Writerly Rant #20
Getting a Grip on the Media-Maze
As authors we are expected to learn and utilize Social Media as an integral weapon in our quest to reach and connect with readers. I was a “late bloomer” – most of my friends were using My Space and MSN before I even owned a ‘real computer’ (the Commodore doesn’t count apparently). Then I held out against Facebook for several years, because I was willing to talk to my friends in person or over the phone.
Since the advent of blogging, personal websites, MailChimp, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Youtube, Fickr, Goodreads, Shelfari (and so on) there is an overwhelming push for businesses, especially those in the field of writing, to become a social media hub. Granted, the advice given and received is to find the best balance of social media for the individual and their business, but how do you know which one is right for you without researching them and maybe trying them out for a while?
That’s when the meltdown happens. Because there is no one right answer, one right combination of a media-meal to prepare, there is an overwhelming sense of despair that just wraps itself around you, taunting. If you have a day job (and that includes being a stay-at-home parent), a family to care for and feed, and friends and pets who need adoring just finding the time to write is difficult enough without bringing publicity and social media into the mix.
The standard rule of thumb is “Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads” – but half the time (even with scheduled time for attending to these items) I get to the first three and my day is shot for any kind of writing… writing for me that is. Then I despair about those outlets I’m not getting to and that potential market that will make all the difference for getting the word out – that downward spiral turns into self-doubt and then anger, at myself, for not being able to handle it all – like everyone else.
I’ve heard it time and again in person and on my LinkedIn groups, “Why isn’t there a way for good writers to be easily recognized or found?” Honestly, I think Goodreads (and similar platforms) are doing their best to make this possible but without a background in marketing and computer science, authors are not going to get what they want – a way to legitimately be heard. The bottom line is that we all want to do it ‘the easy way,’ but it isn’t easy. Doing the thing you love should not put this kind of mental strain on a person, yet if we didn’t write we’d feel a different kind of strain – that emptiness that comes from being unfulfilled. But I tell ya, this is one catch-22 I could do without.
Let me write, and love me for who I am – that’s what we all want, right? and maybe a little money on the side for our troubles.