Chasing Inspiration

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Socially Inept

Social media. It's supposed to be an author's best friend. Even an author like me who hasn't sold a single thing and is still feeling her way through the writing and publishing world. Some days it feels easy. I send out a few tweets, respond to a few Facebook entries, write something for the blog and I'm set.

Then I remember I don't blog, tweet or facebook under the same name. I haven't even determined what name I'm going to try to publish under. I don't have any consistency with what I do. I blog several times a week and then I don't blog for weeks. I use Twitter every day for weeks and then I disappear. Facebook isn't even a tool I use with my writing or to gain an audience. It's my personal account that isn't searchable or easily accessible.

So what's a girl to do when she feels socially inept when it comes to social media? She finds experts like Kristen Lamb and reads said experts' blogs to learn the tricks of the trade. Just today Kristen had a lovely post about blogging and how blogging isn't necessarily easy for writers. It takes work to build a platform that is conducive to building community. And if I got the gist of her blog post - Rock Stars and Writers: Yes,  We Really Do Work - correct, blogging and other acts of social media can be about building community.

If I treat blogging as community, what would that change with what I post? I haven't the foggiest yet. I'm still spinning in that whole "I am social media challenged" phase of the game.  But I do know I'm going to consider what community means to me and what type of community I want to have here in the world of social media. I also know I have some learning to do. Right, just when I thought the only research I would have to do is within my books, here I go needing to research on how to blog.

You would think having blogged sporadically for five years I would have all the working knowledge I need. I've come to the conclusion that if this is ever going to be for more than anyone but myself I need to admit my lack of knowledge and do what I tell my coaching clients to do  - gird myself with knowledge and understanding so I can make and achieve attainable goals.

Kristen Lamb has two books that have recieved soem good reviews from several of my peers so I think I'm going to take some of that research book budget I have and save toward buying these two books:
I'll let you know what I think once I get them and start reading them. The old research book budget isn't as big as it used to be, but I don't have a lot of fiction books I'm purchasing this summer so maybe I can squeeze them in with my fiction purchases. *grin*

What are your favorite ways to use social media to build community? What type of community are you attempting to build? I would love to know!


  1. It's funny because I'm not published and don't have big aspirations to be, but it was very important to the boy that everything I do be under the same name. So, my blog, twitter, and Facebook all have the same name - princessapr though privacy settings are high and I have them linked to different email accounts (FB is personal and everything else is linked to a generic gmail account).

    I considered a pen name when I was very young and always was going to have it be April Holt for some reason. I thought April Kim was way too strangely Korean even though Kim is my middle name and my mom's initials and nothing to do with my ethnicity. :) Either way, it was very important to the boy that I brand myself. He doesn't even like it when I change blogger wallpaper so I think I've made him happy that it's constant now (and matches my iPod wallpaper).

    I think social media is a good way to adapt to the lack of publishing marketing available nowadays and a way to connect reader to author. Unfortunately, it's an immediate way to connect reader to author so bad things get filtered in as well, but I think it's more positive than negative.

  2. Can't wait to hear what you learn. I am definately seeing that it is one thing to blog and another thing to use your blog.