Today we have a guest post from Steve Laube Agency client Afton Rorvik. Her book, Storm Sisters released Fall, 2014 from Worthy Publishing. She has a growing relationship with social media that she wanted to share. My guess is that today’s post will resonate with many readers of this blog.
I must confess something.
I have held a grudge against social media. I resented her demands on my time. I railed against her quirks. I spoke ill of her in public places and on the phone with my agent and publisher. I did not welcome her as a newcomer to my writing neighborhood.
But things feel a bit less strained between us these days.
I have decided to embrace this new relationship, viewing social media more as a friend than a foe.
So, just as I would invest time in getting to know a new friend, I spend time every day learning more about my new pal: social media (SM). I think of her as a gal-pal. Silly, I know.
My friend SM, I think, comes from Italy. We have a bit of a language barrier.
She talks often of hashtags, tweeps, retweets, gravatars, etc. I have had to pull out a reference book or two in order to understand her. Lately, I’ve been using this one a lot: Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Book by Frances Caballo
We have also had to work through some boundary issues. SM likes to hang out a lot—always seems to want to chat. Just as in any healthy relationship, I’ve had to set some boundaries. And try to keep them.
As much as I enjoy all that SM has to say and the information she leads me to, I have started telling her when I have time to chat rather than letting her suck me in at any and all random moments. I know it is a bit rude of me, but I always keep my eye on the clock while I am conversing with SM. A 30-minute conversation works best for me. Sometimes, though, I do grab a cup of coffee and allow myself a long, lingering afternoon conversation.
Now when I do sit down to chat with SM, I enjoy our time together more. I save up tidbits to share with her and look forward to what she has to say. I focus on her instead of half-hearing what she says as I try to focus on writing tasks. Thank you, Frances Caballo, author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Sill Have Time to Write, for your words of wisdom in this department.
Finally, by viewing SM as a friend, I think of my time with her more as a conversation. I would never sit down to lunch with a friend and tell her all the details of my week complete with 24 photos for each day. I would ask questions, pause to consider her words, and respond with honest words from my heart. Often the specific details of my life would fade into the background. In fact, some of our time together might involve my simply listening and encouraging.
So, I recently told SM I wanted to keep working on our relationship, something along the lines of, “I’m in it for the long haul with you. Let’s keep at it.” She assured me that she has no plans to disappear on me.
Funny, sounds a lot like a Storm Sister.
Afton Rorvik is the author of Storm Sisters: Friends through All Seasons, a book that tells her story of learning to connect with flesh-and-blood women during the storms of life. Visit her website at http://aftonrorvik.com (there are social media links there, as they have become friends)