To start today’s blog, I’d like to share a few pictures.
That is not fog, smog or clouds of any kind. This is smoke from the fires on the west coast of the United States. Which means have hunkered down with the windows and doors closed. That crap is not good for the lungs. I just hope for rain. Both here and down there.
Onto the topic.
Doing a simple google search, I see places like Facebook and Twitter being called the most wretched hive of scum and villainy. While this may be true, there are advantages to setting up a social media account and making use of it. I talk to authors of different calibers. I talk to those who are big names, to those still trying to write their first manuscript. While the subject doesn’t come up often, I have heard of some (mainly those just starting out) who will not touch social media, or if they have it, they refuse to let anyone in.
I find this mindset problematic for many reasons. The first is it closes off the creative from the wider community. Writing is a lonely occupation spending hours by yourself hoping people will look at it, let along read it.
By being involved in the greater community, it’s obvious the writer is not alone. There are thousands of people all trying to do the same thing. While many see them as competitors, they are more like comrades in the same word trenches you are. They experience similar events in their journey. Most are more than willing to talk about their process. These lessons are vital. Growing up as one of five kids, I learned many lessons from my siblings mistakes. Usually by making note of the idiocy they did and not doing it myself. In the creative community, learning from others allows you to jump forward in the journey.
The next is fans. For those starting out, this is probably the last thing on their mind. But its important.
I’ll bring you to the Galaxy’s Edge Universe. (There website is: https://galaxysedge.us/ ) These have all the tropes movies like Star Wars started, but the authors of this series sought to write sci-fi stories the way they were meant to be made. These stories may not have taken off, except the authors were on social media.
People wanted to hang out, ask questions, and get inside scoops. People have an innate need to belong somewhere. Humans will go out of our way to find the social group we belong with. When we are not with that group, we feel excessive anxiety and stress. This is the reason workers went to the pub after work in the 1800s. That was where they had their people. We have the internet. When we find we have the same likes as others, we gather. Look up the, I Love Lucy Conventions. They have been going since 1996. As a creative being on the internet and social media, even if it’s only on a professional level.
The last is networking. The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This is one of the least understood statement of human history. In school and in the horrors of the real world, they teach people to write resumes. When employers look at resumes, they are names (if they even have that.) The art of networking is hidden, out of sight and unknown. By being on social media and talking to other authors, you hear about opportunities. An author friend of mine got excited about the storming Area 51 meme. Produced an anthology about what would happen when people stormed it. He needed stories to be submitted in three weeks. This is much shorter than anyone ever does. But he needed the time. He asked me if I wanted to submit. This gave me the opportunity to submit. There was not a public call for stories.
If I had not immersed myself into social media, I would not have heard about the project. I could not have submitted. I did, and they selected my story. That was not the only project social media has given me access to. There have been others with more opportunities down the pipe. Some don’t turn into anything, while others do.
This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.