I was going to write a post today. Honest. Then I saw this from Chuck Wendig, which contains some valuable advice for authors, or anyone, using social media. So you’ll have to wait until next week for my next dollop of wisdom. For now, enjoy!
So, this morning I woke up to find that I had been put in Twitter Jail for *checks notes* five hours. And I was put there because *checks notes* hell, I don’t know. They didn’t tell me.…
And stuff. The stuff is what I’m writing about. You want the politics, turn on your, well, almost any device that receives information. You got it. But stuff? Well . . .
I have started using Twitter as my primary social media account. (Go on, read the advice for writers on using social media. You need a primary one, and one or more supporting ones.) I’ve been using Facebook for years, starting when I was a Realtor ™. (I’m not any more but I’m still using that ™. You’re welcome, NAR.) It works pretty well, but it got so I couldn’t log onto Facebook without seeing something upsetting. And I don’t mean just political positions that I disagree with, ’cause, Hell’s Bells, I tend to disagree with most everyone. But I mean dirty, personal, trolling in advance, obviously untrue, horrible things said about candidates. I don’t like Trump, okay? But I don’t badmouth the man. I just say flatly that most of what he says is made up, so I’m voting for Hilary, ’cause she only massages the truth like a politician tends to do. I don’t call him evil, I don’t talk about his, um, equipment, and I don’t think that those naked effigies are all that funny. Gadzooks, there’s enough ugly in the world, isn’t there?
So I moved over to Twitter. Of course, my Facebook account automatically tweets for me, and my Twitter account automatically posts to Facebook for me, so the net amount of stuff I’m putting up stays about the same. And, outside of the usual incredibly awful ads about every candidate, I don’t see a lot of politics beyond a couple of commentators whom I follow. It’s much easier.
I did try adjusting Facebook. It seems that it is possible, most of the time, to click on the little caret in the upper right-hand corner of a post and choose to block the original poster but not your friend. Not that I think much of my friends for posting shit, but they are my friends, and people are more important than politics, even dumb politics. But, alas, that doesn’t always work, and sludge keeps getting through anyway. On Twitter, though, not so much. I dunno, maybe I’ll get trolled once the assholes figure out that I’m there, but I don’t think so. Most of the trollery I see on Facebook is of the first-strike variety, which is pretty execrable in its own right, innit?
So, if you use social media to promote your writing, maybe you can try a trick like this to make your day less stressful. I know who I’m voting for, I try methods that have a chance to work to tell others why, and I don’t give a rats ass what anyone’s grandma thinks about Hilary or Donald.
I do, however, still like kittens. Gotta love them kittens . . .
The current situation with writers is that one is supposed to use social media. Oh, yes, you need a Facebook presence or two, a Pinterest account, maybe Instagram, and now Snapchat, and what about LinkedIn? How the heck can you keep up with all of that and still write stories?
Hell’s Bells, you can’t!
I have most of that stuff (haven’t tried Snapchat as of this writing.) I also have a page at about.me that I hoped would serve as a sort of central clearing house to direct people to my various social media identities. So far, big yawn. I have had a blog in one form or another since, heck, I don’t remember, 1996? Maybe earlier? Sure, nobody called anything a weblog (blog, get it?) in those days, but that’s what it was. If you follow this blog, you will note that I have been tweaking quite a few things lately, following the advice of one Kitty Lusby, a fellow member of the Las Vegas Writer’s Group.
What I’m saying is that I’m active online, in several different places. I got serious when I was in Real Estate, and in fact those things are all still there. Heck, my neighbors sometimes refer to me as Retiring to Vegas, after a page on Facebook. Since I’m not selling houses any more, I just post there once in a while, when I see something I think that audience would like.
I am active as stevefey on Facebook, @stevefey on Twitter, and somewhat less as stevefey on Pinterest. I haven’t posted to Instagram in ages, and I don’t do anything at all with LinkedIn any more. I may never open the Snapchat app, and I have never bought an online game in my life, so forget about Pokémon GO.
I write two hours per day, on a timer so I can take breaks and return to finish my day’s work later. That can include, or even be, editing, of course. I take care of our house; just now I’m ready to send my basset back to Daisy Hill because of what she did to the floor of the upstairs bedroom. And I do DIY stuff; just now I’m building a model railroad that will run from room-to-room, thus fulfilling a childhood fantasy. With all of that, I think I do pretty well on Social Media. And, for what they’re worth, here are my opinions on the ones I use.
Facebook is good for staying connected with the writing community. It’s also, unfortunately, good for getting upset at people’s contrary opinions on politics and social issues, but overall I’d say it’s positive.
Twitter is a good place to get links, and hints of other places to look to gather information or connect. I find that I don’t encounter as many contrary opinions on Twitter (getting upset about stuff that really doesn’t matter is a needless distraction, so this is good.)
Pinterest is a good way to find out who you might want to otherwise correspond with. I share pins and other people share some of mine, so in the sense of getting yourself known, it seems useful.
I didn’t mention Google+. For a good reason.
LinkedIn is probably useful for those who need to network in the broader corporate world. In the world of the writing business, Twitter actually works better.
Instagram is similar to Pinterest, but with your own photographs (although you could post your own photos to Pinterest I suppose.) I just don’t think to use it much. I once spent a month in France and took not one photograph, although I do enjoy photography. So there it is, I suppose.
Never tried Snapchat. Go ahead, see if I care.
I’m on YouTube, but not very well. Better for my comedy stuff, honestly.
So there is my list of time-wasters? No, not time-wasters, tools to keep up in my chosen field. And I should add to those the fact that I follow a number of writing related blogs, mostly by active writers, some of which are truly excellent. There’s a partial list on the sidebar.
By the way, if you like this blog, please share it. I’ll be ever so grateful!