On Marketing and Writing

Are we doing this? Are we really talking about business? I guess we are. Hi!

I was chatting to Imo (my Imaginary friend) about my business when he asked me:

“Where would you invest if you had *all the money*?

My reply:

“I would hire someone to do the marketing for me. It gets in the way of my writing”.

Boom. Truth.

Indeed. I hadn’t realised just how much the “marketing” brain blocks the “writing” brain.

Let’s see if I can explain this better…


What does marketing mean to me?

It means…

  • Touting your own horn.
  • Trying to get people to check out your awesomeness.
  • Presenting what you do in terms people can understand.
  • Finding how your Thing benefits Your People. And telling them.
  • Making your Thing extra, extra shiny and exciting. Or “covering” your Thing with Extra Shiny and Exciting paint… Or setting up signs that read Extra Shiny here and point to your Thing.

If only it were just that, though… It’s also:

  • Finding out what your stats are (and that’s always depressing)
  • Tweeting or Facebooking things, only to see how little response you get.
  • Panicking about how nobody cares, nobody cares, nobody cares.
  • Panicking about how nothing I do makes a difference, so what’s the point.


And here I walk straight into Writer’s Block.

Because why would I sit down to write if there’s no point?

And then I panic some more, because I realise I am not… “producing” enough content and therefore I cannot “market” anything.

Also, if I can’t write, then I can’t sell anything. So more panic.


What does writing mean to me?
  • Putting thoughts together. Thinking things through. Discovering things through putting thoughts together.
  • Playing around. Fooling around. Goofing. Entertainment. Play.
  • Making my own ideas “important”. Expressing myself, getting parts of my creative self out.
  • Writing what I would like to read. (YEAH!) Writing “myself” into the world’s knowledge, as I feel I’m never represented by any of the writing out there.
  • Creating. Making something. Something is made out of nothing. That’s amazing.

Writing is hard enough. Yes, yes it is.

I do not need the “extra” pressure of wondering whether people will like it, or how I can get people to like it, or how I can explain it better.

Havi says that you don’t have to define what you do. And that it’s really easy to stop working on your thing and get obsessed with learning how to talk about it. That’s marketing for you.

But if you obsess about the “marketing” part, you never get to the “writing” part.

I have been so caught up in following the business advice of “define what you do” that I’ve stopped doing it.

Marketing cannot be my priority.

Writing is my priority. Writing is what I do.

So here’s my new strategy

I have made progress in internalising this idea of Havi’s: “you need to destuckify if you want to biggify”.

In other words, “you need to work with your stuff if you wanna get anywhere in business”.

Also known as “work in the heart and in the soft”.

Known by some of us as working with this: “GAAAH! I’m afraid of everything I wanna do! I can’t sell things, I can’t talk to people, I can’t make a podcast, I can’t speak in public, I’M DOOMED!!!”.

So here’s my new strategy:

  • Most of my time has to go into working in the soft. Working with my stuff. MY FEARS. That sort of thing.
  • Then, I gotta work on WRITING. The actual thing. Bringing more essence. Writing more. Bringing more joy.
  • Then, there’s the “marketing” piece. Only AFTER I do the above, I can get to the “explaining what I do” part.

Now that I look at it from this side, isn’t it obvious? You can’t market if you haven’t got WHAT to market.


(*Yes, that’s a Helga-ism)



Share if you dare!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pocket
Share on whatsapp

Subscribe To The Newsletter

Get my blog posts straight in your mailbox


Personal Practice

Let the Light Reach You

The challenge facing us right now is this: we must find a way to keep going while we hold the suspicion that everything in our lives will get worse.
We must practice finding the light inside us.

Read More »