When it comes to the social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and all that malarkey, generally speaking I suck at it. Big time. Yet all the time we’re told that it’s the one way to circumvent the thorn thicket of Agents, Publishers, Distributors and Book Vendors to get your work out to the reading public.
Why writers like me generally fail at translation from manuscript to media is quite simple; we’re (mostly) the wrong type of personality. I’m not a social animal. I hide away in my little cave, scribbling away until I think I have a decent result; then emerge when I’m done to find everyone else is more interested in hairdressers gossip. This should come as no surprise, because Social Media is like junk food, fast, cheap, quick and cheerful. Like hasty sex, it fills the immediate hunger but rarely sates the true appetite. In this respect, Facebook and Twitter are like advertising, a kind of electronic word of mouth. The browser is invited to prod, poke, contact, comment and react on a purely superficial level, but rarely to go deep. Writers, at least the ones I know, don’t do this kind of superficial. Most are private, introspective individuals who don’t come out to play all that often. Such is my experience. There are notable exceptions, but those exceptions are only seen when they’re not actually in obsessive-compulsive writing mode.
To be honest, the Social Media thing terrifies me. Why? Any number of reasons, but I’ll stick with two. First because I think it’s a distraction. Second because while I can happily deal with being ignored, there is such a thing as unwelcome attention. Especially when you’re trying to concentrate.