Publishing three novels and a poetry collection has forced me to embrace the world of social networking. From it, I’ve discovered a whole culture that I hadn’t experienced before.
For a few years, I lived on the periphery of Facebook. I started a Facebook page some time ago and friended (a word that didn’t exist a few years ago) a handful of people, not understanding what was required of me in this new environment. Mainly, I felt like a voyeur, reading others’ posts, though they weren’t aware of me lurking in the shadows. I didn’t know then about “liking” posts and leaving an imprint. I felt more comfortable staying on the sidelines as I often do at large gatherings. I’m an observer, which is a large part of being a writer. I like to watch people and maintain my privacy.
But if I wanted to connect with people, I had to friend and find new friends, causing me to make a major shift. Luckily, my Facebook savvy stepdaughter enlightened me on what’s required in order to have a presence in that space. So, she added me to Binders Full of Women Writers, as well as Binders and Book Marketing. Since then, my publisher has also created a group of his authors that I’m part of. And I’ve found other groups on my own.
Of course, I went overboard at first. I thought I had to gather a herd of friends and began requesting anyone who was acquainted with one of my actual friends to become mine as well. That meant I had tons of posts each day screaming for attention. There was no way I could handle that load. Eventually, I learned how to skip many of the posts that weren’t invigorating. How many casseroles and cheesecakes can one person make? Now I spend the majority of my time in the writing groups I’ve joined because we have more in common, and I’m learning valuable things from their posts about writing and publishing.
Twitter? I’m still a novice on how to tweet and follow others without ending up with a meaningless bunch of twips (my word). There’s definitely a learning curve and more information than I could possibly follow in one day far less a week. How does one keep up with all of these social-networking demands and also keep their writing lives going at the same time as they are marketing their books? And I haven’t even mentioned Instagram and Tumblr and LinkedIn. I’m feeling overwhelmed by it all and wonder how other writers manage these social networking demands.