It’s a crazy idea for an author to leave social media. Or is it?
A few weeks ago I shut off my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve tried this before and chickened out at the end (they give you 30 days to change your mind). So I’m not making any guarantees here.
But this last year has taught me how very important it is to stop the bombardment of messages we get, whether it’s from the news or social media. With an autoimmune disease out of control, an essential part of healing is stress reduction.
To that end, I’ve added two meditation sessions every day, plus a mindfulness practice. And I’ve shut off most of social media.
Authors often depend on social media to get the word out about their books, and I’m no exception. However, I have also found social media to be less effective at that than we might believe. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of posts. I’ve done a little Facebook advertising, but I frankly get annoyed at the number of ads that show up in my own feed. Why would I do something I find annoying when I’m on the receiving end?
I’ll probably hang out more at Goodreads. That seems to make more sense anyway, since I would be connecting more with book lovers. It’s a much more specific audience. As with all social media, the goal there is not to scream “BUY MY BOOK!!!” but to make friends. It’s a bit daunting to feel like I am starting all over again…but it makes sense to me.
I’m also going to trust the adage that the best way to sell books is to write more of them. Without the time drain of social media, I seem to have a lot more time to, well, write.
That’s another reason why I’m hanging out more on the blog again. Here, I can say what I want. People can read it or not, and comment or not. If I get ugly comments, I can delete them. It feels a lot more empowering this way.
Finally, of course, there’s the old-fashioned getting in front of people. That scares the hell out of me. I’m a big-time introvert…but I also think we as a society are losing our social connections, and that scares me more.
Have I cut off my audience? Time will tell. But I have always said that my mental and emotional well-being comes first. I write to express myself, and I hope at some point to find people who to take the journeys within my stories. It’s more fun that way. But making this decision, difficult as it was, feels good.