14 August 2009

Networks and the antisocial writer

Okay, so maybe I'm not really "antisocial", but I'm not an outgoing person, either. That, in part, is why I write. I can say all those things I want to say but would never dare. I just let my characters do the talking.

Then along comes the aspect of writing that I find the toughest of all -- self-promotion. I'm not comfortable saying "Read my books, they're fantastic", but that's basically what you have to do. You have to convince all those readers out there that your story is the one they cannot do without.

Social networks have become both the saving grace and bane of many writers' careers. The thing that attracts us first: they're free. Free is always good. And they manage to reach a huge and varied audience. Learning to use social networks to our advantage...well, that's a whole other ballgame.

I'm not the best at the social network thing. Yes, I have my spot at MySpace and my own Facebook page. I also have a page at Manic Readers; tried out Bebo for a time; and have two twitter profiles -- long story. Then there's this blog, my own blog, Shades of Suspense, and the Samhain Author Blog. Overkill? Likely. But when you hear about the latest great thing, you hop on board the train.

My problem with all this is: What do I say? What on earth is so wonderful about my life that people would want to read about it on a daily or even weekly basis? Then there's the big dilemma of where the hell do I get the time to do it all???? I have five children, 9-18. I home-school them all ... except the oldest son (age 14) who is jumping ship to try his wings in high school. I also have a home to take care of -- I do clean occasionally; a husband that needs a bit of attention (men!); and, oh yeah, there's the writing thing I really should spend some time on.

It can get a bit overwhelming. What's a girl to do?

Well, I think I've somewhat figured it out. You have do what's best for you. Personally, I feel more comfortable at Facebook than I do at MySpace, so the former is where I'm more likely to log in every day. However, do note that if you're my friend and send me a hundred applications, I'll likely ignore most of them. It's not personal. It's time management. Besides, I have no secret desire to join the Mob. Really, I don't.

As far as blogging goes, I'll stick with what I have. I will admit, I'm still trying to find that blog-voice. So many come by it naturally, but not me. I don't feel completely comfortable sharing cute family trivia and day-to-day antics -- we have them, believe me. But there are too many eyes out there. Too many people I don't know from Adam, and these are my kids. I've also found I'm not the best at sharing writing advice. So I think I need to be somewhere in the middle...and it's a middle I'm still searching for.

Then just when I think I have this social network thing somewhat under control, along comes another invite to another network someone in my circle has discovered. Here that sound? It's me...banging my head on the keyboard.

Btw, do read my books. They're great! (GGG)

~~Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...
http://www.megallisonauthor.com
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