I’m a pretty sparse social media user for a millenial. While I’m a huge computer and internet user, I only graduated from a flip phone to smartphone in the year of our lord 2016. You read that right. There were even a few years in my post-college 20s that I rarely used facebook and regularly missed event invitations.
For a long time, I only used facebook and tumblr, and both much more as an observer than a creator. I made this very author website well before I joined twitter about a month ago.
Having a smartphone has enabled me to use more social media. Instagram is pretty useless without having that instant camera to internet accessibility, for example.
All conventional wisdom is that writers’ need a social media presence. In the last few months, I got an author facebook page and now a twitter. Facebook made sense as with some recent short story publications, I had been sharing my news with friends and family through that avenue anyway. Though, to be honest, the breaking point was when one of the magazines I was being published by asked for my facebook page to link to.
It’s been a few months and pretty much everyone following my author facebook page are my friends and family (save for one who is a person whose story was published in the same magazine as me).
I ended up joining twitter because it seems like a place where you can reach people that aren’t already in your inner circle. It has already happened, so that’s cool.
I really believe that social media is not the key to a writer’s success, especially when you are a fiction writer. Nonfiction writers might have a more natural connection between social media content and their work. Just because someone likes your tweets or blog posts about the mechanics of writing does not mean they will like your fiction. I know that I follow and read blogs of various writers that I have never picked up a fiction title for.
However, social media is a good way for people to find you in the modern age. For them to be able to follow you for updates in your career, and to find like-minded souls.
If you are like me, a writer that is social media shy or hesitation, a not-natural self-promoter, or very private… I want to tell you social media is not as scary as it seems. I usually only post my facebook when I have news, a publication announcement or update, or linking to a new blog post on my website. On twitter, I use an additional app to schedule posts, and try to retweet a few a day.
What I would say is if you are a newbie, aspiring writer with no publications pending, and you feel pressured to build a social media presence when that is not your thing… I would saw hold off. Wait until you have something to say and put your energy into writing and getting published first. Build you social media at your own pace. Remember, being a writer is not the same as being a youtuber, where the creation of social media content is the job in and of itself.
Social media supplements your writing career. It is used to connect with fans and followers, business network, and make yourself visible online. Social media is not your writing career. Use it wisely.
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
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