In My Next Life, I Want to Be Dean Koontz

Okay. I admit it. I’m incredibly jealous of Dean Koontz. It’s not just his prodigious talent and prolific success as a writer. It’s also that he still writes on an old Commodore word processor. He’s never bothered to learn how to do email. If he needs to send a message, he simply writes it out and gives it to an assistant to send.

Somehow, I don’t think Koontz spends a lot of his day worrying about building his platform on social media. My guess is he focuses on doing the thing that he really loves—writing.

Those of us who came to professional writing a few decades later don’t have that luxury. Technology has changed, the publishing world has changed, and we writers are now charged with becoming guerilla entrepreneurs who must create a social media presence and “buzz” if we have any hopes of a solid career. It’s not enough to write good books. We need to schmooze, tweet, and Instagram our way to building a fan base with whom we regularly interact.

Some of this is actually fun, of course, even for an introvert. I’ve been enjoying doing a weekly blog on my web site (well, it’s writing, after all), and I love hearing from readers and engaging with them.

But if I’m really, really honest, I’d have to admit that there are those days when I’m trying to do the marketing-self-promotion part of the job, and a little voice inside me is plaintively whispering, “I’d so much rather be writing!”

Of course, I don’t know too many folks who like all aspects of their jobs. And I do appreciate how lucky I am to be pursuing work I’m genuinely passionate about.

In my next life, however, I really wouldn’t mind being Dean Koontz.

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