I have complained (just a little) in the past about the need to keep up with social media accounts and technology, but really it’s all just bluff. Yes, it does take up time but it can be managed. And it’s a hugely important part of getting your work out there as a writer. Especially a self-published one who isn’t the world’s best self-marketer!
But sometimes you have lovely experiences, and learn just how social it can be. I first found this out when I ‘met’ Eliza Henry-Jones via Twitter chatting about Jessie Cole’s novels. We’ve discovered since that we have a fair bit more in common, such as writing, reading horse books as kids, horses and entire menageries of animals, and even having ‘real-life’ friends in common, as we live not all that far from each other. Nice!
Then I entered the Freshly Squeezed Chapter One Blitz competition (#C1Blitz) as also mentioned in previous blogs. Freshly Squeezed held a ‘Twitter party’ to announce the winners. Now this was quite an experience – a crazy couple of hours hunched over my laptop screen shooing away my husband and various dogs and cats while I giggled and typed maniacally. The organisers and many of the other 70-odd entrants all tweeted back and forth about their favourite entries and lines from the first chapters, and the various winners were announced.
It was very exciting and a little breathless – I learnt that you need to keep hitting ‘refresh’ quite a lot to keep seeing new tweets as they come through. I met a lot of fabulous authors and fans, and also helped build up my Twitter followers. That’s apart from getting some great critiques of Facing Up’s first chapter from other competitors, writing professionals and the fabulous teenagers who provided reviews 🙂
And the other night I was finally brave enough to participate in a Twitter forum, #OzYAChat (it’s chatting about Australian Young Adult fiction, thank you for asking). Moderated by @speculatingonspecfic, the topic was the best Aussie YA books we’ve read this year. It went for an hour, but a few of us kept tweeting afterwards. It was a great way to ‘meet’ other readers and authors of Aussie YA, and I found out a number of books I hadn’t heard of (see photo for my ensuing bookshop/library haul a couple of days later). They were a fun bunch, and as always with Twitter, it’s a brilliant brain exercise to get your point across in 140 characters or less and try to be interesting and funny and informative. Phew!
Then there’s the WordPress community – I don’t have many followers from the YA genre but I have ‘met’ some other beautiful and very funny bloggers who post about writing or animals – two of my favourite topics, of course! While I know we all struggle to keep up with the amount of reading, I love that I can jump in and read them anytime and comment back and forth about many topics (dog peeing habits and skin whitening are just two examples, hmm) with people from around the world. Yusra, Colin & Ray, Sarah & Choppy, Kristina, Brendan, Marc – thank you for some very entertaining moments and great writing!
And I know that I have an appreciate audience out there – for a writer that is just gold 🙂