I thought I was wrong once,but I was mistaken...it's been lots more than once!
I admit it; I was wrong. My stubborn refusal to embrace social media and self-marketing in support of my writing efforts has been shot down yet again, maybe for good this time. While I strongly share Natalie Whipple’s admonition that “Writing and crafting the book should always be the main priority. The other stuff is just frosting, but what good is frosting on a cardboard cake?” I realize my dream of writing in solitude and sending my treasures off to the more business-minded professionals to handle practical details is just that, a dream.
Kristen Lamb’s insightful article, “Training to be a Career Author,” spells out in agonizing (to me) detail the new reality. I’ve been coming to that awareness slowly, painfully so, over the past two years, but recent posts such as Lamb’s, and the growing tide of colleagues who preach the wonders of networking with the fervency of the recently-converted, pushed me past the latest roadblock.
I joined Twitter.
I’m still not sure I understand why, and the intricacies of tweets, retweets, hashtags, and favorites elude me, but I’m learning. At least I hope I am. One thing I don’t want to do is annoy friends or potential followers with inane or redundant entries. I’ve noticed that trend in others, and that confuses me as well. Why post the same brief entry on Facebook, on Twitter, in a blog and then in an email newsletter, all of which encourage readers to follow along on each of those platforms? I don’t need to read the same information from the same ‘friend’ four different times.
Is there a way to avoid that? Am I missing something?
On the flip-side, with all those platforms to maintain, how much creativity can be left for real writing? How much does my WIP, be it a novel, short story, or essay, suffer because I’ve spent precious time and energy crafting a witty comment narrowed down to 140 characters for Twitter, expanded to 420 for Facebook, and enlarged yet again for my blog? I don’t want to become one of those Twits (?) who do nothing but retweet or share posts from other blogs.
I’m trying to be a good convert, really I am, but I remain unconvinced. I have noted, however, that while my nearly six-year-old blog has only fifteen followers, in barely two weeks and with just three dozen tweets (probably half of which are retweets), I’ve gained twelve on Twitter. How does that happen? And why?
Please, oh social networking tribe, enlighten me!