Hi, my name is Karen, and I'm a Social Media Addict



Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

As you know, my latest novel, A Groovy Kind of Love, has been on two book tours for the past month and a half. These promotional opportunities were supposed to provide me with the freedom to write while others did the work.

Instead, however, I was sucked into a vortex of checking each spotlight, review, interview, guest post, and mention like some crazed Pavlovian dog awaiting the electric shock of positive reinforcement.

Multiple times a day.

Blogs. Facebook. Twitter. Google Alerts. Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords reviews.

If I didn’t check for a few hours, I’d get jumpy, like I was missing out on something. It was all so readily available on my phone, iPad, the computer, I lost control.

Once you get caught up in the promotional cycle, it’s difficult to get out. There’s always more that can be done, you see, whether you are traditionally published or self-published. More reviews to court. More guest posts to write. More interviews to give. So many blogs, a seemingly infinite amounts of possibilities.

More. And more. And more.

I tweeted so much, I even got sick of myself. I’ve checked Twitter more in the last two weeks than in the entire four years I’ve had an account. Don’t even get me started about all of the other platforms.

Sigh.


I became one of those crazed self-promoters the experts warn about. You know, the ones who render themselves useless by constantly pitching their books? In my case, it was constant retweets from the blog tour and giveaway.

This is not me.

I’m an introvert. Sure, I can be the charming life of the party, but most of the time, I’m happy sitting in the corner observing. Small talk and Twitter’s 140 characters don’t come naturally.

On Facebook, I had been making a conscious effort to post once a day during the book tours, sometimes twice if it’s really newsworthy, aware of not glutting anyone’s newsfeed.

But Twitter? It’s so easy to retweet every item that has your name in it. Besides, the tour stops send out posts that mention my book. It would be rude not to retweet, right?

I can’t switch back and forth from writing to promoting. Such different states of mind, they don’t gel well for me. All of this promotion whipped me into a frenzy like some whirling dervish tangled in virtual internet cables. I even started sniffing fresh lavender from little sachets to relax.

My poor WIP sits among a pile of manila folders packed with research and scene fragments. A query letter for a completed novel jets out from another stack on the other side of my desk near my headless Shakespeare statute from Stratford-upon-Avon. I dropped it once while dusting and the impact lopped his head clean off. Now, every time I slam a drawer shut, the Bard’s noggin tumbles across my desk. It’s sad really.

I return this morning, a bit muddied by the experience, but happy to have overcome the pushy, brazen addict and settle into me again.

The one in the corner.

Keen on observing.

And writing again.

Comments

Lidy said…
I'm sorry Karen that promoting on social media has gotten in the way of your writing. On the upside, at least word of your book has spread a bit more. In the meantime, best wishes into getting back into your writing stride.
Chrys Fey said…
Yup. When I had my blog tour for Hurricane Crimes, I was checking my spotlights and the review sites multiple times a day. But that lessened with my 30 Seconds Blog tour. I barely checked for reviews and went to my blog tour stops twice a day to check in. I hope your tour has been successful! :)
Lidy, thanks so much for your wishes. You're right. Word of A Groovy Kind of Love has definitely spread.
Smart move on the second tour, Chrys. I will try to have your resolve and self control next tour.
Kelly Hashway said…
I actually hired a social media manager who posts a lot for me. I still post and I'm aware of everything she posts on my behalf, so it doesn't really cut down on the time I spend online. Really she increases my reach, which is great.
Hmmmm, I'll have to check into that Kelly. Thanks for the tip.
Gina Stoneheart said…
This was great, Karen. It's nice to know I am not alone when it comes to balancing social media and life in general! Especially social media and writing.
There have been times when I retweeted and sent out so many tweets about my children's book that it made me feel so overwhelmed.. and not in a good way. It came to the point where I was walking the dog and almost walked into someone because I was checking my Twitter and had my head down.
I feel like if I haven't tweeted or linked up with a parenting blog or book reviewer for a giveaway, I am slacking.
Maybe we are too hard on ourselves when it comes to social media.
But then again, it must drive us all nuts when we just sit back and think the reviewers and tweeters are going to take care of everything themselves. We can't help but to get involved, lol.
Totally hear ya, Gina. Glad you looked up in time while walking your dog. Guess we all have to be careful to look up in time from all of the social media and get our butts back in the writing seat.
Beverly Diehl said…
I am behind on everything Social Media, including Twitter. And that's okay, but it can be crazy-making to try to do ALL THE THINGS.

Congrats on your latest book and book tour!
Crazy, indeed, Beverly. Thanks for stopping by.
Fi said…
It's so easy to use up our writing time on social media but glad you got through it all to return to your writing.
Thanks, Fi. I've come to all sorts of realizations lately.
Patricia said…
Karen, I was right there with you ... every word. I loved your title here ... because it is addictive. No question. Like Kelly, I hired a VA to handle some of my social media ... twitter in particular. We work closely and I still jump in from time to time but she carries the load. If you think you are interested, she may be picking up new clients. Let me know. And now... write on!
Thanks, Patricia. I'll think about it.

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