Social Misfit

on March 16, 2015 in Misc

I have a small confession.

I am the polar opposite of a social media star.

Yes I know, that shocks you all.  But it’s true.  Outside of this humble blog, I’ve never bothered with social media.  I’m not on Facebook.  I joined Twitter, never used it, and lost my password.  I have no brand.  No platform.  No fan base.  You may notice I don’t even have my picture or name prominently place on my own blog.  In the virtual world, I am approaching the black hole of non-existence.

funny cat

Which means I will never get an agent or traditional publisher, never mind that years ago I was published by Bantam.  I may also be hurting my chances of selling my screenplay.

The thing is, I’ve learned a little late that agents now check out potential clients on the Internet.  If you don’t have a social media brand and a virtual presence, they’re not interested.

Sure, that’s unfair.  A writer’s work should speak for itself.  But this is the new publishing reality.

And it makes me cringe.  I just have this extreme reluctance to sing my own praises and promote myself.  Some of this goes back to how I was raised.  But also it’s because of the ridiculous caricatures that have taken over social media.  Think Kardashians (I never do) and other painful celebrity “personalities.”

So I’ve decided to bear in mind writers from the past who were masters at creating an image of themselves and promoting the hell out of it.  I’ve already written here about Oscar Wilde — he set out to create a sensation before he ever wrote a play or novel.  Mark Twain took to the lecture circuit and practically invented the job of stand up comic (so did the wonderful Artemus Ward, but he died young and is now forgotten).

So yes, at long last and for the sake of my stories, in the coming months I’ll be joining the social media horde.  Besides, when bloggy pals like Alex Cavanaugh or Hart Johnson ask for friends to help them out with Twitter or Facebook mentions of their books, I feel like the ugly, awkward kid in the back of the room who can’t join in.

What have your own experiences with social media been like for you, writer-wise?   Good, bad, or indifferent?






8 Responses to “Social Misfit”

  1. You’re not an awkward misfit. I’m not on Facebook either. Just Blogging and Twitter for me. Besides, I didn’t even have a social presence when I began. You’re ahead of me on that.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – You’re not on Facebook? But then, your blog is so successful you’re presence is great.

  3. You don’t need to be a social media rock star to get an agent or to get published with one of the Big Five. You just need to be lucky. Social media (btw) is not what it’s cracked up to be. It’s completely overrun with narcissism. So unless you’re a bonafide narcissist, then social media will probably be a let down for you.

  4. Helena says:

    Mike – I am so not a narcissist! And you’re definitely not one either. Thanks.

  5. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I didn’t join either until the summer before my first book came out in the spring. For a girl who was raised to never toot her own horn, it was a steep learning curve. Last year I made it a goal to improve the quality of my posts, and that has helped. I’m still working on that, and it’s still on this year’s goal list.

  6. Helena says:

    Carol – Your posts are always solid and fun. And it sounds like you and I were raised the same way: no bragging!

  7. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, I’m visiting this morning. First thing…holy cow, the font for leaving a comment is ridiculously small for my middle-aged eyes. lol I’m not trying to be rude, but wanted to point this out because I’m sure others have to struggle with it, too.

    Okay…now I think it’s wonderful you’re an established writer and you do screenplays? How cool is that?! I’m not big into social medias, either. Of course, I’m just your every-day-run-of-the-mill blogger aspiring to be more. I get where you coming from on bragging. That’s just not me, either. Oh sure, I do it a little in a fun sorta way. The thing is everyone is socially connected. I saw a comic recently, where an employer wanted to check out the potential employee’s social sites, instead of his resume. lol If you don’t wanna brag on yourself, then allow other social media contacts do it for you. Grow your connections ~ Twitter, Facebook… You’ll be blown away by the power of these networks and what a loyal follower will do for you. One more thing, in addition to the social followers, you might want to consider adding an option to your blog for your readers to follow you ~ email subscription or Google+. I would happily do this (am I over-looking your follow button)! Anywho, it was wonderful to meet you and I wish the best of luck to you in your career. You seem very gifted, likeable, and fun to boot! ;)

  8. Helena says:

    Cathy – Sorry about the font. I hope to revamp my blog very soon and the font size will be fixed, especially for the comments. And I’ll be checking out the social media connections too, although I’ve heard mixed results on the power they have. Thanks so much for stopping by!