Social Media and the Writer – Good and bad #GuestPost #LyingToYou @Wildfirebks @annecater @nholten40 @amandareynoldsj

Today is my stop on Amanda Reynolds’ LYING TO YOU blog tour! My thanks to the awesome Anne Cater for the invite, the author and Wildfire Books/Headline. I have a fabulous & interesting #guestpost on the good and bad side of social media for writers! I love this piece and hope you enjoy it to! But first, a bit about the author and her book!

About the Author

Amanda Reynolds’ debut novel, CLOSE TO ME, is an Amazon Kindle Top 30 bestseller. The eBook was published in March 2017 by Wildfire (a new imprint of Headline), as their first fiction title and the paperback followed in July 2017.

Amanda’s second book, LYING TO YOU, is out in April 2018.

About the Book

You’d know if you were lying to yourself, wouldn’t you?

When Jess Tidy was Mark Winter’s student, she made an accusation that ultimately saw him sentenced to three years in prison. A jury found him guilty, but he always maintained his innocence. Now, Jess’s mother’s death has brought her back to the village where she grew up, and where Mark still lives with his wife. And the truth about that night ten years ago which nearly destroyed them both is finally going to come out.

Social Media and the Writer – Good and bad

OK, so today I’m going to write. I’ve promised myself. My day is clear. I have no other commitments.

But first, I need to check Twitter, thank all those lovely bloggers and fellow authors who are receiving ARCs of my book. And whilst I’m on Twitter, I’ll wish happy publication day to the crime writer I met at Harrogate last year. Then I’ll check what I’ve missed, maybe trawl back a bit through my timeline. This, I feel, is allowed. Beneficial in fact. The kind of support that really helps, flowing in and out. Great.

Why then, am I still on Twitter half an hour later, reading an article about a man called Ivan who recently won a flower arranging competition? Or the long horror story of the flatmate from hell in NYC. Why? Why?! I’ll tell you why, because I’m procrastinating, building myself up to a task at times so difficult, requiring such self-belief, that I put it off. And I’m not alone, pretty much every writer I know complains about how much time they ‘waste’ on social media. For some it’s Facebook, some Instagram, for me it’s Twitter.

But when does a positive experience, interacting with other writers, readers, and friends, turn sour? At what point does it not only delay writing, but actually sabotage it? Because there’s a lot to be said for hopping down the occasional rabbit hole, you never know what you might find.

When I taught creative writing, I’d often advocate the idea of ‘Free’ or ‘Drunk’ writing. Unfortunately, no Chardonnay was involved, but the absence of censure, much as my meanderings on Twitter, can produce some interesting results. Who is to say that my NYC tenant or Russian flower arranger won’t in some way feed in to my work? OK, unlikely, but you never know.

Personally, I think the tipping point is when I begin to annoy myself. I know how much I love writing once I get going, and even if today’s efforts are borderline crap, tomorrow I have something to edit, a page or two to work on. And yet knowing all that, I am still messing around looking for a perfect GIF.

I do recognise in myself a craving for excitement, or at least a diversion. Perhaps if I check Twitter, or Amazon, or Goodreads, they’ll be a new review. Someone saying nice things that will spur me on. Let’s face it, at the coalface, it’s just the writer and a blank page. No one does it for you, and we all need a bit of encouragement.

There’s also the matter of attention span. Whilst I have been known to lose all track of time, generally I need a break every so often, even on a good writing day. There’s cups of tea to make and washing to push in and pull out of the machine, the doorbell might ring, the bathroom fitter could poke his head into my study and ask about tiles, but none of these activities are particularly sociable. Twitter, on the other hand, is the equivalent of walking into your favourite coffee shop and finding all your friends are there, waving new books at you, or videos about dogs, or just saying hi. No wonder when the going gets tough I’m drawn back there again and again.

What’s the answer? Boringly, I suppose it’s much like most things in life, moderation is required. Twitter is fun and friendly, and it’s great for connecting with like-minded people, but don’t spend all day on there, you’ll only annoy yourself. And if you do drop by, remember to look me up and say hi!

@amandareynoldsj

Really enjoyed that post! Thanks so much, Amanda – thrilled to have you on my blog. If you have any thoughts or comments you’d like to share, feel free! In the meantime, you can follow the rest of the tour here:

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