As you all know I’ve been busy this last week editing With Deadly Intent (book 1) and researching/preparing book 2 which is as yet untitled.
Because of wanting to get book 1 done and book 2 started, I’ve slowed my reading down and put certain things on the back burner, such as Writing magazine. Getting to work this evening I realised that I had both February and March copies to read, and it being slow tonight, I decided to make a coffee and crack them open.
One article, Blow Your Own Trumpet (pg 58, February issue, Writing magazine) made me pause and consider. The article is basically about an up and coming author, Philip Henry (website www.philiphenry.com, twitter @philiphenry9) who was struggling with the use of social media and blowing his own trumpet. It made me think about how much things have progressed since I first started writing those stapled-at-the-side books for my teacher in primary school. At 4-11 years old the most technology I was exposed to was an old atari computer, a handheld pacman game and eventually I think a gameboy! Social media back then was newspaper articles and radio shows.
Now I personally own a digital SLR camera, the latest model Iphone, an Ipad, a kindle, and a laptop and I use social media in its literal terms on a daily basis. This is probably because I happen to be in the generation where all of the devices and social media options have become readily available. I don’t claim to be technically minded, despite having the Bsc and Ma under my belt. I am however a learner, I love learning how to use things and do things. Reading the above article about Philip however made me realise, that although it is all second nature to me, it would be very daunting if I hadn’t been brought up with it all. Twitter is full of people plugging their work constantly, often over selling if this is possible. Google plus gets us noticed, linked-in means we make and maintain professional contacts, facebook is well just facebook! But the point of it all is to get ourselves noticed. It’s actually heart warming to realise that people want to read what we post, and opens up a virtual journal in many cases of people’s lives. With all of this going on it’s naturally going to be confusing.
As a writer, I have spent much time deliberating when is best to do my social media – should I put time aside to do it? Should I do it when it takes my fancy? Or just when I have something worthwhile to say? Well the simplest answer for me, having been honing my social media usage since the initiation of my website all the way back in January (wow its March already!!!) is that I use it when it doesn’t interrupt other things. So I’ll pop on twitter as I lay in bed, or if its quiet at work. I’ll do a quick facebook page update at the same time – the ease of use on my portable devices making this immediately possible. And I try to use my personal facebook account strategically – I’m nosy by nature so this is the hardest part! Linked in gets checked every couple of days and my website? Well needless to say I’m a little obsessed with the checking of stats.
I think the most important feature of social networking is not to let it take it take over our lives – use it as we need to, and recognise it for what it is. A tool to connect, converse and advertise. But remain true to ourselves and our lives in general.
On other subjects, I have sent the first section of With Deadly Intent to an editor (see Sections of my Work for sneak preview of the prologue). The next few months will be busy editing the whole thing again, again and more than likely again, as well as continuing work on the new one which I will naturally keep you updated with.
It’s finally springtime too – take the time to look around and take it all in as the world wakens from winter. It won’t be long until the daffodils flower, the baby birds start singing for their supper and the baby bunnies start bouncing all over!
Hope you found my personal insight interesting and, as always, Thanks for reading. 🙂