Consciously Unskilled: Ferreting Out the “I Don’t Know What I Don’t Knows”

Recently I attended a Mindsets and Behaviors training course for my day job. A two day session, I found the topics absolutely fascinating. Discussions included personalities, our own and our peers’, interaction, and the concept of adult learning. Basically, it goes like this:

Unconsciously Unskilled –> Consciously Unskilled –> Consciously Skilled –> Unconsciously Skilled

I refer to this process indirectly in another blog post, Freelance to Fiction, Learning to be an Author.

It’s a process we don’t really think about, but it’s one we’ve all gone through, numerous times. It really got me thinking about my experiences in the last year as a published author, in particular regarding marketing.woodland-656969__180

We all have a lot to learn, and I’m finding myself in the Consciously Unskilled category for right now, and attempting to become for the foreseeable future, somewhat Consciously Skilled.

When I finished my second book, I took a few weeks off from writing to turn my attention to marketing, knowing this was an area in which I unskilled. I also was very motivated to learn as much as I could, as I’d just signed a three book deal for my new paranormal romance series. I had lots of questions – how was marketing a series different from marketing a single title? How could I do better than I did for the first book? And most importantly, I was on a mission to ferret out the “I don’t know what I don’t knows’, if you know what I mean.

On a side note, I want to take a moment to thank my fellow Soul Mate authors, Samanthya Wyatt and Erin Riley, for some discussions that took place on the loop, and via email about Twitter. Your questions were, in part, the catalyst for what became a reading frenzy for me about all things book marketing.

What’ve I learned? LOL – there’s a whole lot more to learn. But here are some of the takeaways I’d like to share:

Taking time to meet folks in person. Taking the time to call the local libraries, go to the local shops, hand out SWAG, find out about book clubs. Recently, a local book club invited me back to their last meeting before summer, and I was touched, and happy to meet new members, and talk with old friends. An excellent resource, for all things related to book marketing, written in easy to understand, step by step language. Articles, guides, and his book, Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book. The focus is his Connection system, and it focuses on connecting with readers, spreading your ideas, and using your writing to add value to people’s lives. A must read.

Twitter How To – Yeah, I tweeted, but I didn’t understand how to compose a tweet, who, or how to follow, or when to tweet. Here’s a great guide, if I may say so:

Note: Twitter is my preference, over Facebook, though I’m on there as well.

As I learned how to be a better Tweep, I discovered all sorts of interesting blogs and people and started to interact, and found some great resources. I’ve learned so much, and gained a lot of followers along the way, which, to me, is a cool side benefit. I still haven’t taken part in a Twitter chat, but it’s on my list. See:

I took time to work on presenting a unified theme on all of my author platforms – website, Twitter, Facebook and blog.

Evernote – I have come to depend on this wonderful organizational tool for capturing all of my research, ideas, notes, to do’s – you name it. Yep, I have it on my iPad, iPhone and I can access it online. A big thank you to author Kim Hotzon for bringing this to my attention!

Cool Tools worth mentioning: SumoMe, Pixabay, Canva, Click to Tweet, Buffer, Hootsuite

There’s much more, but those are some of the biggies. Since this is going to be my last post for the Soul Mate blog, I’d like to wish you all the best with your writing and marketing efforts, and close with an inspirational story from a video we watched at the two day training.

A photographer from National Geographic talked about how so many people found so much wrong with the world; that was all they could see. He chose to focus on what was right with the world, through his pictures. As he went on his journey, traveling all over the world taking pictures, he found himself challenging his old thought process: if he could see it, then he would believe it. Instead, he came to discover that if he believed it, he would see it.

Powerful stuff. I think being an author is an amazing blessing that’s changed my life in so many ways, and to completely embrace the blessing, it requires shifting my paradigm, just as the photographer did. I’m in the journey for the long haul, moving toward becoming Unconsciously Skilled. I believe it. And I’m seeing it.

I hope you do too.

As an author, what have you delved into, to move from Unconsciously Unskilled to Unconsciously Skilled?

P.S. I’m busy crafting characters for my new Crossing Realms paranormal romance series -Click here to get a sneak peek at The Keeper, the first book in the series, coming late 2015!

Catch up with me at my personal blog, at I’d love to hear from you!

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4 Responses to Consciously Unskilled: Ferreting Out the “I Don’t Know What I Don’t Knows”

  1. This is great. I had never thought of skill sets this way!

    • neelyr says:

      Hi! Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your comments 🙂 I know, me either – it was a very interesting look at the process.

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