Why No Twitter?

woman-1446557_640.jpgPerhaps the most universal advice an indie author will get is that they need to be on social media to build a platform. For me, this is like saying to a person terrified of water that they have to learn to swim before they can be successful.

I am, by nature, an introvert. I have a ton of social anxieties that go way back to when I was in elementary school and the target of pretty much all the school bullies. Because I was an introvert even then. I was also the classic nerd: socially awkward, glasses, acne, poor fashion choices, and an obsession with academic excellence that other kids despised.

I spent my childhood daydreaming. Dreaming up stories. Oftentimes, it was the only escape I had from the social nightmare of school. Back then, video games were about hand-eye coordination, so I wasn’t very good at them (I’m better at that now, but still prefer RPGs over action platformers), and we only had one game console that my older brother dominated anyway (he was very good at them, so I rarely got a chance to practice).

This left books and daydreams as my only escape, and I used both liberally. I needed these outlets, just to get through each day. I would spend every second that I had with my nose either buried in a book, or scribbling notes for a story. You can imagine how popular this made me. 😉

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Social interactions nowadays are quite a bit different, but no less fraught with emotional peril. It’s quite easy to find yourself embroiled in an online battle royale with just a single tweet or post. I’m much thicker-skinned than I used to be as a child, but that’s because some of that thick skin is composed of scars.

Despite that thick skin, I’ve been conditioned by experience to avoid situations that can quickly and unexpectedly devolve into a nightmare—you know, that dream where you find yourself at school naked. There are other reasons I avoid most social media like the plague as well (like social laziness and a desire to focus on writing my books instead of tweets), but this is the one that stands out the most to me. I don’t want to say or do the wrong thing and suddenly find myself in the center of a firestorm of negativity.

So, even though I know I should have Twitter, and Instagram, and Google+ and every other possible social media outlet I can sign up for, I only have Facebook and my blog (and I don’t check or update Facebook nearly as often as I should). I only spend one day a week even on the social media I do have, which is why it might sometimes seem like I’m suddenly extremely active online for a brief spurt and then nothing. A week on the Internet is an eternity.

I know what I have to do, as an indie, to grow my platform and spread the word about my books, but at this point, it’s still on my “To do” list, and will probably remain there for a while. I’d rather spend the majority of my focus on writing my books. According to all the advice and wisdom out there on indie publishing, this is undoubtedly not the way to do things, but I’ve never been very good at fitting in anyway. Some things never change. 🙂

What do you guys think? How is your relationship with social media? Do you consider it a burden or a blessing? I’d love to get feedback on this, because sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t wholly embraced it, but I’d also like to know what you enjoy about social media, because perhaps it will give me a new perspective to make things easier for me.

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10 Comments

  1. Oh, Susan. I am sure there are many of us out there who have little time for social media, including me. I, too, had glasses from the time I was a small child, along weight problems as soon as I hit puberty (thankfully I was able to skip the acne). Books were a big outlet for me and I had a small but tight group of friends. And imagination/dreaming; my cousin and I played out all sorts of silly scenarios every summer, swimming in the lake and horseback riding (mermaids and centaurs figured prominently in these adventures!).

    I was always terrified of making myself look foolish; even now I rarely speak out unless I’m extremely confident of my subject matter. I’ve always been told, “You need more confidence” but I couldn’t find a store that sold it ;). And here I thought everything was available on the internet.

    Video games never captured my focus; perhaps I would have been interested if a good story was involved … with a HEA. Oh, that would be BOOKS again.

    As far as social media – I’ve found a couple of Facebook groups that I enjoy following as they involve books, being silly, having fun, and I haven’t found nastiness in either Group. I never post on my own Facebook page as I’m a private person; why do I want everyone to know “how I’m feeling today”. Too much sharing. I rarely friend anyone, because I don’t post. But I always let people know why I don’t “friend” them as it seems to be taken as a personal affront if you don’t. *sigh* So silly. So many new ways to offend an even larger group of folks.

    I’ve made what should have been a short comment much too long. The point would be: You are definitely not alone.

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    1. Cindy, sounds like we have a LOT in common. Makes sense now why we like so many of the same books. 😀

      When I was a kid, I had these huge, coke-bottle glasses that were the early version of transition lenses. They took forever to change color, so I’d be indoors with dark glasses. The kids did not think that was cool. I was also mocked brutally for my weight, and went through puberty in fifth grade, being the tallest kid in my class, and the only one who needed to wear a bra. (Sadly, I stopped growing not long after on both counts, sigh.)

      I lacked confidence for many years after those horrible preteen and teen years, but I will say that joining the Army helped out a lot with that, and then later, putting my writing out there for other people to see. But yeah, no store sells it, or I would totally buy in bulk. I think I could still use a good dose of it.

      Sounds like your imagination helped you as well. I love mermaids and centaurs!

      There are actually some video games with amazing stories and HEAs. A lot of the role-playing games I’ve played have great stories, and some of them even have romance-able characters. The romances aren’t usually as deep as the books we read, but they are visual and interactive, which is really cool. My favorite series, The Mass Effect trilogy, actually has romanceable alien characters.

      Thank you for commenting. As always, I’ve enjoyed your feedback!

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  2. There is way too much mean spirited conversations on Twitter IMO 😢 Better to put your work out on the best sites possible and hope the word spreads thru true fans! We know what’s great reading material! 😊 Keep the faith GF 👹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do have six books out, so at this point I really should be building a platform according to all the marketing experts, but as you said, I’d rather focus on my writing. I think social media can be a huge time sink, and I already feel like I don’t have enough time as it is. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Social media is very necessary I find but it takes a lot of effort. And there seems to be mixed feeling on it. Some experts say to.join every one. Others say to be selective because the upkeep of having too many can be overwhelming.

    I think that with the more open market of self-publishing comes a denser market. The fight to be noticed in the sea of books creates the need for social media presence. But that, too, is flooded. So, it’s becoming more and more of a wasted effort if not paying for ad on every SM platform.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely have a grasp on the situation. This is the challenge, from both sides! Too much social media, and you run out of time. Not enough, and you get lost in the vast ocean of self published works that are available. Having a social media platform is pretty much essential nowadays, but it must be balanced. Thank you for your input on this!

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