Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Introverts and Social Media

I'll admit it. I was dragged kicking and screaming onto Facebook. I caved to peer pressure after all my friends joined and then my book club (which I started with 3 of my friends) created a FB page. They sent me annoying yet humorous emails saying that I wouldn't know about future meetings unless I joined. So I finally drank the Kool-Aid and....well, I don't hate it as much as I thought I would. Though I rarely post myself, I love commenting on the updates of others and it's a fun way to stay connected with friends and writing colleagues.

Why is this important to writers?

Yes, a writer's main job is to write the best darn book they can. If you don't have that, all the social media connections in the world won't help. But that's not a writer's only job. It's more important than ever to have an online presence and to connect with the world online. This can be through things like blogging, a website, Facebook, Jacketflap and Twitter.

But I'm an introvert....
Yeah, so am I. I actually think social media is perfect for introverts because you don't have to worry about the face-to-face interaction. It's less anxiety provoking. I've read online that you should only do the things you love and I agree BUT if I hadn't pushed myself out of my comfort zone by trying the blog thing, I never would have discovered that I love blogging. LOVE IT. Just remember that GROWTH=BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.

You know what makes me more uncomfortable than anything?
TWITTER. I practice what I preach and set up a Twitter account despite not understanding anything about Tweets, Twitters, or various other T words I'm missing. I even sent out one Tweet that I thought went to my blog Sisters. They informed me that it went out to the whole Tweet-o-sphere. Yeah. I haven't Tweeted since. Is Tweet even supposed to be capitalized? Please, somebody let me know. Also, has anyone written Twitter for Dummies yet, because I will buy a copy from you RIGHT NOW--seriously, email me. I even have several followers despite my lack of Tweets, so I feel kinda lame about that. Anyway, my goal is to at least know enough about Twitter to figure out whether I want to do it or not.

Bottom Line
Publishers expect authors to have some online platform--even if you write fiction. Agents are focusing on your manuscript, but they're also looking at your web presence. The days of brilliant prose written in a dark attic room while leaving the marketing to the publisher are long over. Figure out what you love, or at least what you're good at, or at the very least what you can stomach--and get to it. 

Any social media tips I missed? Anyone love Twitter? I'd love to hear from you.

Speaking of meeting interesting peeps in the virtual writing community, Lisa over at Everyday Intensity is sponsoring the July Intensity Project. It's thought-provoking and enlightening so check it out.


  1. First, thanks so much for mentioning the July Intensity Project! You made my day. :D

    There is a Twitter for Dummies! I'm fairly new to social media, too, especially Twitter, and I'm still getting a feel for it. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed (there is no way I could keep up with all the #WW and #FF posts some people do, for example), and other times I actually feel some connection. :)

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Have a wonderful day!
    ~ Lisa

  2. I was also forced to join FB by other mothers in my son's playgroup. They said I was missing out on playdates. I will admit, it is not as bad as I thought BUT people that I have not talked to in 15 yrs will "Friend" me and then not say anything...wtf? They just want to stalk me and look at pics to see if I am fatter than I was in High school. As far as Twitter goes, I am completely lost. I feel old.

  3. Lisa - I can't believe there's a Twitter for Dummies! I'm looking for a copy today. Thanks for the tip. :)

  4. Lol! Well I'm glad you joined FB too. I used to be a twitter addict, but I've cut back twitter time since I started GREYSKIN. Jack and Charlie take up every spare second I have.

    Twitter is a great place to find out what agents and editors are up to. A lot of them are frequent um..tweeters?

    Once you get used to the hashtags( #ff #queries #yalitchat #editorchat #amwriting etc) it's a useful tool for writers.

    I'm not on FB nearly as much as I once was but it's nice to keep up with writing friends and old high school pals (that friend you just to look at how much you've not changed in ten years).

    My big problem is blogging. I feel like I have nothing valuable or interesting to say, lol!

  5. Everyone's comments keep disappearing...weird. I think my comment to Lisa just disappeared too.

    Lacey - what's sad is that after reading your comment, I had to look up what #FF meant. I'm still not sure I understand it. :)

  6. Kristi, they keep disappearing on my personal blog too. Weird.

  7. I agree with this post, 100%!
    And re: Twitter, I never would have been brave enough to do it (and I would have run screaming from it) without Debbie Ohi's "Twitter for Writers" series:

  8. Grace - I hear ya. I was sort of hoping Twitter would die out but I don't think that will happen.

    Sarah - I want to give you a cyber hug you right now. I just book-marked that page!

  9. Yes there is a Twitter for Dummies. :) We wrote it.

    You can follow the authors on Twitter: @leslie @pistachio @gruen

    You can follow the book on Twitter @dummies

    And it's around on Amazon and in B&Ns etc all over.

    ProTip: order after July 26th - the new edition will be out. How will you be able to tell? my user name on the cover will change from my old business one @geechee_girl to my personal one @leslie - I canned the separate account. ;)

    Happy tweeting!

  10. Great post! So true about the platform too.

    I am pretty introverted. I find blogging and tweeting really difficult sometimes.

  11. Leslie-awesome! I can't believe the author of Twitter for Dummies stopped by our blog. I'll order after the 26th-thanks so much for the info! :)

    Valerie - I noticed you didn't capitalize tweeting, so I've already learned something today! :)

  12. You are so right! Must have some way to market and network, and FAcebook is a great way to go! Congrats on the join!


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