Writers are under increasing pressure. Low advances, intense competition and the pressure to self-market, to engage on social media, are making our jobs more challenging than ever.
I want to embrace this challenge. I hope you will too. Here are seven traits of the social writer. Being social is about using the social media tools that we are presented with.
1. Embrace proactivity. If you have never written a blog post, never Tweeted or made a YouTube video, now is the time to learn. Old dogs can learn new tricks. See a post as a short article you have been asked to write, a Tweet as a link to something interesting and a YouTube video as a chance to talk.
2. Embrace openness. I know many people think this means discussing our health problems or what we had for lunch, but it’s not. It’s about professional openness. That means talking about the ups as well as the challenges of being a writer. It means talking about our journey. It means discussing the work that interests you and the craft.
3. Don’t be afraid. Follow people on all the social media services. Don’t be shy. Many people I follow thank me for bringing my writing to their attention. Others don’t value it, but I am happy that I have found lots of people who do like my writing.
4. Do it every day. There will be some days you can’t, but aim to weave 30 minutes of social media into your daily routine. If that means giving up on TV or Soduko so be it. Do you want to find people to read your work or not?
5. Seek real connections. Look to transcend the tools. If you can make real connections with people, do it. It’s about helping, encouraging, being positive, all the things that make us social beings in the real world.
6. Work with others. Expand your potential by pulling people together into a network if you can. That can mean helping the writers in your writing group grapple with all this or helping people online. If you can share your good fortune in some way you will receive a return.
7. Keep yourself fresh. Read widely, spend lots of time offline, write daily. Keep your mental and physical self ready for the ups and downs of the writers life.
Social media is part of the writer’s journey these days, the way newspapers and radio were for earlier generations of writers.
If you want a more detailed overview of social media please consider my guide to social media available here.
If you want to contact me about my social media services for writers email me firstname.lastname@example.org