🍸Friday Happy Hour: Social Media Whoa(s)

This week ‘s Friday Happy Hour is brought to you by the color YELLOW. It’s Lemon Drop season, peeps! 

Happy Friday Happy Hour, Peeps! 

So, it’s Happy Hour Friday. Hubby brought home not only vodka and three types of olives but also lemon drop mixer! Yes, I know you don’t use the olives with the mixer. Basically, ⅔ mixer to ⅓ vodka, shake it up with ice, serve with a lemon peel. I think the mixer might also be good with sparkling water for a non-boozy sipper. 

DISGUISED UPDATE

For those of you who are waiting with bated breath to hear about how DISGUISED is coming along in the publication process, I received my last edits and notes from Wattpad editorial. Surprise…I have been asked to delete my first chapter altogether! 

I get it. It’s a mystery. The client approaches my private detective protagonist in what used to be Chapter 2. But oh, boy, I worked hard on Chapter 1. I am so proud of Chapter 1. I ADORE my voice and style in Chapter 1. I’m crying in my lemon drop now.

Really, I’m okay. I know exactly why it has to be this way for this particular market, and guess what? I learned so much when I rewrote that first chapter. I studied how one of my favorite authors creates first chapters. I analyzed it down to the sentence for pacing. I wanted to do the same for the entire book, but I only had 17 days to do the rewrite on a 90,000+ word novel. (It’s now 82,000, and no. That first chapter wasn’t 8,000 words.) I wrote new chapters, new sexy scenes, and new plot twists. It was fun! And difficult. 

The book’s new cover is up on Wattpad. The chapters are in “draft” mode. I will be uploading the new chapters over the weekend and working on the introduction page. Editorial created a new tagline and book description. June 10 is launch. Then I expect the money to start rolling in. Or, more reasonably, trickling in. But every bit helps, right? Thanks in advance.

SOCIAL MEDIA WHOA(S)

I am putting on the breaks, pulling on the reins. In other words, I’m  once again questioning the value of social media. For all the pros that come up–staying in touch with friends and family, seeing cute dog and baby pictures, watching the  Bob Marley Crona Watch 2020 videos–so many more cons come together into a basically toxic soup that I’m finding it more and more difficult (again) to justify being part of it. I mean, if you put some organic carrots and onions into a soup of waste-water run-off….do you eat it? 

Awhile back, I deleted my private Facebook account  and created an author Facebook account instead because general wisdom for writers (and other creatives) is that you need a social media presence in order to be successful. The idea is that people will take an interest in you, and therefore an interest in your work. And somehow that translates to sales. Mmmmm…maybe, maybe not. 

There are some writers and experts out there who have concluded that social media connections might be necessary for nonfiction writers, but for fiction writers it amounts to a time trap. I will put some links up at the bottom of this post for your perusal. 

Fiction writers’ time might be better spent crafting beautiful, well-told stories than trolling Twitter for followers and Facebook for fans, pushing all that creative energy into posts. Other experts give tips for how to make it work and offer examples of famous authors who use social media effectively. But how many of those famous authors, I wonder, became famous BECAUSE of social media? Um, I’m betting zero to maybe .05%. Is it possible that they are effective on social media because they are already effective in the marketplace? 

Yuh. 

I’m not going to do anything drastic like delete all my accounts. I’ve created them. They are there. No need to tear them down. I’m pretty happy with how I’ve curated them. Once in awhile I get into some troubled waters and have to step it back a little bit. Easily done on the surface (though I’m aware that everything is out there forever and ever and ever and ever and ever…right? Doesn’t that give us pause?)

But I am constantly tweaking the way I use these accounts.Though I’ll fish around for the good bits and avoid the toxicity as much as possible, I plan on creating something more delicious, organic, and nourishing here on my own blog. If you want to keep up with me, this is where I’ll be hanging out most of the time.  

Cheers!

Shelley

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Where are you standing these days on the whole social media thing? With so much rancor and divisiveness in our society and the world, is social media serving us? Or are we serving IT? Please leave a comment. I comment back. 

—–

Why Social Media Is a Death-Trap for Writers by P.S. Hoffman

https://pshoffman.com/uncategorized/social-media-marketing-bad-for-writers/

Should Writers Use Social Media by Robert Lee Brewer

https://www.writersdigest.com/publishing-insights/should-writers-use-social-media

So You’re An Author Without a Social Media Presence – Now What by Jane Friedman (she’s SO smart, I’ve bought her book THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER.) https://www.writersdigest.com/publishing-insights/should-writers-use-social-media

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Writers 2020 by Kindlepreneur with Dave Chesson

https://kindlepreneur.com/social-media-for-writers/

Bottles and martini glass

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Social Media..I have unfollowed the toxicity, or as you may have seen on my recent post, no longer allow the debate. I’m taking breaks again at night and staying off of it for the next 3 days to rejuvenate.

