With Facebook, Twitter, and the beloved #bookstagram community on Instagram, one can easily spend hours on social media. Which is great, except it isn’t. Writers need to spend hours writing (and no, tweets should not be factored into your daily word count *smile*). However, social media is necessary. And it’s more than marketing your work and building readership – engaging on social media means joining the writing community.
Writing is a very isolating craft, and often our solitude is purposeful. But there are times we need encouragement from our peers. Social media allows us to share in the highs and lows of the #writerslife and encourage each other along the way. It truly takes a village to finish and promote your work, especially your first book. Your family and friends will likely purchase your book as soon as it’s released. But your village will keep the momentum going. Without a doubt, there’s no way I would have had success with The Truth About Awiti and Dear Ancestors without my village. And I am very grateful for that.
So how does one engage in social media and complete their work-in-progress? Here are a few tips that work for me:
1. Time. Figure out the times of day that work best for you to engage with fellow writers, readers, and publishing houses. For me, early morning and early evening work best. Resist the urge to “play” on social media. I often keep my phone in another room when I am writing and trying to meet a tight deadline.
2. Content. We’ve all seen the beautiful feeds on Instagram with perfect pictures and filters. And we love them! Find the content that works best for you! If you have trouble coming up with content, join one of the many monthly challenges on Instagram and Twitter where there are themes and rules. Posting content shouldn’t be stressful. It should be fun, and reflect your work and interests.
3. Engage. Like. Comment. Promote. Retweet. Repost. Direct message. There are so many ways to engage with others on social media.