Does Social Media Help or Hinder Writers? by Mari Wells

Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 in Blogging, Writing | 9 comments

Does Social Media Help or Hinder Writers? by Mari Wells

Is Social Media Evil for Writers?

by Mari Wells

Social Media, is it good or evil? In my life, the life of a writer, it’s both. Every agent I’ve considered says my platform is important. I should have a large platform before trying to pitch my novel to them. Websites tell me that a publisher will look at my platform before accepting my novel. They tell me that my social media following is a deal breaker. What is a writer to do? Get on the social media bandwagon, that’s what.

My social network consists of Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. I am new to all of it, and that is all my mind can wrap around still. When I wake up in the morning I start turning on the computer and simultaneously turn on tabs for my Email, Facebook, Twitter and my blog. I spend the good part of the morning giving my network attention.

I reply to any comments I’ve received on my blog, and go off to like and comment on the blogs I follow. I check those of my closest friends first. Then I check emails and reply to any if needed or send new emails. I browse through Twitter replying, retweeting or favoriting any that need attention. I check Facebook and again reply or Like my friend’s pages or posts. By this time, someone has sent a new reply or comments that need my response or attention, and it keeps going.

Sounds fine, right? An hour or two, or maybe even three to building your network, that’s sounds reasonable. Well no, it isn’t. Why? My writing doesn’t start until early noon. As soon as I start writing, something happens that needs my attention, immediately. I then have all of my daily tasks that also need to be cared for. Other writers have out of the house jobs. What seems to suffer? My writing and I’m sure their writing too. I need to make a daily plan to make sure my writing gets done, but my media network is also cared for.

social media, headache

I was nervous when I started to use social media. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I didn’t know how to use Facebook or Twitter. I thought I needed to know special codes for writing a blog. I silently cursed the whole idea. I tried as long as I could not to do it. I also knew it would take time from my writing. I understood how it would take large amounts of time, to be successful. I have been happily surprised. Facebook and Twitter aren’t as hard as a social media newbie thinks they are.

What I think is most important though, I have made deep friendships with some of my followers. They have encouraged me when I needed it and help me in my writing. We share tips and knowledge with each other. They have encouraged me to write in genres I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Without taking a risk and the time to use social media, I wouldn’t have this. I cringe to think about how much I have missed. This was something I didn’t expect, but it makes it all worth it in the end.

social media, twitter, facebook, facebook

Author Bio:

Mari Wells is a wife and homeschooling mom of four children. She steals moments in the chaos of being a stay-at-homeschooling mom to write or love the social media monster. She wakes before dawn to write her short stories or work on one of her many novels. She’s still awake late into the night researching or working on blog posts. Find her at www.mariwells.wordpress.com, on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/YPQ50R, or on Twitter @Mari_Wells4.

A note from the Muses: Thank you so much Mari for stopping by our site and contributing such a thorough article! You’re right. Social media can be pretty crazy to keep up with, but we too are thankful for it. Otherwise, we never would have met you!

What do you guys think? Is social media a good or bad thing? Has it helped you more as a writer or does it hinder you and run into writing time? What tips can you offer others just embarking on this social media journey?

9 Comments

  1. I find that the friends I have found on social media have helped me stay focused and feel connected to the writing community when I otherwise may have taken a turn for the worse. It may seem to be distracting to writing, but I actually find I have written far more than I give myself credit for in between tweets and what have you. Also, I would be more insane than I already am if I did not have some sort of a support system to monitor myself by.

    –Julie

    • You’re totally right Julie. Though I have no self control in shutting down Twitter, it’s definitely been more of a plus on my writing. The support on Twitter from the writing community is amazing.

  2. I regret not starting earlier. I would be a better writer by now, with the insight and tips of the friends I’ve made.
    I have to turn off my Twitter and Facebook to make sure I’m writing. Some days are better than others.
    Thanks for your comment, Julie.

  3. Thank you ladies, for accepting this article. I’m so happy I met you both too.

  4. Great post!

    • Thanks for stopping by Bruce! We agree! Mari did a great job!

  5. Nice article, Mari. I have difficulty, too, finding balance. Often, I spend more time reading blogs than I do writing. I guess maybe a schedule might be useful. It’s a tough one!

  6. Nice post Mari! I totally know what you mean. I think social media is important, but not THAT important if that makes sense. Not important enough to take away writing time. It’s so hard to juggle the balance though. And I read your bio. Wow, homeschooling four kids and writing! I have serious respect for you. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Year's Eve 2012 - @PenandMuse - [...] Guest posters! The most amazing writers are willing to guest post! Like Mari Wells, Kat Ellis, and coming in…
  2. So excited! « Mari Wells - [...] The very first article I’ve written that isn’t fiction is now live on Penandmuse.com Pen and Muse [...]

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