Blog,  From One Writer To Another

On Being A Writer And Using Social Media

The other day, an author friend of mine shared a post asking her writer friends if they loved or hated social media.

I read through the comments and I noticed two things. One: a lot of authors said they struggled with social media. Two: Not one person said social media was optional. Indeed, most authors commenting said they thought it was necessary. I commented back on a few and gave my perspective: “no, social media is not necessary.”

This may sound odd coming from someone who has and uses social media as an author. Yet, I have my reasons to believe so.

In their book “The Relaxed Author” Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre explore this very subject in their chapter: “Choose Social Media That Suits You – Or Don’t Use It At All”. Joanna and Mark make the point that social media is not beneficial for all authors, and they base this premise on their own experience as well as a survey they conducted on other authors.

Indeed, some authors interviewed had opted out of social media completely, and used other forms of marketing: podcasts, newsletter, paid adds, and more.

So, no. Social media is not necessary. (Unless your traditionally publishing and your publisher requires a certain amount of social media followers!)

While social media can help us connect with our audience, selling our books is not a given.

Social media requires a lot of time. Some authors do not want to spend that time creating free content that competes with millions of other pieces of content out there.

Not only that, but many authors struggle with feelings of inadequacy, comparisonitis, and discouragement, as a result of social media vanity metrics.

And then there’s a whole other side to social media—its addictiveness. Social media is designed to suck us in and keep us hooked. Social media isn’t free. We are the product. The more amount of time we spend on it, the more likely we are to click on paid adds.

So what does all this mean for me?

I don’t feel to give up social media completely – at least, not at this moment. But going forward, I’m praying for direction in how to use social media wisely. I pray God would help me not to get hooked, and to redeem its use for His glory.

In practical terms, I’m seeking God for direction in how to turn my Unique Mums account into a collaboration between several Christian mums with a similar vision. And then in terms of my author account, I want to focus on connecting with other authors.

So now, I’d like to encourage you, fellow writer, that if you feel the setbacks of SM outweigh the benefits, please don’t feel you “have to do social media”. There are other ways of reaching readers.

If, like me, you feel you can use it, but you need boundaries, seek God for direction.

Do whatever you know God is calling you to do. And trust in Him. He will provide according to His goodness.

Your writing pal,

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