So, there seems to be some debate as to whether social networking really helps writers. And I have to be honest; I avoided all of it for a while because I really didn’t know if I could make the commitment. I mean, could I really post on a blog regularly or find something to tweet about? I’m a gal who keeps mostly to herself and the thought of putting myself out there kind of freaked me out (which of course, goes back to that whole writer insecurity thing). But I knew that if I was going to start a blog, or twitter, then I had to keep up with it. The last thing I wanted was for an agent to look me up and think, man, she can’t even keep up with her blog. Will she be good with deadlines? Once she starts something, does she stick to it? In the end, I caved to the pressure of establishing a web presence and started blogging, tweeting, and joined Facebook (that last one was hard, I admit, and I don’t keep up with it as much).
As far as blogging goes, I am constantly thinking about what to blog about next. And I start getting a little anxious as more days go by and still, nothing brilliant has come to mind. I make myself feel better by justifying that it’s okay since I’ve been working hard on my manuscript. Which is actually a great excuse, but it is still just an excuse. I start to wonder, what do I have to say? WHAT DO I HAVE TO SAY! And that’s usually when it hits me. First, that I’m putting way too much importance on what measly little me has to say. And second, even though all the reasons I started a blog are in fact good reasons, there’s one I forgot to mention. Blogging about writing, or tweeting about it, keeps me constantly thinking about writing.
If you write, than constantly thinking about writing is a very, very good thing. Whether it’s a post on character voice, or plot, or teenage angst (if you’re a YA writer), or inspiration, the thinking about it throughout the day and then sitting down to write about it helps in several ways. For one, there’s the actual writing—trying to figure out the best way to convey something. Then, there’s thinking about the subject and understanding how much you know or don’t know about it. There’s also the whole accountability element (my blog kind of haunts me and even though that sounds terrible, it’s actually a good thing). And finally, most of us who blog also follow other blogs. Personally, I have learned so much about writing and publishing just by following a handful of excellent blogs (take a look at the blogroll).
As far as twitter goes, well I seem to mostly twitter to myself, so days go by with nary a peep nor a tweet. But again, I’ve learned a lot from those whom I follow.
So, whether blogging or tweeting actually helps in terms of getting your name out there or making you famous and popular, well, I’m sure it does for some. I, however, am still in the early stages of doing a happy dance when my blog stats reach double digits. But that’s okay because even though I was reluctant to partake in this whole social networking craze, it has turned out to be a pretty great choice for this otherwise anti-social writer.
Follow me on Twitter @jetchez