The Social Media Gamble

Like most authors, I’m connecting with readers, writers and industry experts via social media on a daily basis. Some days, especially when I’m on the learning curve (or procrastinating), I spend more time on social media than I do writing.

A few days ago, in the midst of a marathon Twitter session, someone asked me what I would do if Twitter collapsed tomorrow.

It was a fair question. My heart sank as I blinked away visions of Myspace.

How would the demise of Twitter or Facebook impact me?

If I’m honest with myself, I would be devastated. I’ve spent countless hours there, learning the ropes, getting to know people, contributing as best I can. It frightens me to think how easily this social network that I’ve built could be forfeited. But it could.

Worst of all, most of the people I connect with on social media aren’t on my independent mailing list, so I’d lose touch with them entirely. That would be a tremendous loss.

It reminds me of the adage about not gambling more than you’re willing to lose. If time is my currency, then I’ve gambled plenty on Twitter and Facebook and it’s more than I’m comfortable losing.

Denman-Island-Berm-Garden-spring-2014It’s perhaps a timely reminder that the writing needs to be the priority. It’s what makes my world go round. Social media may be fun and it’s an important component of an author’s platform, but it’s the side dish, not the main course. So if I’m AWOL from social media from time to time, forgive me and rest assured that I’m spending the time writing (okay, maybe a little gardening, but mostly writing).

I’d hate to lose our connection and if you feel the same, please add your email address to my Book News list. You can unsubscribe at any time and I only send email when I’ve got a new book coming out or something big to announce.

And speaking of my book, if you haven’t yet read it, Amazon is still offering Book I for just $4.18. You can buy it with one click right here.
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About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in Facebook, On Writing, Twitter and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Social Media Gamble

  1. Thank you J.P for your great reflections! As a writer myself, I also connect with a few select people I call friends for: engagement, enlightenment and be inspired through social media. There is a definite draw there, however it’s often as you say about balance and making time to write. I like to block of some ‘me time to be productive and engaged once again in the familiar friend the MUSE.That special place where the soul is connected though the hand and heart, the words breath with their own rhythm. . Even a short paragraph of prose or poetry works to get you into the ‘flow of writing again’.

    The metaphor you have used here is so apropos: “Social media may be fun and it’s an important component of an author’s platform, but it’s the side dish, not the main course.”

    Congratulation your magnificent trilogy, the “Gift Awakening” is simply a gift of amazing talent by a great Canadian author. Well done!

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  2. Your garden beds look beautiful! Time gardening is time well spent… I tend to go AWOL from social media too. It being a side dish is an important reminder.

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  3. elainecanham says:

    I’m so with you on this one. I spent frightening amounts of time absorbed by social media, when what I really need to do is put up one of those out to lunch signs: ‘Writing; back in a week or so’.

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  4. Diana Stevan says:

    I like how you compared the time an author spends on social media to a side dish. It’s a comparison I need to keep in mind as I travel on Twitter and Facebook. It’s such a balancing act, isn’t it? As writers today, we need to market more than ever, but more importantly, we need to keep writing.

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  5. Don Royster says:

    I’m glad Twitter and Facebook are working for you. I’ve spent a lot of time investigating Twitter and I just don’t get it. Other than consuming time that I need to be devoting to writing, I have been on Facebook for about a year now. At first, I found myself on Facebook a lot. But the longer I am a member, the less I use it. I check in once a day but that is about all. Of all the social media, I find WordPress serves my needs the greatest. The relationships I am developing here seem to have much more depth than elsewhere. In many ways, I see my blog as a letter to the world. I am able to focus on the kind of writing I enjoy which is humor and short stories.

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  6. I would literally dance in the streets if Facebook went under. Twitter still entertains me; Facebook is nothing but a timesink and source of stress that I can’t get rid of because it becomes MORE aggravating (“Why aren’t you on Facebook? Oh, I put that on Facebook. You didn’t see it? It was on Facebook!”) when I’m not on it. Sigh.

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    • JP McLean says:

      One day, sooner than we’d like, we’ll talk to our kids about the olden days, before social media and they’ll give us that look. You know the one. It’s the same one they reserve for those loons who remember dial-up Internet or rotary dial telephones. I wonder what we’ll think of Twitter and Facebook then? Thanks for the funnies. Made me smile.

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