Social media is hard for me.
When you start trying writing on the pro side, submitting pieces and books and getting paid for them, you’re completely inundated with the advice. Get a Twitter, get a Facebook, get a blog and a mailing list and do everything you possibly can to get yourself out there and visible. It doesn’t matter if you’re shy or socially awkward or low energy or whatever; you are your only (free) means of PR, so you have to do it.
To be quite honest, I think I am failing at most of that. I am, in fact, that shy forgetful person who’d much rather put my energy into the actual writing and editing process rather than the PR side. I’m awkward, I’m quiet, I tend to get lost in my own head even when there’s conversation going on around me. As far as Being A Professional Writer Who Sells Her Work, I’m not doing so hot at putting myself out there.
I do have a Twitter, but I haven’t touched it in months; even on good days, it’s completely inundated with intense drama about either politics, civil/social issues, the environment, or some intersection between any of those.
And I absolutely don’t begrudge people tweeting (or retweeting) what they want, especially in their own space, it became too incredibly exhausting to me. I know there are ways around that! I’ve read advice there. Create lists, mute keywords, all that, but neither of those actually helped. Muting only seemed to work for a single tweet; my phone didn’t like the list viewing option.
Maybe those are just excuses. But in the end, I’ve just been on a general Twitter hiatus.
Case in point and small tangent, the news that came through about the peace talks between North and South Korea earlier this week is an incredibly personal topic to me. I still haven’t fully processed the news. Despite being born decade after the armistice, the war had multiple impacts on my life. I want to know more, but I don’t want to be inundated. I don’t want soundbites. I want time to think.
Back to the actual topic of social media, Twitter also goes at such a breakneck speed that I feel overwhelmed trying to keep up. Again, I know lists are meant to be the answer. “Set it up small, so you can read only select list regularly.” But that also feels like it defeats the purpose of social media. I want to participate in a community, if I’m going to be part of it. I don’t want to filter by actual people if I can avoid it.
So that’s on me. Maybe I’ve shot myself in the foot here. I can’t know, though I can hopefully come back and rebuild myself, and try to establish a better presence in the future.
Facebook has always felt skeevy and weird to me, even before all the scandals broke in the news. I can’t actually recall any of my friends talking about a positive interaction on Facebook — it’s always been family fights and passive-aggressiveness, or else friends of friends or strangers also coming in to pick fights about social justice. None of that has ever sounded appealing. Now with the news, it’s even more of a “no thank you” issue, so that’s also out.
Tumblr is… well. That’s a gigantic can of worms on its own. It’s worth its own standalone post, to be honest, though the rabbithole there goes so deep, and plenty of others have discussed the issues there. Purity wars, virtue signaling, people lashing out in extremes against any perceived flaw — I’ve both heard about it and seen it on tumblr.
But it’s on Twitter too. And Facebook. All social media platforms have this, which is an unfortunate fact. Right now I find tumblr the easiest to keep up with because it does let me curate my feed in a way Twitter so far has not, even though I’m another drop in the sea of many. The post queuing system is not great, but it does exist in a way that I can access and edit even on my phone.
I have hopes for Pillowfort, though activity over there has been so slow that my own activity dropped to nil in response. Again, that’s on me; that might be another instance of ruining things for myself. My hope is that it will eventually gain momentum; I’m keeping an eye on things just in case.
And then, of course, there’s this blog. I am proud of keeping up fairly steady updates on this (barring the week of health issues) since I started this up again. I’d honestly like to do more here, if only because this is much more my own space than other platforms. It’s less “social” than most social media, but it’s the closest I have to approaching the writing side that I’m more comfortable with. At this point, it’s just the sort of amorphous “more” that I haven’t yet defined, but hopefully soon.