Facing Reality: People Won’t Budge From Their Fave Social Media Platform, so I Must Pivot Once Again

Facing Reality: People Won’t Budge From Their Fave Social Media Platform, so I Must Pivot Once Again

This cute, funny, little mug was a gift. I’ve been enjoying my coffee in the garden with this guy all week. 

Part of the writer’s life is figuring out how to best create a social media presence and a “platform.” I’ve read many articles and books on the topic, and I have experimented with just about all the major social media platforms out there. I wish I could jettison social media from my creative life entirely, but somehow I haven’t been able to find the guts to do so. 

It’s so tempting. I’m old enough to remember a time before the internet. Writing meant the hum of my electric Smith-Corona typewriter and the sharp, white smell of correction fluid. You typed up your manuscript and sent off the hard copy, along with a cover letter, to a magazine or publisher via the USPS. You included a SASE, of course, so you could receive back the rejection notice, or, if you were lucky, a letter that began, “We are pleased to accept..”. 

What you DIDN’T have to do is create quirky, fun, pretty, pithy, dreamy posts on umpteen corporate-owned behemoth social media platforms every single day. If your story was accepted, it was published. You called your friends and family and told them the good news. Maybe you got some congratulatory mail from them. Sometimes, new readers would send a letter to the magazine or publisher’s office and a clerk would be directed to forward the letter to your home address. But it wasn’t expected. You didn’t NEED their likes and thoughts and hugs and smiley faces. Publishing was the goal and the reward. 

I’m still skeptical about the value of a giant social media presence. I know some people have translated a large following into awesome sales. It happens. But I suspect the opposite happens more often. Somehow, by a miracle, you write something someone wants to publish. Your name gets out there and guess what? The fans start LOOKING FOR YOU. 

That is when your social media platform really begins to shine. It snowballs. 

So, what is the takeaway? I’ve gone back onto Facebook this week, and I’m grumpy about it. I’ve been messing around on it and Instagram all afternoon when I should have been writing a transitional chapter for ROSALIE. 

What do I hope to get out of it? Nothing. 

That’s the key. I no longer have any expectations regarding marketing myself. If people find me and my work, great. If they don’t, oh well. All I can do is continue to write my stories and put them out there into the world. What happens, happens. 

Life is too short to sweat the social media. 

I’ll post when I feel like it. If you want to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Wattpad the links are in the column on the right. But if you REALLY want to get the good stuff, sign up for my newsletter and check in to the blog every week. 

Cheers!

Shelley

Here is my desk and tiny rocking chair in the office my Maine cottage. The shelves behind me are pretty bare. I tell myself that I have made room for the books I really want to collect. Culling the collection was necessary to make room for new growth.

Making space in your life for what is truly meaningful can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. 

*****

DISCUSSION QUESTION

Have you ever found yourself pivoting from one direction to the other and feeling not quite sure about either? Or do you feel more like a pinball, bouncing off one obstacle after another with no exit strategy in sight?

Drop me a line. I love comments, and I comment back!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I’m thinking I’m more of the pinball variety. And lately I feel like I’ve been bouncing a lot! It feels like one of those transitional times in my life as I’m getting closer and closer to that empty nest. Then there’s the career that seems on the verge of a change- how much of a chance do I want to take? Am I ready to step out of my comfort zone. It’s all about that comfort zone isn’t it?

    1. I hear ya’, Mary Ann. It is exhilarating to step out of the comfort zone, but also uncomfortable. I think we have to do it once in awhile, if only to sharpen our skills/mind. But it isn’t awesome to be FORCED to do it by circumstances we didn’t create or enjoy. While I think you might be pleasantly surprised about the empty nest, the anxiety leading up to it is real. As for career, ugh. Life is short. Also, bills have to be paid. Ping-ping-ping…there we go again on the pinball machine. I keep coming back to the same conclusion: find what brings meaning to your life and focus on it. If not as a career, then as your life outside of the workplace. You do this very well, actually. I’ve always admired this about you. You follow your bliss. Girl, you are stronger than you might think!

  2. I haven’t looked back since leaving the Facebook milieu, and don’t feel tempted to return, either. I found withdrawing from it to be way easier and painless than I thought it would be.

    1. I LOVED being off Facebook. Like you, I found it easy and painless. I am SO grumpy about this feeling of being forced to engage on that platform in order to build my writing career…even though part of me suspects it won’t make that much of a difference anyway. It’s this sense of shrugging and saying, “Meh. What can I do?”

  3. … but I’m not using it to promote a career in writing, so it was a lot easier for me.

    1. Yes. In this particular time, it is very difficult to make a career of anything without some media presence.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu