Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Social Networking

April showers bring May showers, around here anyway, so I thought I'd bring my own flowers. Aren't they lovely?

This week I'm hosting an SCBWI meeting on the subject of social networking, why and how. As I asked myself those questions, I realized I knew more about the how than the why.

Why do I tweet around on twitter? Why do I write this blog? Why have I joined writers forums and why do I have tons of sites loaded on my Google Reader?

Two reasons:
Education and Connection

Through social networking, I learn about debut and veteran authors, fabulous writing tips, great books being released. I find out what's on the minds of editors, agents, publishers, book reviewers, writers, and a whole lot more.

The best part is getting to know real people. People who who make me laugh, who touch my heart, who encourage me, motivate me, entertain me. Writing can be lonely. Social networking helps me feel less isolated. 

What about you? What does social networking bring to your table? Please help me out. Any advice you'd like to share with those who are just getting started? 


  1. I love that social networking allows me to interact with a wide variety of people who share a common love of words. Advise? Um . . . I guess: Be sincere, genuine, and as real as you can.

  2. Thanks, Beth. I'll pass that along.

  3. Education and connection really nails it.

    Even though I have been "involved" in social networking as part of my previous employment, I didn't really utilize it for my own personal goals. Now that I have decided to take my writing more seriously, I have found it really useful.

    I joined SheWrites not long ago and have learned a lot from other writers there, whether it be about social networking, focusing on your writing, the craft itself; it's been an assortment of useful information. It's also been a great motivator. Being in a "room" full of people that share your love of writing and seem like they want you to succeed at what you are doing is great!

    Twitter - I can proudly say that I now use it for more than keeping up with Nathan Fillion. :)

    My blog used to be something that gave me an outlet, once that only a few of my friends knew about and read. Now, it's becoming a place where others with similar interests come and exchange thoughts and encouragement. Since that has happened (only very recently) I find myself updating more regularly.

    Advice...this is coming from someone who has JUST started to utilize these tools, so anyone reading this, take it for what it is:

    - Online Groups: Being able to join in conversations (forums, chats) is great way to get motivated and learn! And you can do it from the comfort and your desk chair. But seriously, having a group that will give you that kick in the pants to get writing (whether directly or indirectly) is invaluable.

    -Twitter. It's more than just telling people what you had for breakfast. :) And again, it gives you a sense of community. Not to mention that its a great time saver. Between making time for writing and blogging, I really don't have a lot of extra time to scour the interwebs for blogs and articles I might want to read. Checking out what is in my feed saves me that time.

    - Blogs. Aside from learning about the craft, you'll find encouragement from those with your same insecurities and challenges. I, of low self opinion, used to read blogs religiously but never say a word. I was worried the author didn't want some random leaving their two cents. Silly, I know. Bloggers, for the most part, want feedback. They want conversations. Those conversations help with the occasional isolated feeling you can get when you are wrapped in your blanket of words.

    Those are the things that spring to mind. Hope that is helpful!

  4. Thanks, Amber. Very helpful. Especially for those who are debating taking the plunge.

  5. I agree with all of the above great advice. Another thing I've found: The more generous you are to others, the more others are generous to you. In the writing world, that means feedback, comments, and pats on the back when you really need it. So comment kindly and often on other writers' blogs and tweets. It comes back to you.

    Side note: MISS YOU!!!! =)

  6. This is all good! I dove in first with the Blue Boards (before FB ever leapt out of Harvard) where I met writers both green and well-traveled. Eventually I found my way to Face Book and Twitter.

    I have learned so much and connected with amazing people. I've found a place to stay for the night on a research trip or a conference haul. I've found kindred spirits to share the ups and downs with. I've found some stuff I wish I hadn't! (tongue planted firmly in cheek here).

    I also found a place to reflect and grow, particularly when it comes to blogging.

  7. I'm only about a month into building any sort of online networking. What I find amazing is how quickly it builds. I am glad that I took my time and thought it through carefully before jumping in. So much of what is posted out there is permanent and easily found somewhere on a search engine. I was also careful to set up something that won't completely leach all my time and energy away from writing. That took some thinking. My advice for the novice is to do a little research and figure out a game plan before jumping in too fully. And always, ALWAYS think before posting. Is it something you're okay with everyone (including your future children) reading? Even ten years from now? Because it is OUT THERE and you cannot take it back.

    Thank you for a thoughtful and provocative post.


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