Thursday, 18 July 2013

When Does Social Media Become More of a Hindrance Than a Help? When It Distracts from Writing!

It's the bane of the modern world, yet we can't be without it - facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, linkedin, triberr and others I can't even remember. Too much? For a writer like myself it can become that vortex which sucks you away from the important business of writing.
I did a quick mental maths of the hours I spent on social media compared to working on my manuscript and the result was depressing. No wonder I've been stuck on the same chapter for nearly two weeks - social media is frazzling my brain!
Now, as writers we know it's imperative to connect with our readers. After all, they're our "bread and butter." And isn't that what the gurus in the marketing world are constantly telling us? But, when it tears you away from what's really important - your writing - it's time to start ditching!

Interestingly, some best-selling novelists rarely interact on twitter or facebook, and some others only have a website, but not a blog. Why? They know that it's their books that sell, not their latest status or tweep. Their loyal readers are waiting for the next book in their series and they don't want to disappoint.
The secret to success?

- Keep writing. For if you can produce a great story, the message will spread by word of mouth. That's how 50 Shades of Grey, and even Harry Potter reached superstar status.

- Keep social media to a minimum - It'll always be there, but the time to write is precious. Don't waste it. What's the point in having thousands of followers if that second, or even first, book is never completed?

- Readers won't wait forever. I know after Eragon came out, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second and third in the Inheritance series. But, I had to wait over two years for the last book, by which time I'd lost interest. To this day I haven't been able to read more than a few pages - the magic is gone.

So, what am going to do? I'll keep my blog and stick to my pattern of posting once a week. Anything more than that I see as spam anyway. As for facebook and twitter? Only when I'm in the mood!
My books come first.

I'd love to hear from you. What do you think? Is social media killing your writing time?


Wendy R said...

What you say makes great sense. Social media stuff taps into the same creative core which produces your prose. I am also looking wary but still enjoy fluttering about on Twitter now and then. W

Tima Maria said...

Thanks, Wendy and I agree twitter is fun. But, I'll be going on there every 2nd day (instead of everyday) and facebook will be relegated to the weekends. It makes life much more manageable!