An author’s battle with social media
You start with a blog. Maybe put some of your writing up there, try and entice a few people with some interesting posts and a few photos. You spend ages scouring the blog’s stats, marvelling at your broad reach. But why do you have over 100 hits one day from somewhere in Israel and then none for two weeks? It doesn’t really make sense. In any case, you don’t think anyone is really reading your blog anyway. A story pops into your head and you think about writing it.
You move to another social media platform, and post your blog posts over the broad spattering of Facebook, where you can tell your friends repeatedly about your amazing novel. Until they get fed up of you and you instead decide to create a fan page. A few, dutiful pals follow you on this platform. But you seem to be bamboozling your friends with the same information twice, for a while at least, until you realise. Meanwhile, the story is now burning a hole in the back of your cranium.
But wait, there is this thing called Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, how are people expected to know about your writing? You take the plunge and do the Twitter thing. There are train stations in Wales which have a longer name than the requisite 140 characters. Well, almost. Try getting in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and much more. When you were schmoozing an editor at one conference, you were asked if you were on Twitter. And then how many followers you had. A few hundred, you replied, before their gaze faded into the near distance. These things matter, it seems.
So you spend lots of time when you should be writing that story, finely honing your Blog, Facebook page and Twitter posts. Juggling them gets a bit confusing. If you write something do you tell everyone on all media? Will people miss it if you just use Twitter, or will they think you’re showing off if they see it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and beamed into the sky like Batman’s calling sign?
The number of your followers on Twitter seems to plateau. Then you wonder if you should also be on Instagram. You’ve seen some authors posting on that. But you barely can keep track of the Blog, Facebook page and Twitter. You remind yourself that you are a writer and you should be doing what writers do.
Then along comes something else. The next big thing. Something called Steemit. You sigh, try to put it off for a while, then eventually take the plunge. The difference with Steemit is that you actually get paid for the things you post. Or you seem to, although the currency is vague and Bitcoinish. You never really understood Bitcoin, but you roll with it. You post on Steemit. But what about your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter? Will they matter when Steemit takes over the world? When your posts start rolling in the Steem Dollars? You check your posts and find that you’ve made 0.07 Steem dollars.
The story you thought of way back is now a red hot egg in the back of your head, begging to burn its way through the base of your skull, along your spinal cord, through your fingers and onto the computer screen. Instead of writing it, you check your Twitter, and your Facebook Page and your Blog. And then back to Steemit. But then you get a Facebook notification. And then back to Twitter…
You wonder if Steemit could be different. There are fellow writers there and they seem to be encouraging. You check your post, and it has accrued a few more cents. Then you realise, when you edited your post, the fonts went all wonky. You then go to Twitter and post about your post. And then Facebook, where you post about your post, or perhaps about how it felt posting your post.
You cry an almost primal scream. How do you juggle these things and have time to do much else in life? You realise hours have gone by. It is now dark outside. You contemplate deleting Facebook again, but you put your phone down before you manage it. Then you pick it up again and put the damn thing on silent. You unplug the internet. (Not the whole internet, you don’t want to cause worldwide meltdown, you just unplug the box in your living room.) You stomp upstairs, retreating to your office at the top of the house. There you put on some music to blot out the world.
And then finally you begin to write...
N.B. You can find out more about the usual stuff Guy writes when he isn't on social media, by clicking here: guytmartland.co.uk