    1. I think not allowing debate is a good strategy, Andrea. I have become ruthless at deleting…not just comments I find offensive, but comments I just don’t want mucking up my post/account page. I sometimes delete my own posts when they’ve run their course. I’ve also found myself commenting less this week on others’ posts. I have, instead, sent a couple pms when I normally would have let a comment fly. What happens when we all stop commenting on each others’ posts? Less conflict. Also less engagement. Zuckerberg won’t care as long as we’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and we’ll all be peeking in the window on everyone’s lives like the voyeurs we really are. Used to call that “lurking” and now maybe we call it “being polite?” Maybe that’s preferable to the toxicity.

  2. I’m with you on the criticism and scepticism on the value of social media. I’m sickened that people share unkind, thoughtless memes about serious issues. I’ve always felt the need to stay in Facebook since I don’t have any family nearby, and have left many friends behind by moving here. Connecting through Facebook has been a lifeline for me in the past, but I need to re-evaluate my ‘need’ for it.

    Zuckerberg’s callous and self-serving methods of running his Facebook-machine sickens me more and more. He doesn’t stand up for what is right, only for what generates more money. He does not appear to share the same ideals and principles as I.

    I’m not going to erase my Facebook profile, but have decided not to participate in all the likes and shares. I’m doing this to wean myself and to slowly find a way to disengage from my dependence on it. I’m not sure I can do it, but I’m going to give it a try.

    1. Debbie,

      Your solution seems sane and sound. By disengaging on the multitude of posts, you keep the chatter down and at the same time do not reward Zuck for his methods…as you point out “callous and self-serving.” I wonder how social media could be run better? There must be other ways of connecting, and I think we will find them. Pen and paper, anyone? lol.

      1. My withdrawal is going well so far. Having stopped posting a status, and not ‘liking’ or commenting, there is less reason to be engaged and spend time scrolling through my newsfeed. I still open Facebook, and look at what a few friends and family have posted. But without participation, it has lost its appeal, which is a GOOD thing! I don’t spend anywhere near as much time looking around as before.

        I have been inspired to record my thoughts elsewhere, since I miss sharing the “hello, this is me” aspect of my Facebook posts. I’ve started a blog, Shelley! Really basic and rudimentary at this point, but it’s a start 🙂

        1. This is most excellent news! I am very excited that you are starting a blog. Limiting our scrolling and commenting is really the easiest way to ease away from the social media craziness. To me, limiting social media is similar to going on a diet. It’s easier to quit something by going cold turkey. You can do this with things like alcohol and cigarettes and other addictions. With food, you can’t stop eating, so it so much more difficult. Social media, for some of us, is a necessity (at least right now, I feel as if I must continue to have a presence), so it’s like being on a diet. Forming a new habit takes awhile. We can DO this!

  3. I’ve also been taking a step back from the one social media platform that I participate in. I have been trying very hard to only post positively and try to avoid the negativity. I find it hard to step away altogether because I do connect with many friends and family this way. But, I can control what I choose to read and comment on. I also have been blocking people that have been very negative- it’s hard when it’s family. Can’t wait for the new Disguised and I have Rosalie Porter ready to go on my i-pad so I can sit down and binge read!

    1. Mary Ann, taking a step back makes so much sense. I’ve always enjoyed your posts because you DO succeed in being positive. It’s great! I applaud you for being able to do that.You are the person whose posts I most “share” because I find them so unique and fun and thoughtful. Curator par excellence! Let me know what you think about Rosalie. I’m about to embark on a rewrite of a novel I wrote 15 years ago. Yes. FIFTEEN. So much has changed, I’m seriously considering setting it in the 90s and calling it historical fiction, lol. But I probably won’t.

  4. I am ready to take a break from Facebook also. I am literally sickened by what I see. The obvious untruths. I tiptoe lightly. Still, just last week, I was accused of “spreading hate” for my comment to a post. My comment was: “I saw it too.” Four words that created a small firestorm from distant family members. I am convinced there will be something better out there. We have this marvelous technology. It will come. In the meantime, Shelley, I love your blog. Keep it going.

    1. Oh my goodness, Georgette. No one is less likely to “spread hate” than you! Four words. Wow. That would actually make a good title of an essay on the topic of Facebook toxicity. So many of us are tired of this…but we all think we have a duty or something to tell the world our feelings. I even struggle with that regarding this blog. In a world where everyone is blathering on about everything…is the most radical thing we could do is be quiet? On the other hand…we need and crave connection with like-minded individuals. Ah, well. No one said life was simple. Thank you for continuing to read and comment, my friend.

  5. I am feeling the same way, as I am sure close to 90% of the population that peruses different platforms……I agree with the thought process that we must take stock at certain crossroads that are good for our own wellbeing. Grieving is very hard when on Facebook and pictures keep surfacing of that smiling face that is being missed by everyone. Very hard, causes conflicting feelings, one moment a warming of the heart, the next salt in the wound depending on your mental state for the day…..so a view from 30,000 feet when it comes to social media is totally appropriate and called for. It certainly gives us more time to be creative.

    On a happy note so excited for your progress in the publishing world, it’s exciting to see hard work pay off……as I plug away at my screenplay…..you give me hope!!

    1. Good luck on your screenplay, Wendy! It is a huge undertaking. I like you perspective of looking at social media from a far-distance. That’s great. Thank you. I’m going to use that. I’m so sorry for the pain and grief you are feeling. Know that we are thinking about you and holding you close to our hearts.

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