Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Writer's Wednesday: Social Graces


     Recently, I got an email from an aspiring novelist. I enjoy receiving emails like that, enjoy sharing information with new and aspiring writers. When I was first starting out, it wasn’t nearly as easy to connect with authors and have them actually respond with personal words of wisdom. In truth, I don’t think I ever received such advice. Now that I’m in a position of being the giver instead of the receiver, I offer the most helpful advice at my disposal.

A few weeks ago, an aspiring writer inquired about ways to improve his social media presence. I thought I’d share aspects of my response with you today as the question was a rather novel one for me. My social media follower count is modest at best so it was an interesting change of pace to be asked about that. In truth, any success I may have on the social media side of things is due not only to my accomplishments as a writer, but also as a reader, a mom, a librarian, a friend…heck, just someone who lives in the world.

What I’ll share with you guys here today as it relates to social media graces, is that first off you want to remember that it’s not necessary, important or smart to share everything. No one has the right to all that info. Second, just because you’re a writer on track to publish 3 or 4 (or more) novels in a year, does not mean that every post you make has to be related to your work. While no one has the right to know everything, your readers (and those who may be interested in reading your work) are interested in who you are beyond the pen and paper. Try bringing a little of that aspect of who you are into your social media persona. Anyone who follows me via social media knows that in addition to books, I adore movies and television. Most often when I Tweet it’s to post my reaction to a TV show I’m hooked on (I’m hooked on several). On Facebook, I tend to post whenever I see a new movie (and I see new movies A LOT). Additionally, I’ll post if I’m watching TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and come across a classic work that I’ve not seen before.

Other posts tend to revolve around my work as a reference librarian. My Facebook friends can tell you that I tend to post certain…observations when I work the late shift. Trust me, there is always something… intriguing going on at a college reference desk. I’m not an avid poster of my every aspect of my child’s life- remember those boundaries folks! However, I do share the occasional funny mom story from time to time.

Advice: Weave those aspects of who you are into your posts and you not only give your readers another dimension of who you are, but your chances of creating a healthy and diverse group of friends and followers may also increase.

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