by Fae Rowen
To say that social media is not my strong suit is a lie. I'm not playing with a full deck; the social media suit is missing. And I don't care.
I prefer to call someone rather than text them. Why? Because I want to hear the pitch, the inflection, the tone of their voice.
As writers, that's what we do for our readers. We give them the subtleties of human interaction. And I want that in my everyday life. I want to live life, not check a little screen.
I know that we need to "put ourselves out there" for our readers. Readers want to know about their favorite writers and their lives. But where does that desire to know personal facts, private likes and dislikes cross the line?
As a person who would rather not be recognized, would rather not share the details of my daily life, I am not going to share that I'm traveling to Bucket List #42 destination next week then on to take a week-long class from the world's leading chocolatier in Paris. What if I walk into a hornet's nest on vacation or give myself food poisoning in my cooking class? I'll admit that to my closest friends, but expose my personal foibles to the world on a format that will last longer than my bones?
If you've been reading my posts for any length of time, you know that I don't paint a rosy picture of my life. I share what I believe to be appropriate to share, given why I'm communicating. My readers deserve to know when the next book in the series will be available. They deserve to know when I fall behind, and maybe a bit of the reason I'm not on time. Tidbits about how a character came to life or how I got a plot idea—those are fair game for "the public." The time I was afraid I would become an international incident is not.
Missing a production deadline happened to me for the first time in 2018. I'm not going to detail all the drama behind the deadline failures, though I have no problem sharing the new and improved production schedule, along with my apologies.
What does this mean? I'm willing to share pictures from my day or my trips—after I've returned. I'm willing to comment about my rescue cat, because I know that if I hadn't brought her home with me, she wouldn't be alive today. I share about writing, life lessons, the things that make me the writer I am today.
I wish I could be funny, or warm-and-fuzzy heart-warming, or find amazing pictures to post. Sometimes I wish I had the desire to spend hours instant messaging and responding immediately to likes and comments on my Facebook feed or Instagram account. But I don't have the time. Between writing and my daily schedule, I just don't have the time.
In the last five months of 2019, I'm looking at publishing three books. I've already talked to my publicist/marketer friend about ramping up the social presence during the spring. To me, that means I'll post a short story somewhere, check into my Instagram and Facebook accounts more than once a week, and schedule time to comment and share more.
Marketing myself and my books is not what I want to spend time doing, but then, I don't think that's why any of us are writers. I do, however, want my stories to be read. I want my ideas and my future societies to be thought about, talked about. And to do that, I have to make people aware of them. So I will use social media, because it is an amazing marketing tool for the average person like me.
Who knows? Maybe after a handful of years of more involvement with social media, I'll tolerate it better. After all, ten years ago I didn't enjoy posting on Writers in the Storm much. Who am I kidding? I felt like Joan of Arc being dragged to the fire. But now, I enjoy reading your comments to articles and your responses to other readers' comments. And I enjoy writing back with my own comments. I feel like I personally know many of you from your sharing. And surprising as it is for this introvert to admit, I treasure the community we've built.
Is dealing with social media like a trip to the dentist? Would you rather sit in a math class than sit down to an hour of social media interaction?
Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes that she can live anywhere but the present. As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules. P.R.I.S.M., Fae's debut book, a young adult science fiction romance story of survival, betrayal, resolve, deceit, and love is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.