#writetip: to dare is to do

An INTP writer and the dilemma of social media: I’m not just an INTP, I’m an INTP Leo indie writer. Argh. I’m not into pigeonholing and labels, but I do like to try to understand how I feel about what I do. And I am not ashamed to say that trying to develop a social media author platform is driving me insane.
I write because I love writing, and I publish books because I have dared to admit that I do want to share my writing with people out there who might like and enjoy the stuff I write.

I’m an impatient reader and I write the way I like to read. Apart from the fact that I need to write to stay sane, I’ll keep going with the whole publishing and promoting my stuff thing because I have had some awesome feedback from people who have actually asked me to keep writing, people I didn’t know before they took the time and effort to get in touch, people who like to read the way I like to read – and write. It’s an amazing feeling.
But I’m a desperately private person. As an indie writer, it’s all up to you. Which is fantastic when you’re writing and editing with a blanket over your head. Not so great when it comes to the marketing and selling. I actually love going to comic cons. That must be the Leo in me. Online social media, though, frightens the life out of me. In case there are any other writers out there facing the same dilemma, here’s a rough guide to how I manage to do at least some of it:

Twitter: I love Twitter! I use it as a snapshot of what’s happening in the world right now. Social media has changed forever the way news is disseminated to the masses. It’s no longer the domain of the established press to tell us what is important. Now, if something’s going on, it will be trending on Twitter. As an INTP writer, I love the instant, said and gone nature of a Tweet. It doesn’t feel as if anyone is watching but if someone is, then they just see what I’ve said right then and it’s gone. Adding a quick favourite is a cool way of giving a nod and a smile. And I use Twitter to keep tabs on stuff I like and access to stuff I might want to go back to investigate further later. It’s very instant and it’s very unintrusive.
Here’s me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cghatton – I follow back anyone who follows me and I’m happy to engage in Twitter conversations. It’s kind of like having your back to the corner of the room, a drink in your hand and total control over how much you want to say. I can do that.

Pinterest: I love Pinterest! Pinterest is the place where I hoard all the stuff I like. I use it for inspiration, for gathering all the images and quotes that make me feel. It’s like having access to a mood board you can add to and peruse in the middle of the night. If you want to see what inspires me, check out 6E’s cool stuff board at www.pinterest.com/6ecreative/cool-stuff – that’s me. It’s like having your own personal art gallery. It’s great. Only warning, you can get sucked into Pinterest, especially at three in the morning, and it can devour away the hours.

Facebook: Facebook freaks me out. It’s like the crowded room, full of happy social confident people, that you walk into and want to walk straight back out of. INTP nightmare. I still haven’t figured it out. There are a few people I know and like that I can only contact through Facebook so I pop in regularly. But I still haven’t got the hang of what to say, how to say it, what to like or share without feeling creepy and it’s not somewhere I like to hang out. I have never liked to ask anything of anyone so the idea of asking people to ‘like’ my page or ‘share’ my post makes me incredibly uncomfortable. So I don’t do it. And I think you need to if you want to be part of the whole Facebook thing.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn freaks me out a bit too. I have a profile but I haven’t populated it with all the info I could because I’m not sure I want to post all that stuff so publicly. I’m sure it has potential – some of my most enthusiastic readers are people I know professionally, who found out what I do by accident. So I could probably use LinkedIn more. I mostly use it for the Spurs supporters discussion forums. They’re cool.

Blogspot: Having a blog is a tough one! There’s a really big part of me that wonders why anyone would want to read anything I have to say. I tend not to say a lot out loud. I’m trying to use it for the occasional bits of writing advice for other writers, in case anyone out there is struggling as much as I am, and an odd update for readers if I have anything going on like a new book or photos from a comic con. At the end of the day, writing books is what is keeping me sane. I love my little guys and I love my universe and I love giving them all a hard time and seeing how they deal with it, and I love it when they surprise me. If having a blog helps someone find my stuff that might not have done otherwise, then why not? And if another writer gets a bit of inspiration from reading that it’s not easy, then that’s cool. Life’s hard enough as it is. Living in the future doesn’t have to be impossible for us folk who’d rather hide under a blanket (a blanket with Internet access so we know what’s going on).