Saturday, February 18, 2012

The joys of social media

All right - I know that a lot of you moaned just then. Social media, and the attending need to promote yourself and your work, is driving a LOT of writers insane.

For those who aren't up with the lingo - social media refers to all the various platforms online by which we connect with each other socially. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and there's new ones popping up all the time (the latest is Pinterest).

As writers we're encouraged by both our publishers and by publicity gurus to get online, get into social media, get connecting, get promoting.

It can seem a scary prospect - especially when you're then told you shouldn't just promote yourself - it's got to be a real social connection.

Promote but not promote? I think my head just exploded.

But focussing on the promoting side of it can rob you of the real value of social media - that it is about being social. About chatting with friends. About making new ones. All from the comfort of our office chair, which for us writers and our tendency to be a little shy and maybe anti-social is a good thing :)

A classic example of this occurred just a couple of hours ago. A friend who I've met once in real life but have come to know via social media and online writing groups, got married this morning and those of us who were far away got to share in the experience because the wedding was live tweeted by a couple of guests (with the bride and groom's permission).

So we got to follow proceedings. We got a view of the dress and to see the cake. And even though I wasn't there, I found myself tearing up. Following the wedding on Twitter felt just as real as being there.

If I hadn't got online to promote myself, I would never have met that girl. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have had this morning's wonderful experience. And it had nothing to do with promotion, but everything to do with being part of a community, building friendships and THAT is what social media is really about.

Because you know who make the best cheerleaders for your writing career? Your friends and family. Make more friends, have more cheerleaders.

And get to have wonderful, tear-jerking moments that remind you of just how incredible the power of love is.

Congrats to Nicky and Damon.


Nicole Murphy is the author of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy from HarperCollins and dozens of short stories. Her website is and her Twitter tag is @nicole_r_murphy


Brenda said...

All this social media stuff is scary at times, but I have also met some fabulous people who have become great friends.

Cate Masters said...

Love it when social media actually connects with the real world. Lovely post.

Nicole Murphy said...

Thanks Cate and Brenda :)

Brenda - I'm trying to convince myself that scary is good - stepping outside your boundaries, learning, all that stuff. Sometimes it works... :)

Cate - I find social media is often my true way of connecting with friends :)