This is a topic that most independent authors know very well. Our society has changed much and continues to evolve. The way we do things, the way we work and communicate, the way we live and handle time – all this has changed dramatically over the past decades. The old models don’t seem to be working anymore, and new generations find themselves in the middle of an old system and the emerging of another.
Social media and internet communication/socialization is growing at high speeds. For independent authors it is the best of times, however it is all happening so fast, and it might be exhausting for many. Indies do it all, but they also want to keep up with social media trends. I have read advice about “becoming involved in everything, in as many sites and social media venues as possible.” I think that this is advice that I cannot take to heart, at least in my case. Why? Because it leads to exhaustion, mental chaos/fatigue, and worry (in the sense of having to keep up with all those social media sites).
I keep things to a minimum. I cannot write under exhaustion or mental chaos, neither will I be able to do much of my work, if I was to follow that advice. I keep this blog that I enjoy immensely, an author website (that I am developing slowly), a Facebook page (that I don’t visit as much as I’d like because I truly enjoy Facebook), and a Twitter account, which I plug-in with this blog, and might visit from time to time (and I have considered removing the Twitter account since I am not very active in it, other than posting through this blog). I do have other work related websites that I keep up as well. I was tempted to join Goodreads and Shelfari (and almost did), but realized that doing so would add a layer of fatigue, and more sites to worry about keeping up. I believe that I am not involved in as many sites as other authors are, and I know my limitations. I believe in being involved in fewer sites and being active than in too many that I cannot keep up with them. That is why I decided not to join Goodreads and other sites that interest me (at least for now). I love interacting with people through social media, but need to keep a balance on what I can truly handle. I believe in answering posts and emails, as well as visiting other sites and sharing. I believe that it is not possible to do this on too many sites at once. I also believe that belonging to too many sites at once would impact the quality of the interaction, and the enjoyment of it as well. Therefore my need to keep it as simple as I can. I’ve seen blogs were the blogger limits himself/herself to post and does not answer comments or interact with readers. To me, it defies the purpose of blogging and social media in general. Why would I want to post/write something if I am not going to answer a comment about it? That would be as talking to myself in the mirror. Communication, sharing of ideas … is the purpose of social media, among other things.
My point to all this rambling is that if you (as an indie) are feeling a bit exhausted only from your social media interaction, and feel that you cannot keep up with it, and it is affecting you (and possibly your work), maybe it is time to cut some of it, and only become active on the sites you truly enjoy.
I would love to hear from you on this topic.