This is a post that’s been sitting in my drafts since 2013. I’ve wanted to write it for a very long time, but have been almost afraid to do so. Internet backlash is an awful thing – and I’m not really equipped to handle it should it be directed at me. Social media is an interesting beast. I’ve been around long enough to watch Facebook evolve, I used to have a myspace, I’ve had deviantART, livejournal…so many different things.
I never really started getting frustrated with social media until twitter and more specifically tumblr.
Well, I suppose that isn’t quite true – I would always get frustrated that writing didn’t get as much exposure as visual arts. Even high school me was aware of the differences there. I watched friends who did visual art get a lot of recognition, but those of us who were focusing more on writing?
Yeah. That didn’t go as well.
I’m going to preface all of this with: I really can’t complain all that much. I actively blog on WordPress, tumblr, use my Facebook, use my twitter and try to promote my novels and Patreon. Social media has done a lot of good things for me – it’s brought me many resources and contacts. I’ve made good friends through social media. However, it is still an exceptionally frustrating venue to work in.
where the frustration starts
When you’re out on social media, you see a lot of things that need to have their signal boosted, things that are important, things that people should know. You know. You’ve all seen them, I’ve boosted some of them you’ve probably boosted some of them. It’s just how social media has evolved. You share things around to help others. It’s a great thing.
But then you go to have your posts boosted- commission posts, posts announcing your novels, that sort of thing. And nothing happens.
And it’s one of those things where I know it’s something I shouldn’t be frustrated with, you know? You can’t control what other people post on their social media, but at the same time…you see the big posts that are ‘if this post gets HUGE NUMBER OF REBLOGS my parents will let me get a fluffy chicken’ or something like that with hundreds of thousands of notes/shares/whatevers. And your stomach sinks just a little bit.
Bottom line: you can’t control what people share.
Nor can you really control what feeling that evokes in you.
finding a balance
There’s a fine line between self-promotion and annoying everyone on your social media feed. I’ve been self-publishing books since 2012 and I still have no idea where that line is. I don’t know how far I can push it with my shameless promotion. I don’t think I’ll ever really know.
My goal on here is to have a post out at least once a week – obviously that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes life is busy, sometimes I don’t have ideas. Sometimes I post more than once a week.
Is once a week too much? Is more than once a week way too much?
Are people sick of seeing my material?
I’ll never really be sure if people actually want to see what I write. That’s a frustration, right? Uncertainty, apprehension…
and in conclusion…
I’m a writer.
The fact is that not everyone wants to read through a book or a fanfic, much less pay money to do so.
I guess it boils down to jealousy, mainly. You see visual artists getting more exposure while indie writers struggle to get their work noticed. There are exceptions, obviously.
You can’t change what people like. You can’t force them to look at your work. You can only keep shouting about your stuff and hoping someone notices it. You can do everything right and it still might not be enough. It’s hard to accept that.
I’m getting there.
But I still find myself frustrated with social media.
Good luck, writer buddies.