Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Y'all Are Invited by Grace Burrowes

When somebody explained to me that introverts recharge their emotional and even physical batteries in solitude, I wasn't even school age, but my reaction was, "THAT'S ME!" Growing up in a family of nine, solitude was at a premium, and having the house to myself--even having a room to myself--was a rare and delicious treat.

Similarly, when somebody told me much later in life, "A published author must be accessible on social media," my reaction was, "THAT'S NOT ME!" Yes, I'm a published author, but the accessible on social media part?

The idea of adding tweets, FB posts, website updates, weekly blogs and other social media mandatories atruck me like going to the gym: I have been to many gyms, many times, and never once can I say I've enjoyed it. We're adults. We brush and floss, we file our taxes more or less on time, we get our mammograms. We understand there are certain things we do without expectation of enjoyment. In general terms, I still bristle at arbitrarily imposed structure, though. Must is a four letter word.

I have no writing schedule, no daily word counts, no writing goals. I turn on the computer most days--not all--and hope for good things. The idea of adding tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, website updates... oh, must I?  

Except... social media do not require the house to be cleaned, they dot even require the teeth to be brushed. On FB, I can ask fifteen people to help me think up a title, and if they feel like it, they can respond--or not. I Like That. On twitter, I can offer 500 people a link I think is really cool, and not a one of them will feel pestered or compelled to click on it.

My blog has become a place to tuck the small writing exercises that won't find an outlet in my fiction writing, and a place to converse with those who might also be most comfortable trading ideas without leaving their homes or getting out of their fuzzy socks.

So when I was offered the chance to do a Live Chat tonight with RITA winner Joanna Bourne and Discover a New Love readers, I accepted, and--dare I admit this?--I'm looking forward to it. We're giving away a Kindle HD  and a NOOK, signed books and maybe even a few writer's trade secrets. If you can join us at 8 pm EDT, we'd love your company too--come as you are, fuzzy socks entirely welcome.

So how do you get along with social media? Is there one that works best for you? One you absolutely do not understand?


  1. I'm not particularly thrilled with social media, but I do love playing on Facebook and getting to meet all the lovely authors that are on it (yourself included hehehe). :) It's fabulous actually interacting with some of my writing heroes (and again you're in that category - yes, I'm kissing up 'cause you're awesome).

    Twitter...meh. It's tied to Facebook and I occasionally tweet without it going through my FB page, but not that often. I used it to announce when I found out I was pregnant with twins (it was my 500th tweet). Hehe.

  2. FB doesn't know if I have a head cold or if my knees are on strike for the day. It doesn't care if I work in my hot pink butterfly pajamas and my lime green Cayman t-shirt. But TODAY I will be on a live radio interview and I have a great big head cold. Oh, well! I shall sound like a bullfrog but who knows, maybe my Texas brogue sounds better in bullfrog tone! I'm lookin' forward to stopping by your chat tonight!

  3. I blog, Tweet, and post updates on Facebook. I wouldn't say I'm addicted to it or even particularly adept, but when I'm sitting here alone at my desk with no one to talk to, it's nice to be able to reach out to others. Solitude can get old after a while. :)

  4. I'm like you, Grace - an introvert who needs time to decompress and recharge in solitude. I've also had some experiences with burnout and digital overload, so I keep a close eye on the time I spend in front of a glowing screen.

    I reluctantly started a Facebook Fan Page, but I rarely use it. Doing so feels hypocritical given my grave concerns about Facebook's business practices. But I love Twitter, and not simply for promo. (I admit I Unfollow people who tweet nothing but promo, or only RT others' promo, or #whose #tweets #are #overrun #with #inexplicable# hashtags. BORING!) Twitter is a great outlet for my sense of humor, and I love Twitter for the entertainment value. I follow a lot of politically engaged comics, and I enjoy sitting on the couch with my Kindle Fire and live-tweeting TV shows (I "watched" "Hoarders" with Amanda Hocking and Michael Ian Black a couple of weeks ago.) I find tweeting a fun and low-energy way to make connections with people, most of whom have absolutely nothing to do with writing or publishing, but who will receive a judicious amount of promo when my next book is released. ;-)

  5. I'm an introvert, but I love "talking" to my fans on FB and other social media outlets. I've even had a few drive from other places in Texas to get together for lunch and I autograph all their books and give them something that don't have. I love it! :)

  6. How fun! Of course, this is right when Baby Galen goes to bed, but I will stop by as soon as my part of bedtime is over. Fun!

  7. Tory, that is QUITE a 500th tweet! No pressure for the 1000th, of course. Thanks for all the kind words. Authors need to hear them (too).

    Carolyn, the few times I've held forth on radio, my sense was I sounded fat. Maybe a head cold isn't the worst thing to befall a radio celebrity, and maybe you should wear that Cayman T-shirt AND the hot pink jammies. Best of luck!

    Cheryl, me too, and I especially appreciate that FB can convey visual humor. I need those laughs!

    Tamara, I'm not so adept with twitter. I'm there, but the pithy observation isn't as natural to me as the picture worth a thousand words, or the question that might take some musing to answer. I follow a few people who are twitter-ate, though, and enjoy the addition they make to my cyber day.

    Terry, I've met a few book friends on FB too, and when I drive cross county later this year, I intend to connect with them in person. Then too, there are a few around where I live whom I would not have met but for social media. The small world gets even smaller!

  8. I use Facebook basically to keep in touch with long-time friends who live in other states. It is also a phenomenal source for pics of Scotland. Yep, you've even scolded me a time or two for making you dream. lol

    The writing world is a solitary endeavor. It's nice to be able to come out of the writer box if only for a moment to say "hello."

    Hello, Miss Burrowes.

  9. It's nice to find others who feel ambivalent about social media. Not that I'm against, but there's just so much of it, and the prospect of doing more than a few things just seems overwhelming. I try to blog once a week about something reasonably interesting, I'm on Twitter, and I have a Facebook page that's linked to Twitter and my blog, but I admit, of the three, I am least comfortable with Facebook, which always seems to be having security issues. Maybe I'd get more responses if my FB presence was stronger, but I have to go with my gut feelings on this. Maybe FB will intimidate me less as I learn more about it.

    Anyway, the chat with Ms. Bourne sounds great! Like giving a party you actually want to host!

  10. I'm not published yet, so spending too much time tweeting and flitting about FB doesn't seem a productive use of my time. However, I've started a blog (though I've decided on only one post a week--is that enough?) and probably will jump into the others eventually since it seems to be required of authors.

    How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?

  11. I'm an introvert too, but I spend WAY too much time on Facebook and Twitter. I love chatting with other authors and meeting new people…readers now that I've had my first story published. I've found I enjoy the promo stuff more than I thought…but I'm working on finding a balance so I can get my next projects done.

  12. I can't seem to keep up with my e-mails and blog. I can't imagine how you guys can FB and Tweet as well as write and keep up with your other obligations!