Why blog? Why tweet?

I’ve been ruminating on why I’m so drawn to social media and on what I hope to get out of using it. We writers are continually being told by those in publishing who know about these things that we should build our “platforms,” cultivate our audience, even before we have a book to sell. Certainly I began using social media with these directives in mind, yet social media is more than marketing for me.

I was first invited to join Facebook six years ago by a friend who lived in another state, as a way for us to keep in touch across the miles, and this keeping in touch with people who are far away continues to be one of the main reasons I maintain a personal profile there. A lot of people, though, use personal profiles for professional or advocacy reasons, so over the years I’ve had to find a way to incorporate those connections without compromising my privacy too much. This has probably been my biggest challenge in using Facebook.

I set up a professional Facebook page, but it’s been difficult to get people to go over there. The things I post on my professional page are directly related to my writing goals and my writing life, whereas what I post on my personal profile are usually things like photos of my kids and silly quizzes and comments about local or personal things that are going on. Continue reading “Why blog? Why tweet?”

Be careful to not create a chain reaction resulting in multiple posts of the same content to the same platform. For example, WordPress gives me the ability to share my posts with Facebook and Twitter. I can also set up Facebook to share updates with Twitter and/or set up Twitter to share tweets with Facebook. I do not want to send my blog posts from WordPress to Facebook and Twitter, and then also share my Facebook updates to Twitter, because this will result in one blog post being sent two times to Twitter, one right after the other. Do people do it? Yes, but it always looks sloppy to me. To avoid this, I set up WordPress to post to Facebook, and I set up Facebook to post to Twitter. This way, a blog post goes out once to Facebook and only once to Twitter, and I don’t annoy anyone.

What’s Going On — August 2013

2013-06-09 12.01.42August is a transition month, when my children’s summer vacation comes to a close and I try to remember how to be productive in a silent house. The kids have settled into their new school routines now, but I haven’t yet settled into my new routine as a so-called “professional” writer and editor. Back in July while they were occupied by two weeks of summer camp, I began to lay out some ground rules for my new self-employed work life. Now it’s time to put those strategies into action.

I’ve decided on a regular schedule for my blogging and social media activities that will hopefully keep me active in these areas without being so restrictive I’ll instinctively want to blow them off. I’ve also put together a list of writing and editing goals I’d like to accomplish in the next several months. I had so many ideas swirling around in my head, I needed to organize them in print so that I could determine whether or not they were doable and in what time frame.

All that’s left to do is begin. That’s always the hardest part, isn’t it?

The first week my kids were in school, I was occupied being an adoptee activist: I participated in my first Adoptee Rights Demonstration and also spoke on a radio show discussing the Veronica Brown case. I was glad for the opportunity to speak on behalf of other like-minded adoptees and thrilled to meet some of them in person, but being the introvert that I am, these kinds of activities always wear me out. Last week I felt as if I couldn’t get going on anything meaningful. I only wanted to rest.

Now I have two book reviews to complete for the upcoming issue of Flycatcher, and another for Lost Daughters. Plus all the other things on my list of personal business goals. I’m ready to get started.