I didn't get a cell phone until 2009.
I don't have a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad.
I don't even have a computer. (Okay, this last one's not true, but it helps me make my point.)
For the most part, I've approached technology with the mindset that if it isn't broken, don't fix it. As a writer starting out ten years ago, I wanted to write a good book, send it to a literary agent, have the agent find me a publisher, and then have the publisher get the book to my favorite book store. This model worked for other people, and I figured it would work for me.
As I learned more about the current publishing climate, though, I understood that I needed to be more willing to promote myself. So, I started a blog. That was fun! I met people I liked exchanging ideas with. I liked the support system.
But, then I was learning that there was more to blogging than just blogging.
You could, for example, respond to other people's comments. You could have blog tours. You could have blog awards. Slowly, I forced myself to learn about each of these things. Then, Facebook came along.
There were people promoting their books all over the place. I set up a Facebook account. I found "friends." I set up a Twitter account. I talked about things like peanut butter and book shelves. But, you know what? Book trailers came along. eBooks came along. Goodreads came along.
It was very overwhelming for me to educate myself about these many different avenues through which writers could sell themselves. I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out which route was the best one to take. For me, this led to paralysis. For three years I couldn't decide if I wanted to self-publish or publish through a publishing house. I couldn't decide if I wanted an agent or if I should try to find an editor on my own or if I should publish on my own. I couldn't even decide on what I wanted to write after being told no one buys short story collections or novellas or epics or books written in third person omniscient. While I continued to write through this frustrating time, I stopped making any effort to make my work available to the people who mattered to me most: readers. I was doing everything and nothing. All possibilities tempted me, but I couldn't commit to any one because I was always afraid that another path was better.
Finally, though, I've come to understand something. The thing I'd been searching for, the "right" choice, didn't exist. I had fooled myself. Instead, what I was facing was a series of viable paths, some of them diverging for a while, some of them converging again. And, what was key for me to realize was that there was no end point to any of these paths. In other words, I had been trying to reach a destination that didn't exist.
It's not, "Choose the right way to publish and everything will work out." Rather, it's more like, "What worked for someone today may or may not work for someone else tomorrow." And, the equally important, "What didn't work for someone today may or may not work for someone else tomorrow." And, the equally equally important, "What may or may not work for someone today may or may not work for that same person tomorrow."
The path to success is a path, not a destination. Making yourself happy, sharing your art, or whatever your goals are, requires constant adjustment along this changing path. We will all be making decisions in our writing careers. I challenge you not to see those decisions as right or wrong, but as just another span in an ever-flowing path that is your writing career. It will ebb and flow but it will never freeze unless you let it.