For creatives and writers and some of us of a certain age, there are a couple of legitimate issues with Social Media.
The first is our own internal timing. We aren’t fast enough. On Tuesday we figure out Facebook Live. By Thursday the platform has changed so completely we aren’t sure we’re in the right outlet at all. Social media morphs so fast that the bleeding edge is often just bleeding. There is no edge, let alone staying on the cutting end of it.
Second issue: Social Media is very difficult for writers. We are already forced to witness the publishing five car pile up. The changing expectation and rules of Social Media just add whiplash to the car repair bills. Social Media is just one more, far more complicated and time-consuming promotion outlet. The average, sensitive author hates promotion of any kind. I know brilliant writers who can’t even tolerate participating in a panel discussion at the local library. They are not using Snap Chat, they don’t want to share, like or post on Instagram. They don’t even know how to use their phone. Do not, under any circumstance, take their photo at the library panel discussion.
To many authors, both publishing and promotion have devolved into a large, unwieldy Wack-a-Mole game. And the moles are winning.
We are not built for this. Authors are built for deep reading, and zone writing. We are built to obsess over word counts in November and word choices in January. More often than not, we are not fast.
What to do? You can run screaming from your computer, head to the hills or immigrate to a developing country with no wifi so you have an excuse to write all your work longhand with a number 2 pencil.
Choose one or two social media outlets. Hold a beauty contest. Which two are easy to use? Which ones advocate world peace? Which ones hold your attention for longer than a minute? Even begin with one. Carry on a conversation with someone on Linked In, join a relevant group on Facebook. Follow a famous author on Twitter. For just a few minutes a week, practice and find an outlet that you will pay attention to if not over the long haul, at least for the next six months.
Post that on your website and cheerfully say – follow me on . . .
Don’t try to win the whack-a-mole game, even though smacking tiny heads is strangely satisfying. These days, no one can stay on the cutting edge of anything, not even Digital Natives who are inventing the new, new thing.
The goal with our social media is to hold a conversation. Connect with a couple of like-minded people, be found, appear in the 21st century. Now you can return to your pencil, notebook, and that big whacking hammer.
New Class! How telling your Story Today can Change your Tomorrow.
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