Photo by L’Orso Sul Monociclo

This novel writing thing is really getting in the way of my social media time. I recently joined Twitter. Wow, talk about a time suck mind f*ck. I could spend days and days searching for people to follow, and then following up on recommendations of people I should follow, and this isn’t including time spent actually reading tweets. Almost every tweeter recommends an article or a post written by themselves or someone else, and before I know it, it’s midnight and I haven’t even gotten to Facebook yet.

All this social media makes my head spin, and I have to wonder if part of all the hype is simply just that—hype. Writers have it beaten into them every day: “You must make your social presence known,” or “Who’s going to buy the book you worked so hard on if no one knows about your book?” As if writers aren’t neurotic enough.

It’s hard to write a book, and now we have to promote it, too?

There’s a delicate balance to achieve between beating someone over the head with a thousand “Buy my book” tweets a day, and providing useful information which interests people—all while assuming a clever online persona that doesn’t annoy followers. It’s not all about the project anymore; it’s about you as a person, a “brand.” Which really sucks for me because my life isn’t all that exciting.

I have ONE lonely novel to promote. I have no backlist to talk up, no ms’s to drag out from under the dusty bed to self-publish. I don’t go to conferences or do book signings. I go to soccer practices, walk the diva, procrastinate over my current WIP, and complain about writer’s ass. What am I supposed to post about on Facebook and tweet on Twitter?

I don’t want to turn into the people I complain about on Facebook, for example—you know, the ones who make the want to stick a fork in your eye comments like, “Am having a bad day,” or “I love my husband,”—just to force the masses to be aware of my social presence. The majority of writers are introverts and don’t want to be bothered by all this manipulative media crap. We just want to write our books and be able to quit our day jobs. We don’t want to have to worry about how many Likes we have on Facebook or Amazon, how many Followers we have on Twitter or our blog, or Connections on LinkedIn.

Whether I like it or not, social media is here to stay. And until my life gets more interesting, I’m going to continue to bitch and moan about slowed metabolism after forty and how I feel like a complete idiot when I have to retype those two CAPTCHA words to prove I’m not a robot.

Of course, I’ll throw in a “Buy my book” every now and then, too.

Am I the only one overwhelmed by social media?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. In-House Counsel
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 10:24:23

    Yes! i started this blog to have an easy way to share essays with friends. I am not even trying to make any money or get published but even I find i get hung up in numbers of likes or comments or followers. I just find myself wanting to make the little bars go higher! But then again, I think all jobs have a “sales” element to them. When I ran a school I had to worry about attracting students and funding. When I practiced law, I just wanted to do the legal work and had to go work to cultivate clients. Now Writers can do more than just mail off pages and hope for the best. But in some ways it is just one big bother. But in other ways it is a broadening experience – for something other than my fanny!


    • Tiffany N. York
      Sep 17, 2012 @ 11:22:08

      Haha, yes, so true! I am learning to embrace social media. I do think it’s fabulous in the sense that it’s essentially my social life. But there are times I need to remember that my first job is writing, and since I’m inclined toward procrastination in the first place, I have to force myself to focus on the writing, rather than the chattiness of media.


  2. Menopausalmother
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 19:48:54

    Oh God I am 100% with you on this post!! I don’t Tweet because I know it will suck what little time I have left in the day. Facebook is my fun downtime–love being able to connect with old and new friends there. While it IS a good social platform for promoting my blog, I just like to have fun with it. I get a kick out of reading funny statuses on people’s pages—it sometimes sparks my imagination into the next new blog post. My problem is that I start reading other people’s blogs and next thing I know it’s 1:00am and I haven’t even started writing my own!! And about the Captcha thing–don’t feel so bad–I ALWAYS have to type the damn thing twice to leave a comment!!


    • Tiffany N. York
      Sep 18, 2012 @ 08:32:07

      I don’t know how you keep up with reading other people’s blogs, and discovering new ones, for that matter. There are so many great ones out there. As you know, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook although I do prefer it over Twitter. Way more personal.

      AND, I literally had to retype a Captcha and then I saw your comment! Lol-oh how I hate those things!


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