Procrastination is a game changer. I know I’m supposed to be writing about social media. Specifically, how we can all use social media to advance our careers. To be honest, I’ve known about the need to build a social media platform for a while. But, did I do it? Well, no. And, here are some of the reasons why: I have no idea how, I don’t want to, my time is better spent writing or illustrating, I need to finish my manuscripts, I need to edit my manuscripts, and I doubt that it really makes a difference. For me, everything boils down to time and motivation.
Pre-conference, I didn’t think social media was worth either the time or the motivation. Then, I met Laura Whitaker and her brilliant advice on social media rang true. After listening to her speak, I was converted. Conflicted, but converted. I even cried. And here’s why …
I realized I had to step it up BIG TIME and I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge.
Some of my reasons for avoiding social media are valid and some maybe not so much. In the past, we could rest easy in the knowledge that we had written and/or illustrated a great book. Our talent would carry us through. These days, a lot of people are talented. The more we can connect with people and showcase our individuality, the better our chances of advancing in this industry.
This is where social media steps in, at least for me. Sometimes, social media sets us apart. Having a great web presence can be the deciding factor between two great books. This tid-bit was particularly interesting to me. Editors and agents love to see that you connect with people and you are willing to help advertise and promote your work.
I got over my despondency pretty quickly. I want to make it in this business and I realized that if millions of other people can do it, so can I. And, so can you. I have a Facebook page and, after the conference, set up a twitter page. I’m already blogging for SCBWI and, for now, that’s enough blogging for me. Last year my husband bought me a domain name for my birthday. So, in the weeks after our fall conference, I have been getting on board with this whole social media push. I’ve built a skeleton web-site, tweeted, posted, blogged, rated books on goodreads, pinned things on Pinterest boards, and set up an Instagram account.
I particularly love Instagram. I’m a visual person by nature and I like connecting with people that way. I set up my Instagram to feed into Twitter and Facebook, killing three proverbial birds with one stone. Did I mention I also love efficiency? The idea that I could take pictures of real places that were depicted in my novels and share them online really appealed to me. It’s easy, fast, and very effective.
I’ve been stewing these weeks since the conference. Editing, thinking up new novel ideas, and creating my social media platform have consumed me. I haven’t been writing as much as usual and I feel a little guilty for not being as “traditionally productive.” I really need to start my new novel and I’ve been procrastinating by doing all these other writerly things. The silver lining is that my social media platform would not exist without this procrastination. And, I think it’s finally sinking in that not all writing comes down to word count and eloquence-sometimes it’s in the breaks from writing, the tweets, the posts, the blogs…