I don’t particularly enjoy any of these.
There is a widely-known (or publicized, at any rate) rule that an author must have a social media presence. That is how the author remains “relevant” to society at large. Heaven forbid someone cease to be “relevant” but keep writing.
Now, allow me to amend a previous statement. I don’t enjoy any of these — from my author perspective.
From a personal stance, I love Facebook. My real-name page is full of fun and interesting things from my friends and family. I post about what I’m watching or how much I hate having to JOB for a living. Facebook, for me, is a lifeline to the people who actually give two craps about me.
Over on my author Facebook? I struggle. I have followers there, surprisingly. Mostly people I know in my own life who, for whatever reason, support this crazy writing thing I decided to do. The “personal” page attached to my pseudonym has not seen much activity since… I think 2015-ish? But I am trying to keep the author profile active.
The other rule of social media is that you are not trying to sell things to people with every post. This is especially true if you are like me and are not publishing seventy books a year. “Buy this book. Buy that book. Go broke buying all these books.” So when I post to Facebook, I try to post some kind of question. “Hey, it’s Easter Sunday! Do you celebrate? If so, what are your favorite traditions? If not, what do you generally do instead?” (Hmm. I should totally post that.) Sometimes I post links to blog entries, but I try to keep that to a minimum. It’s not “Buy my books” but it is “Buy me as a writer.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, it’s a mess. It was worse before the election, but it still gets pretty bad. I can ignore it, sure, but then I end up ignoring the whole platform. I have made a few posts in the last few months, but most of them have been in response to someone else.
Then there is the entire “social” aspect of social media. I am not a people person. (Shocker, I know.) One-on-one, I can tolerate some folks. I even like a few. But as a species, people suck. The last thing I want is to be active in a space that invites random nitwits to engage at will. And on Twitter, the nitwits engage.
As for Instagram, that tends to be personal as well. I have taken photos at Game Day (back when we could have it in person). There are some shots relating to writing, mostly during NaNoWriMo. (Back when we could have it in person.) That’s the one social media I am not entirely against, because if I post, I post. If not, no one cares. Which is true everywhere, but I’m an author and “must have a social media presence” or I fail.
It is yet another example of how I am Doing It Wrong™.
And I don’t really care.
WRITING IN PUBLIC
The aspect of doing it wrong I do care about, however, is that in order to be a writer you must write.
Alas, I am failing at that, too. Just when I think I have a lock on what I want to write, one of two things happens, both thanks to my wonky brain. Either my brain shuts down entirely when I bring up a writing document, or it feeds me so many alternatives that I revert to Analysis Paralysis.
I may need to consult a professional if this continues too much longer.
Meanwhile, it’s Camp NaNoWriMo here in the month of April. While I did not officially sign up for it, I may attempt to use it as an excuse to write some “Never Gonna See the Light of Day” stuff, just to try to get back into the groove of writing. Must write, or you are not a writer.
We have finally set a date (and a set) for our next Pathfinder session: We will be playing Skull & Shackles, the pirate-themed adventure path with ships and sea monsters and a number of surprises in between. We put our characters together in the last session. As tempted as I was to play Seltiyel the Magus (my favorite character in the set), I decided to try Damiel the Alchemist instead. I love the idea of not having to banish potions as we use them.
We have also, in the meantime, played more sessions of Jackbox games. We still love Trivia Murder Party, and in the last session we gave Blather Round another go. The one we really liked this time out, though, was one I thought I was going to hate. It’s called Talking Points.
Talking Points is a game about making a presentation that, quite frankly, you are not prepared for. Each round there is a presenter and an assistant. The presenter, who has chosen a topic ahead of time based on input from other players, gives what is in essence a PowerPoint presentation. The assistant chooses the images and connective text for the relevant slides. The presenter can write and draw on the slides as necessary (which I experimented with but few others did), and you have to try to make a coherent and/or entertaining presentation out of what your assistant gives you.
Somehow, I won both games we played. It was a lot of fun watching the others squirm through their topics, especially when I was the one making them squirm. (Everyone gets to be the presenter once and assistant once.) I don’t know that I would want to play this with strangers, but it was a blast with my friends.
The brain continues to muck things up for various aspects of life. Similarly, my lack of social skills means I’m not ever going to be any good at the one requirement of being an author in the 21st century.
The good news is that I have this blog to whine to whenever these things start to get on my nerves enough that I need to whine about them.
Aren’t you so glad you’re here, now?