Saturday, July 02, 2011

Social Media and The Reluctant Writer

Today I tried to learn how to tweet.

This is another step I am trying to incorporate in as a writer. This is after I started a Facebook page, and set up a Website.

It is stressing me out.

I used to think writing involved...well...writing. I have struggled with improving my writing. I am working on my grammar, getting rid of passive voice, pumping up my characters, layering emotion, setting.....that's after I grasped the intricacies of plot and story arcs.

Just as I thought I had it together, I realized, I was far, far behind.

I can't seem to catch up.

I look up writers that I enjoy. They tweet. They blog. They post on Facebook. How do they work? If they have day jobs--how do they write? Take care of their families?

Many give up sleep. (I know I asked).

Others just don't have to sleep. (I wish I didn't have to...and could still think!)

Still others are gifted with this amazing ability to do it all.

I am not one of those people.

So what can a writer do? Give up? No. The trick is to do one thing at a time. I've decided to check my website email once a week at least. I will check Facebook daily. Tweeting....every three days. My website, monthly.

Is this a perfect solution. No. but its one that I can work with.

How are you dealing with the social media and writing? Are you setting aside time to do this? Or are you just pretending its not there until you are ready?

Personally, I'm a bit bumfuzzled by it all.


Lisa Dunick said...

I don't think there are any real rules for unpublished writers. I know I've read people who think that they have to build some kind of major platform before someone (agent or editor) will take their book, but I think that if the work is good, and it finds the right person, it's not going to matter if you have 2 tweeps or 2 million.
That said, I'm on facebook b/c it's how I keep in touch w/ distant friends. And I started using Twitter b/c I wanted to see what agents and other writers have to say. I like the 1k1h challenges, and little by little there are more and more writers that I interact with, but for the most part, I don't see it as anything more than that. Maybe if I ever get a book published I'll take it more seriously as a way to promote the book and my "brand" (whatever that means). But right now I don't have anything to promote, and I see it for what it is, an enjoyable way to waste time.

Carla Swafford said...

Sounds like you're handling it right, Mary. My motto is, "Don't do it if it interferes with your writing."

M.V.Freeman said...

I have to agree. I personally am trying to learn a bit about it so its not such a culture shock. Like you, its the only I can keep in touch with my friends/Family that live far away.
Now, "brand" is a whole other ball of wax I'm not even going to contemplate. *sigh*

M.V.Freeman said...

I agree with you as well. It is so easy to get caught up in things that isn't writing..and as an unpubbed writer like myself I need to guard my writing time jealously.
Heck, even published writers, like yourself have to.

Have you seen a increase of having to use social media more now that you are going to be published?

Carla Swafford said...

Not so far, Mary. When I have a title for my book and a release date I'm sure I'll do some promoting on Twitter and Facebook. But like I've read (, RWR, RT?) An author's tweets, status and posts shouldn't be about when their book is coming out and to buy, buy, buy.

A good example of doing it right is Christy Reece and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Of course, I love them both and a little bias, but they share a little about their personal lives without telling too much and talk about other things besides their own books.

Brand: I had to comment on that too. A sweet lady I know who writes as Renee Andrews now talked to our group about that a few years ago.

Brand is one or both of the following.

The color/print scheme of your books, (that's why you can spot your favorite author's book. Renee's books, under her old name, had glitter on the design).

The type of books (comedy, horror, hot, etc.)

I'm probably forgetting another thing that can be an author's brand, but you get the idea.

Carla Swafford said...

That should read "An author's tweets, status and posts shouldn't be ALL about when their book is coming out and to buy, buy, buy."

Lisa Dunick said...

If you want a good example of an author who makes Twitter work for her instead of just doing shameless promo, take a look at Kiersten White.

M.V.Freeman said...

Carla- you make excellent points!! Thank you. I agree with what you say. I am trying to keep an eye on other writers- heck any one in the creative business to see what/how they are doing things.

M.V.Freeman said...

Lisa, I'm going to have to follow Kiersten to she how she does it. I appreciate greatly the suggestion!