Let me ask you something, how much time did you spend yesterday or the day before on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and all the other social media sites? One, two, three hours or more…
I know, making contact with other like-minded souls does something for you and is maybe a little ego boost! I mean, no one wants to feel they are all alone in the world, do they, with only a keyboard for company! There is something curiously satisfying about being able to reach out to someone digitally who lives in say, New Zealand and you live in England! What’s more it’s instant. The days when you had to wait three weeks for an international letter to arrive are long gone. And get this, they are never going to return!
New times, surely, but at what cost? Like I mentioned in my opening; hours spent on social media sites could be better spent writing your novel or short story! You know how time consuming the pursuit of creative writing can be, so why waste a moment…? Could it be the enemy for us creative types? I mean, is it so important that you leave a digital trail? You know, all those LIKES and FOLLOWS, lovely though they are, you could be reading a piece of poetry instead or indeed writing it. After all, you’re meant to be a writer!
Not wanting to hark back to the old days, but let me just a little. If you were a writer say fifty years ago you would be writing in a solitary environment, that is, aside from visits to your local library. You would most definitely be writing by longhand or on a typewriter. Who knew anything about computers back in those days? And what was available was certainly not as sophisticated as the technology we take for granted in 2018! But I digress.
Digital technology and social media certainly is distracting, however I think the benefits outweigh the downsides.
Research is a whole lot easier now, you do not even have to leave your home if you don’t want to. There are any number of websites giving you almost everything a creative writer could need.
However, I feel the biggest plus to social media in these modern times is that you can form bonds with like-minded people, share tips, exchange ideas, gather information, read each other’s work and offer constructive criticism. You can even find out about other people’s lives and share photographs and videos. What’s more the immediacy of social media means everything happens within minutes!
Let’s not forget that social media is a very useful marketing tool for the creative writer. When you have finally got that book together, you can tell your followers/friends all about it! What’s more, book publishers like to know that you have an online presence as it means your book can reach the wider audience, therefore selling more copies!
I like to think of the social media as my gateway to the world, a mechanism that can nudge me out of my own private world enabling me to catch a glimpse of what everyone else is doing…
Friend or foe, you decide!
Until next time
Happy Writing, S