Social Media and Writing Part 2

Social Media Writing Part 2

Social Media Writing Part 2? Er, I meanĀ Social Media and Writing, Part 2.

More about the Chuck Wendig blog post, and my take on it all.

Recap

Let us return to our discussion. In the first part of this post, I talked about the current state of social media, more or less. Numbers are high. The avalanche won’t let up.

Now is the time to talk about you.

Yeah, you.

Your definition of success will define your book-related happiness. Choose it wisely

What am I talking about?

What I mean is, if you go into writing thinking you’re going to become wealthy, stop right there, turn around, and go to actuarial school or something.

Actuarial?

I don’t know. Bear with me, okay?

Just, don’t consider writing as a super-lucrative career. That is rare, which is why most of the people who have become wealthy from writing are household names.

Furthermore, two of them, JK Rowling and Stephen King, both started in grinding poverty. They both played what I like to call Bill Roulette, where you have five monthly bills but only enough money to pay four. So you mentally spin a big wheel and choose who you’re going to stiff that month. Although they probably both dreamed of making it big, I imagine their initial goals were things like paying all the bills or getting the transmission fixed on the car.

Icons

Think you’re going to become iconic, like Harper Lee? You might, yes. It’s not wholly outside the realm of possibility. But don’t go into writing with that as your primary goal. For you will surely be disappointed. Furthermore, before your death, how do you even measure iconic status? If it’s by number of books sold, then you’re back to the fame and fortune dream, supra.

Instead, try defining success in bite-sized terms. And try defining it objectively. Usually that means books sold or reviews obtained.

Goal: sell 50 books. Get 20 reviews. Average 3 1/2 stars or better on the reviews.

There. That’s reasonable, attainable, and measurable. You may or may not want to add a time component, but I personally would not. Why not? Because you’ll just make yourself crazy with a self-imposed timeline. What if, for example, your most devoted and reliable readersĀ end up being middle schoolers? They might not have the time to read during the school year, so if you limit your goal to the school year, you could end up feeling like a failure. And then summer would save you. So avoid the heartache and just excise the time element. You’ll be a far happier person.

Nobody wants to see or read a nonstop advertising stream

Seriously. Stop doing that. That’s why people are on the Internet in the first place. If they wanted ads, they would be watching network television.

If the only thing you have to talk about is where to buy your book, I’ve got news for you.

You’re boring.

So please don’t do that.

Instead, divvy up your time. And spend 30% or less of it on self-promotions. For your other time, take 40% for promoting others. And no more than 30% providing more personal information. Don’t talk about the weather or your lunch, but if you just broke through writer’s block, I bet your audience would love to know that.

Egad, I had no idea I would write this much! Time for part 3!