Writers love to rant about the (undignified! soul-sucking!) task of social media promotion. I’m sure at some point I’ve used those very words (blush).
But here’s the thing: when you stop thinking about it as promotion, and give yourself permission to have fun, it’s kind of, well, fun.
Of course, I just started; my Facebook account is four years old, but my Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest accounts (not to mention this blog) are babies.
It’s funny—now that I’ve figured out how to format a blog, scan Flickr for Creative Commons photos and attribute them correctly, and quell the anxiety of hitting “publish” without the validation of an editor, I find that blogging doesn’t take much time. What takes time is researching topics like
- should fiction writers blog?
- what should fiction writers blog about?
- aren’t writers just blogging to other writers?
- how do I keep my chocolate chip cookies from getting all crunchy around the edges?
Whoops, never mind that last one.
Anyway, if I’d applied those hours toward blogging, I could have started a year ago. And this article from The Write Life by Chuck Sambuchino silences the question of whether fiction authors need a web presence.
You’re supposed to ease into social media, but that’s what they say about gardening, too. And my family was so excited about our first, we bought an abundant, crazy mix of seeds and scattered them wherever we felt like it. That was our most fruitful garden; since then, we’re lucky to grow zucchini (and anyone can grow zucchini).
So I plunged in, and here’s my take so far:
Ah, I get it now. As a writer, I’d forgotten the pure joy of expressing emotions solely through visual imagery. I remember doing it as a child—with stickers on my school binders, magazine pages lining my bedroom walls and dreamy abstracts floating on my computer screen. With Pinterest, you can create boards that reflect the things you care about, and you never have to say a word.
What I love most about this site, so far, is I have one place to list my “to be read” books. Now I can collect all the scraps of paper, sticky notes, and electronic lists buried in my phone, and shelve those titles in Goodreads. Voila! A book lover’s dream.
This was supposed to be my favorite, because that’s what everybody says. I do like Twitter—there’s something about the immediacy of it that’s freeing—but it’s confusing. I tried learning it before tweeting, but on Twitter it’s easier to learn by doing. There’s no real fear of judgment; people are just cool. And it moves so fast, no one’s going to hold it against you if you, like I did at first, respond instead of retweet, or whatever. It’s all good.
After being on Twitter, Facebook feels like watching life in slow motion. But that has its moments.
My personal favorite. This has been a shock—I worried about the time it would take to blog (see above), I worried no one would read my blog . . . now I know it’s about perspective. If you enjoy doing it, the rest is just icing. And since I enjoy writing (and am used to doing it for free), blogging doesn’t feel like wasting time at all.
Still, comments are nice 😉 Got one to share?