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Posts tagged with: authors and social media

Whedon’s Wisdom

On May 4, 2015, the Monday following the wildly successful opening weekend of Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer/director/producer Joss Whedon deactivated his Twitter account.

JossTweet

 

 

 

 

 

And the Twitterverse went WILD, attributing his departure to everything from him receiving death threats, to militant feminists’ anger over his depiction of the Black Widow character in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. But several days later, Whedon gave an interview at Buzzfeed denying those reasons.

His real reason?    

“I just thought, Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place. And this [Twitter] is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life. … It’s like taking the bar exam at Coachella.”

(Bolding mine.)

“The quiet place.” Remember that place? I do, quite fondly – but with every day that passes, it seems to regress farther back in my memory banks.

In our day-to-day lives, we are deluged by media, by digital media in particular. Between time spent writing, and then promoting via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, blogs, blah blah blah and whatever the hell pops up next to infinity and beyond amen, the idea of a quiet brain, a quiet place, seems…almost quaint, doesn’t it?

Social media can be a wonderful way to create community, and for readers and writers to connect, but let’s be honest: it can also be tiring. Time-consuming. Guilt-inducing. Overwhelming.

It can also be addicting. Again, Joss Whedon:

“The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it’s there, I gotta check it. When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that’s kind of rock bottom for an addict. … I just had a little moment of clarity where I’m like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there’s hate and then hate and then hate.”

Will he ever come back? 

“I think the articles that I found [via Twitter], I can find elsewhere,” Whedon said. “I’ll miss some jokes. Maybe I’ll have to go out to a club to see jokes! I think that’s already an improvement in my life. … I need to go out, do the research, turn the page, see the thing, hear the music, live like a person. I’m not great at that. So, oddly enough, because I always feel like I’m the old man who doesn’t get the tech, right now I’m the man who thinks he could do better without it.”

Whedon clearly had the wisdom to realize he’d hit the wall, and he’s far from the only artist who’s made the decision to disconnect in order to preserve their creativity or their health. Neil Gaiman once took a six month social media break so he could better focus on his writing. Comedian Louis C.K. shut down his Twitter account because he kept regretting his tweets and found himself growing depressed. Actor Simon Pegg turned his social media accounts over to his official fan club because he simply didn’t enjoy digital engagement any longer. Comedian and actor Stephen Fry left Instagram, and briefly left Twitter, saying he felt “hounded” and “unsafe.” Feeling hounded and unsafe is, regrettably, a rather common occurrence for many high-profile women on social media these days – women whose only ‘crime’ is daring to state an opinion in public. 

It can be really rough out there.  

Where’s the happy medium? Where’s the personal “Goldilocks Zone” of not too much social media, and not too little, but just right?  How can we create healthy boundaries, preserving sanity, safety and self, in this era where creativity and commerce often intersect? Where direct contact with readers (and other writers) is not only desirable, but pretty much a job requirement?

Whether you’re a reader or a writer, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the pros and cons, the ups and downs, and the expectations and pleasures, of using social media. Do you have any tips or techniques for finding your quiet place in this noisy digital age?

-tammy

Pinterest and You

I’m a visual person. I learn, imagine, and write visually. So it might come as no surprise that I love to whittle away time on Pinterest. Of course that might just be an oxymoron, as I don’t have much time to whittle.

The images and photography I have seen on Pinterest are amazing, breath-taking, heart-wrenching, useful, arousing, and inspiring.

But Pinterest is another social media site. And like all social media sites, there are opportunities for authors to market themselves.

Here are a few tips for making Pinterest work for you.

 

Indentify yourself! Fill out the About Me section. Don’t forget to add links!

Mine reads:

Author of dark, steamy, and adventuresome historical romance.

www.jbrayweber.com

Visitors to my page will discover who I am and where to find out more.

 

Optimize driving traffic to your page by using keywords and board categorization.

Ex: Board Title: Pirates

Categorization: Film, Music, Books

This narrows down searches, making it easier to find images. Go one step further and use keywords for individual pictures.

 

Title and describe boards to segment your target market and/or audience.Pinterest_Logo

Ex: Romantic Suspense, Fashion, Holiday Ideas, Recipes, Books on Writing Craft, Movies That Inspire Me, etc.

These different boards likely have different audiences. Take it further and describe the boards.

Ex: Board Title: Gothic, Steampunk, and Fantasy

Description: Images encouraging the fanciful illusions of my paranormal muse.

 

Pin imagery that reflects you, your personality, and your brand.

 

Use boards to your advantage – generate storyboards for WIPs, create boards dedicated to each of your books, add music videos that inspired books or characters, develop boards of your favorite authors; the possibilities are endless.

 

Link book covers to your website or directly to buy sites like Amazon. Back link pins to your website or blog.

 

Use Pinterest widgets on your blog and website. Find various, nifty widgets at the Pinterest Goodies page.

 

Engage – repin, like, comment, respond, and follow. It’s a social media golden rule.

 

Welcome and Encourage comments – Ask users a question or comment about your pin to generate interest.

Ex: Tell me what you think about this book cover?

 

Cross promote using social media integration. Pinterest has made it easy to like, tweet, and share pins. Plus, it is a great way to build an audience.

 

rf getty camera pushpinsPin what’s trending. The reasoning? More exposure, of course.

 

Quality over quantity – don’t pin for the sake of pinning. Oh, it’s easy to do. Pinning can be quite addictive. But as authors, this goes back to what defines you and your brand. Besides, I’m quite sure there is not a Pinterest Anonymous group available…yet.

 

Collaborate with others  – create (or join) boards that allow other users to upload to, as well. These boards might include Great Romance Novels, Paranormal Books, Author Blogs, Books I Love, etc. The options are infinite.

 

Think out of the box – from your blog, website, or other social media sites, hold scavenger hunt, a best photo caption contest (be sure it’s your photo or a royalty free photo), or other fun method to bring and engage with fans to your Pinterest page.

 

Practice general social media etiquette – Avoid blatant self promotion, always be polite, and credit the sources.

 

Visit Often!  It’s all about exposure and engagement!

 

Want to connect with Rubies on Pinterest? Check out these Pinterest-Loving Rubies!

 

Jennifer Bray-Weber  http://pinterest.com/jbrayweber/

Anne Marie Becker  http://pinterest.com/annemariebecker/

Jeannie Lin  http://pinterest.com/jeanniexlin/

Dianna Layne   http://pinterest.com/dianalaynebooks/

Laurie Kellogg http://pinterest.com/kellogglaurie/

Vanessa Barneveld http://pinterest.com/discordandrhyme/

Elizabeth Essex http://pinterest.com/elizabethessex/

Lindsey Brookes http://pinterest.com/lindseybrookes/jimmie-joe-johnson-manwhore/

Autumn Jordan  http://pinterest.com/autumnjordon/ 

Hope Ramsay http://pinterest.com/hoperamsay/

Cate Rowan http://pinterest.com/caterowan/

Louisa Cornell http://pinterest.com/louisacornell/

Darynda Jones http://pinterest.com/darynda/

 

Do you Pinterest? Got Pinterest tips you’d like to share? How about Pinterest questions? Let me hear from you!

Note: Portions of this blog originally appeared on MuseTracks.

 

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