writer" please?
If you write stuff, congratulations. You're a writer. There's no paperwork to fill out, no license application. If you write things down, you're a writer, end of story.
If you want people to read your stuff, you need to make it available to them in some form. Fantastic. You now have a readership. If it's good, your audience will grow.
While researching agents and publishing houses, I have read a lot of interviews and what to do and what to not do and what makes your query stand out and 'what are you looking for' articles, and all this talk of market and platform and online presence gives me the fucking creeps.
I read the work marketable and I want to throw up in my lap. I read the word platform and I seriously want to punch myself in the balls. I wrote this book because I thought I had something to say about art and life and addiction and masculinity and the strange, frustrating impulse we have to latch on to one another even though its not always in our own interest. I don't know how other people do it, but I wanted to show readers a little of myself, and maybe hold up a strange mirror so they can see themselves in my words too.
I am not against success. When Antiartists gets published, if it sells a million copies and becomes a huge Hollywood hit, that's awesome, just tell me where to sign. But it won't happen because I engage with people on social media, or harass my friends and neighbors to push it on to others. It will happen because I wrote well, I touched readers, I moved people. This digital world that people seem to believe we all live in is a dream. The digital world is filled with too much noise to ever send a clear signal out.
Does anyone remember organic growth? Are we all too busy worshiping the data gods that we forgot that relationships and hard work move people better than any marketing plan?
Writers write for many reasons, and maybe for some it's to hit it big and sell a million books and to spend your life managing your business, but that's a fucking long shot. If becoming JK Rowling is your five year plan, I wish you all the best, I really do. I just want to tell stories and share ideas.
But remember this though, you know the name Harry Potter not because she sent out tweet spam and bugged the shit out of people on Facebook. You know Harry Potter because something about his world, the world that Rowling created, moved people, made them believe, made them want more. She touched people with her words and ideas, not with her market share and trending.