Thursday, June 20, 2013


By Jay Stringer

I've been having the feeling of running on empty with social media for a while now.

I've been here before, of course. Long time readers will have seen me discuss the issues I have with the way sites like twitter can lower the level of conversation. I've taken breaks here and there and recharged. I've been talking about this with people behind the scenes for most of the year.

But more and more it seems like social media is basically all the worst parts of Soccer rivalry -partisan opinions, shouting,  fighting- with none of the benefits -seeing Wolves score goals.

And worse than that, for a writer, is all the writing. Keeping a presence online requires typing. It requires writing. It requires opinions. These are all things that I feel I would be much better served putting into novels.

More and more I'm speaking to writers who are pulling back from the world wide web. Some are doing it completely, some are doing it partially. Each of them is talking about getting much more actual writing done.

And writing online, be it blogging, tweeting or facing the book, involves some strange tricks. There are ways to get readers. There are certain issues that can be expressed, certain argument styles that can be used. We can use snark, or be deliberately controversial, or poke people in the eye. And these ways are not mine.

I'm not moaning about the Internet overall. I make my living off it. My publisher has a large online presence and most of my book sales are digital. The good points of the Internet far outweigh the bad, but do I still want to engage in the parts of it that I find to be 'bad.'

Bad for me, bad for my writing, bad for my productivity.

So, I don't know.  I'm at a crossroads.

1 comment:

Bryon Quertermous said...

I had the same issues as you from time to time and I've found having a mercilessly cultivated twitter feed is an absolute necessary. I can't follow everyone I want or think I should because there are people who just have no idea how to act on social media.

And Facebook I stay out of as much as I can because it's mostly for family almost all of whom abuse it in one way or another but it's the only way to share pics of the kids and stay in the loop on family activities.

But you have to really like it to stay with it not be doing it because you think you have to or some publicist or editor told you to.