Tangled up in the trap of social media
I'm being honest about it. I sat down at my tablet this morning to write a blog about blacksmithing. My son and I are amateur blacksmiths and as we've learned over the last few years, we will always find ourselves in a position of student when it comes to this artistic trade. Yesterday he and I attended a workshop at a local farrier/ blacksmith supply store. We've done many of these but this one came at the end of a very long week for me. Going in to the event I was already tired. On this Saturday morning the meteorologists predicted ninety degree heat and sunshine. I'm not sure if you realize but blacksmiths work around forges that start at temperatures over 1000 degrees. I was literally surrounded by fire. We were heating metal to 1500 degrees so we could hammer, bend and shape it into something useful. On this day it was a fire poker and it seemed to follow the theme of too hot for summer projects.
Maybe you're wondering what this has to do with social media? That's where the distraction comes in. I realized that I was working so hard during the event that I didn't take any photographs of us in action, not one single picture. How can I write a blog post and not put up a picture of the forge, or the creations as they rest at 1500 degrees? So I started to search Facebook for pictures from the event. The shop has pictures on their site, but nothing from yesterday. That's when the problem began. They have videos up on their page, projects on display that we had a part in making. So I watched and after it was over I looked a little more and before I knew 30 minutes had gone by without a word written or a photo grabbed for my blog post.
I put down my poison and picked up my tablet as the realization hit. I'm not going to share my tips on parenting a passionate child. Instead I'm going to share my failings as a writer who is distracted by social media.
Social media is a necessity for me. I don't use it to brag about my husband or my children as much as I use it to promote my new short story. I'll admit I use every chance that I get to mention Dear Kane; what I wish we would have said. I'm so passionate about what I've written and how it shines a bright light on parenting and failure to love without conditions. I wrote this as personal therapy but it has turned out to be helpful for so many others. I've sold over 100 copies and given away almost half as many. I'm proud of that.
This is where social media enters the relationship. I email people all day long. I'm requesting readers, blog posts and even soliciting reviews. I'm checking Facebook and Twitter as I read books in the quest to gain more followers. It seems ridiculous, but since I let these social media powers combine I've had more page hits and it has promoted book sales on my website, through email and from Amazon. So this hot messy tangled web of accounts works as long as I'm working it just as hard. This is all new for me even though I've had accounts for a while. I just used them to stay close to the people that I love who live far away. Like instant postcards, it has kept the family together.
Now that I'm an indie author I have to work everything from every angle as often as possible. I ask myself 100 questions a day. The most common being if I've distributed so many copies of the book why do I only have 11 reviews. I know that the story changes lives because I have the 40+ emails telling me stories and I've had dozens of coffee house conversations. I have to ask every reader to become part of my publicity team. If you've read Dear Kane and reviewed it I am grateful because your words promoted sales. If you read Dear Kane and shared your copy with a friend that's amazing. Every time I sell a copy of the paperback book Just Live, Inc receives $2. I will be writing a check to them and you are a part of that donation. Maybe you're wondering what my goal is in all of this? It isn't follower collecting or retweets or even an endless supply of little sparkly hearts. My goal is to raise money to change lives. My goal is to help fund programs so that we don't continue to see suicide as the only answer to depression. That's what Dear Kane is about. That's the only reason that anyone has read it to date.
So if I gave a copy to you, please review it. If it moved you, buy a copy and give it to someone that you love and ask them to do the same. Like and follow Dear Kane on Facebook and Twitter @edgyartist. If you become a part of this, you become ears that hear, and eyes that see but most importantly you become a voice that has been silent for far to long.
Please become a voice.
Being... Be brave.