Posts tagged ‘Social media’

Indie Exhaustion and Social Media Fatigue

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a topic that most independent authors know very well. Our society has changed much and continues to evolve. The way we do things, the way we work and communicate, the way we live and handle time – all this has changed dramatically over the past decades. The old models don’t seem to be working anymore, and new generations find themselves in the middle of an old system and the emerging of another.

Social media and internet communication/socialization is growing at high speeds. For independent authors it is the best of times, however it is all happening so fast, and it might be exhausting for many. Indies do it all, but they also want to keep up with social media trends.  I have read advice about “becoming involved in everything, in as many sites and social media venues as possible.” I think that this is advice that I cannot take to heart, at least in my case. Why? Because it leads to exhaustion, mental chaos/fatigue, and worry (in the sense of having to keep up with all those social media sites).

I keep things to a minimum. I cannot write under exhaustion or mental chaos, neither will I be able to do much of my work, if I was to follow that advice. I keep this blog that I enjoy immensely, an author website (that I am developing slowly), a Facebook page (that I don’t visit as much as I’d like because I truly enjoy Facebook), and a Twitter account, which I plug-in with this blog, and might visit from time to time (and I have considered removing the Twitter account since I am not very active in it, other than posting through this blog).  I do have other work related websites that I keep up as well. I was tempted to join Goodreads and Shelfari (and almost did), but realized that doing so would add a layer of fatigue, and more sites to worry about keeping up. I believe that I am not involved in as many sites as other authors are, and I know my limitations. I believe in being involved in fewer sites and being active than in too many that I cannot keep up with them. That is why I decided not to join Goodreads and other sites that interest me (at least for now). I love interacting with people through social media, but need to keep a balance on what I can truly handle. I believe in answering posts and emails, as well as visiting other sites and sharing. I believe that it is not possible to do this on too many sites at once. I also believe that belonging to too many sites at once would impact the quality of the interaction, and the enjoyment of it as well.  Therefore my need to keep it as simple as I can.  I’ve seen blogs were the blogger limits himself/herself to post and does not answer comments or interact with readers. To me, it defies the purpose of blogging and social media in general. Why would I want to post/write something if I am not going to answer a comment about it? That would be as talking to myself in the mirror. Communication, sharing of ideas … is the purpose of social media, among other things.

My point to all this rambling is that if you (as an indie) are feeling a bit exhausted only from your social media interaction, and feel that you cannot keep up with it, and it is affecting you (and possibly your work), maybe it is time to cut some of it, and only become active on the sites you truly enjoy.

I would love to hear from you on this topic.

Blogging versus Writing

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Беседа), 51.1 x 61.3 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I want to talk/write about the distinction between blogging and formal writing when you are a writer/author or work as a freelance writer. I say distinction because blogging and writing share many similarities as well as differences. I guess the question that I want to address here is, “Do you write as you blog?  No, I don’t, and I hope the answer is no for many.  For me, blogging is more about having a conversation, similar to the conversation you would have with someone at a coffee shop, for example. You let your guard down a bit, enjoy your coffee, the company, and talk about what is going on with you, your work … but also, listen to the other party, and share his/her interests.  When blogging, I may start a sentence with the words and, or, and I may use the words ending in ally with or without disregard, and tons of adverbs, depending on what I want to convey, and the mood.  It doesn’t mean that I advocate sloppy blogging. It means that I feel comfortable enough in the conversation to let go of some rules of writing and talk to readers of the blog as I would talk to a friend in casual conversation.

When writing a novel or working on an assignment, editing becomes the friend. It has been said that there is a conversation between an author and the readers of a novel (and there is); however, that conversation happens in the mind, between the lines, and certainly, after my friend “the editor” has meddle in the conversation.

Another point to consider is the purpose of the blog. Blogs that are formal, informative, and cater to a specific group of readers, should follow the applicable sets of rules, very different from conversational blogs that aim to grow a community, start a conversation, and share among bloggers/readers. I follow the same conversational rules for social media. I’d rather say “see you later gators,” than say, “I will see you later, alligators” – just to give you a common example. If I was writing an instructional, informative, or “formal post,” I would follow suit.

One thing that I find no need or excuse for in blogging or any other social media outlet, is bad etiquette, bad manners, personal attacks, improper use of language, and sloppiness (laziness). But to each its own.

As a writer/author or as a reader, how do you feel about blogging and formal writing? I would love to hear your opinion.

Building Your Brand – the Rewards

Line art representation of a Quill

Line art representation of a Quill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a follow-up to the previous post, I thought that I would mention the benefits or rewards of building your brand.  The rewards go beyond the monetary gratification, as brand building touches the entrepreneur’s “soul” (for lack of a better word).  When you set out to build your brand, you are strenghtening the process of reaffirming your commitment to your business or craft.  To outsiders, it serves as mere recognition of a brand, to the entrepreneur/artist/writer it plays an important part in building not only the business, but the perception in which the endeavor is seen from the entrepreneur’s side, deepening the commitment, inspiration, and serving as a refreshing fountain of energy (fuel) to keep it going.

Branding builds in professionalism, setting you apart from many other similar endeavors, for example, the author that just produces the book, lists it for sale, but never worries about building a brand around it – an author’s website, page, networking, and plenty of marketing, among other things.  It doesn’t matter if you self-publish or go the traditional way, brand building is important if you are planning to become a lifetime writer.

The financial rewards will eventually increase with brand recognition, if done right, but it should never be the main goal of building your brand.  It goes deeper than that, and if you are serious about your product (whatever that may be), you will understand that while everyone needs to make a living (preferably doing something that you love), it is when you give something back to the reader/customer/client that your brand will become stronger and your endeavor/business will grow.  This principle is old and you may have heard of it in the scriptures, popular wisdom … “What goes around comes around,” “You get what you give,” “Give and you shall receive,” and many other variations of it.

If you become serious about building your brand, do it with love, passion, and generosity and the rewards will eventually show up.