A while ago I started to notice that my daughter, the perpetual self-promoter of a good time had by all, wish you we here, wasn’t posting as much on Facebook. And I missed her, where was she? Then one day at an outing my friend asked me if I had seen my daughter’s recent post on Instagram.
“No,” I replied. “I’m not on it.”
“Not on Instagram?”
Well how dare I.
So I opened up an account to see what was going on and lo and behold all those friends of mine who I thought were just becoming recluses were posting their life events on Instagram, and I didn’t even know they had left Facebook.
Of course there are those who like to post to all media outlets in one gigantic swoop, which Instagram allows, as long as the photo is from your phone. I discovered that. But my mind is reeling because I sat up in bed last night and instead of counting sheep I counted all of the social media accounts I now have.
Let me explain, I am an author. I am self-published. Hence, I have to promote my books. I’d had Facebook since my high school reunion years ago, and opened up a twitter account soon after. I tweet. I had a Pinterest account before I began writing, to check out recipes and ideas for my back patio. Now I ‘Pin’ about my book, or my blogs. But things are getting out of hand.
I have two websites. I have a website called The Durant Family Saga that chronicles my research journey for the historical fiction trilogy I am writing. I have an author website page, and I have an outdated Blogger site that I started years ago called LivingintheFingerLakes that I haven’t posted to in months because I am too busy keeping up with all my other social media.
Did I mention I also have a Tumblr account? I forgot the password. I think I am on Reddit. I link to colleagues on Linkedin, I stumble on Stumbleupon, I review on Goodreads, I post to communities on Google Plus, and I have an Amazon Author page which one person started a discussion on about 18 months ago. I answered him. He didn’t reply.
Dear God, help me. It’s pathetic.
I thought Hootsuite would assist me by scheduling my posts, so I set up an account. Now if I could only remember to log onto it once in awhile.
Yes, this is what keeps me up at night. This, and my children, and my students’ grades. And the characters in my book who keep screaming at me about their escapades so that I have to get up in the middle of the night and write down their thoughts in a journal.
Oh, and yes, I have not one, but three journals going right now. My personal, one for a book set during the Great Depression, and one for a contemporary story I’m writing about cigarette smuggling on the Canadian border.
I've since decided to follow the advice I've heard on several writers podcast to focus on two social media accounts for any promotions or community engagement. And although I enjoy the interaction with friends and fellow writers, I also get bogged down a bit by the political discourse. It has changed the whole landscape of social media since the last election. So I've also put things into perspective, I can stay informed but will only take on so many causes for fear of jeopardizing my creative flow.
Sheila Myers is an award winning author and Associate Professor at a small college in Upstate NY. She enjoys writing, swimming in lakes, and walking in nature. Not always in that order.