Doing Things MY WAY…..
While doing research for the first four novels in my ‘Locke & Keye’ series, I was informed that publishers would not be even remotely interested in so much as looking at my final product (we’re talking the first completed novel) unless I had a blog. Not just “a blog”, but one that I manage entirely on my own, update regularly (which means more than once a month), where I connect with my readers, and that they want to see that people are interested in the every day things I have to say, not just what I write for them in printed format.
There were some other “musts”. One of which included Facebook. I have an author’s page. You won’t see me say a whole lot on there, but you can certainly friend me if you want to., just be sure I know who you are because I am not the type to just accept every single friend request sent my way. It is not a popularity contest for me in ANY way.
Twitter was another “must”, and there were a few other things I rolled my eyes at.
It is somehow the belief that you gain readers via social media, and ONLY via social media. I call BULLSHIT on that, and I’ll tell you why.
#1- Unless you have absolutely no life, you don’t care what I say or don’t say on Facebook. Why would you? There’s nothing special going on there. Anything you want to learn about me you can learn via my work, via sending me an e-mail, or via responding to the things I post. I will always answer a person, so long as they’re being respectful. If you’re going to be a jackass, I respectfully decline to communicate with you. Period.
#2- I am a reader and a writer. I read what my favorite writers’ have to say on their own blogs and web-sites, but when I’m busy and haven’t had the time to read their blogs, I stick to their books as they are released. I don’t care what they say on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. I don’t care about their political views (In truth I think it’s important for publiuc figures to keep their political and religious views to themselves. That’s just me though.), what they had for lunch, that they just found a pair of cute shoes, or whether or not they got to the gym today. That doesn’t sell me a damn thing, the stories they write are the selling point. However, it does let me know at times that some people have way too much time on their hands and really need to quit discussing their sex life via Facebook. Why does anyone feel the need to share every single detail of their lives like that? When did we all become the Kardashians?! (And I say this despite the fact that I follow Khloe’ on Facebook and adore her.)
#3- If you have time to “tweet” all damn day, I really don’t care. It doesn’t prove anything to me, other than the fact that a lot of people can knowingly embarrass themselves in 140 characters, or less. I refuse to join Twitter. Do not expect me to be tweeting EVER. It’s not going to happen, not even on a bet.
About seven months ago I met an amazing guy who has the same thought process I do regarding Twitter. His exact words were “One day I’ll get drunk, post something completely inappropriate or rude on Twitter, embarrass myself and my family, and do I REALLY want to explain that to my mother when she sees it, even at my age? No. So I will take a pass on that whole thing. I think it’s a great promotional tool, but it’s not for me.” Agreed. Did I mention he’s amazing?
#4- I did start this blog because of a publishing mandate, but I have grown to LOVE my blog. Unless I am really sick, or obscenely engaged in something I’m doing, I post at least one thing a day on here. I try not to miss too many days in a row without posting something. I probably lost 10 “followers” in May because I was unable to post every single day as I normally do, which sucks, but not for me, because I see it as defining the true from the fake.
I have met some really wonderful, kind, caring, hilarious, genuine, generous people because of this blog, many of whom I now have friendships with off the blogosphere. You all know who you are. For a person who values friendship to the extent that I do, for me to call you a friend is a big deal. I don’t call every single person I talk to in this world a friend. I do not use the word lightly, not ever, so if you’re my friend, be loyal and don’t discuss me behind my back. If you want to know something, ask me directly. I am an extremely private person, but I’m also incredibly direct and blunt. I will give you honest, kind, caring advice. I treat everyone the way I want to be treated in kind. If I see someone is hurting, I try to be supportive. I don’t say things to be cruel to people. That’s abuse to me, and I would rather keep my mouth shut than come off like some kind of crazed, cruel bitch. I can save that side of myself for those deserving of it.
#5- Deciding to commit to this blog and keep it going has sparked something in me and given me a fantastic sharing and sounding board. It is something I love doing and look forward to continuing. I do not expect every single person that “follows me” to buy my books. It’s an unrealistic expectation, so do not feel obligated. Buy only what you want to. I am not going to push myself on you. Everyone has the right to use their entertainment dollar as they see fit. If it’s your deal and your genre, or you simply want to check it out, then you will. You’ll give me honest feedback, maybe even come to events and introduce yourself to me in person. I will never treat you like I don’t know who you are. In fact, I will be happy for the support. I will appreciate your effort in showing up and I will listen to what you have to say. I’m invested in this, so please feel free to communicate with me whenever and however you choose.
#6- My books are important to me, but so are the people that will eventually read them. I will always do my best to communicate with readers and respond to their comments, just as I do here.
A lot has happened to me in my life. A lot has happened to me since I started this blog, and those I have linked to it. I have grown, I have changed, I have become a better, stronger person. I like and respect the woman that I look at in the mirror, even if I occasionally cringe and say “Where the !@#$ did that line come from? It wasn’t there yesterday!” I am by no means perfect. I suffer from Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain every single day of my life, but being a writer has saved me more times than I can count. I do it because it’s what I want to do and I will always do things MY WAY. Any of you with a strong personality knows what I’m talking about and why. If I don’t do it myself, it will never be done right, and I feel like I’ve got a great handle on “doing it right” here.
Thank you to everyone I can call a friend, to those that have supported me here on WordPress from day one, to the small group that supports me in my creative endeavors, to those who send me e-mails and leave me comments, and to the new people that have started following me in the last few months. I appreciate it and hope that I will continue to keep you interested, intrigued, laughing, smiling, and nodding your heads. And of course, to those who have been in my life for so long, you know what you mean to me.
I agree, it is b.s. which is why I do not have a Facebook or Twitter.
I’ve had to do a lot of things to protect my name as an author, and to shore up web-sites, etc. It’s a lot of time and money (and I flipped my lid when someone already had a site with my name. I still have no idea what to do about that, because it’s confusing.), and most of it is extremely wasteful. I would much rather put out a solid body of work and have people enjoy it, and they can always read my blog and leave me messages, as opposed to my being a moron on social networking and being less than who I really am as a person. It’s not my thing, and I refuse to be yanked into it.
I love Pinterest, as you well know, but that’s totally different to me, ya know?
Quality over quantity. I prefer WordPress, and yes, the occasional Pinterest but for me both are personal.
Sorry to hear about someone having the same site name Wish I could offer up ideas, but the whole internet realm and domain names confuse me.
I feel as if Facebook and Twitter are just snippets. On WP, I can express myself more creatively. Funny the things people expect us to do in the name of popularity. I refuse to be yanked into it too.
“I do it because it’s what I want to do and I will always do things MY WAY. Any of you with a strong personality knows what I’m talking about and why. If I don’t do it myself, it will never be done right, and I feel like I’ve got a great handle on “doing it right” here.” –> This. YES. No wonder I liked you from the get-go. Not many people (even those who are very close to me) can understand this and often see it as just me being incorrigibly stubborn. That might be true to an extent but rather than it being stubbornness, I see it as just me being myself and knowing how I have to work in order to do my best.
I know they have to look at it from a marketing/PR standpoint, but it’s such a bad message to send people who work hard to produce something publishable, especially in a day and age where some of the world’s worst shit is published and shoved down our throats.
I’ve found so many amazing writers simply by word of mouth, or by seeing a book cover that intrigued me, and became an immense fan of someone’s work that way, but never via social media. I had a friend tell me about a series of books that he loved, he’d be reading them everywhere he went because he said they were completely addictive. I picked up the first few books because I wanted to see what was so great about them. I fell in love and have read every single book in the series, and I continue to read the new ones each year. It’s 100% my attitude and style of writing in many ways, and the author shares my birthday, which is not a shock at all. Through that author, I’ve become a fan of six or seven other authors, so again, that attitude towards social media being the great white hope for authors is nonsensical to me.
Nonsense at it’s finest!
It’s unnecessary pressure. Talented people become so intimidated by these mandates that quality work never sees the light of day, and that truly saddens me.