Monday, May 23, 2011

Social Networking: Beyond just Marketing

This week I finally got around to reading this month’s RW Report put out by the RWA. One article by Dyanne Davis in particular drew my attention since it cited “some quick tips to refill your creative well”. (Another reason I took off from blogging last week wasn’t to just write, but to refill the well and read too. But I digress…)

In the article she discussed ways to seek out inspiration and one of the ways was by using your social network. She told of an author who throws out questions on Facebook when he’s working on scenes he needs help with. For example: What would you do if you found your man in bed with another man?

I thought that was interesting—and a great way to be social and use social networking to help you as a writer. It kind of reminds me of that Hilary Clinton book title It Takes a Village. I think a lot of writers find it takes a village to write a book sometimes! We constantly bounce ideas off our spouses or significant others, our critique partners, and sometimes friends or family. But Social Networking opens up your feedback even more. You’ll never please everybody but you can get an idea of what the majority of people think out there.

1) Maybe you have a few ideas for a title for your book. Throw it out on Facebook or Twitter or your blog and see most people think would make them buy the book.
2) Are you stuck with a scene or need some inspiration? Do what the writer above did and pose a question on Facebook to get a different take on the situation. Maybe you’ll end up looking at the scene in a different light.
3) Having trouble naming your characters? Host a blog contest or throw it out on Twitter. I saw an author have her hero’s name narrowed down to three. She posted them on Twitter and got feedback on what most readers preferred and her hero was finally named.
4) Need inspiration to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on that keyboard? Tweet about your writing progress or ask some writers to participate in a writing challenge. I’ve seen some authors say on Twitter that they’re going to do a little writing sprint and would anyone like to join them. They each write for an hour and then they post how much they’ve each written when the time is up. What a great way to drum up some motivation to write and finish up your story!
5) Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to finishing your book? Set up goals and blog or tweet about them
. (That’s what I do. The shame factor really works well in keeping me accountable):-)

See? Writers don’t have to picture themselves as a lonely island. It’s like that song from High School Musical “We’re all in this together…” People are out there just waiting to help us write that book.


We just have to ask.:)

How about you? Do you work alone or do you have people you bounce ideas off of? Have you ever used social networking to get help with your writing?

34 comments:

mooderino said...

I'm still pretty new to the whole social media thing, but sounds like a good idea. will have to give it a try and see if it produces anything useful.

mood
Twitter: @mooderino

Suze said...

When I first began writing manuscripts, I bounced off so many ideas from my faithful contacts list, I'm surprised they didn't blacklist me. Having done that for a couple of years, I began to draw into myself a bit more. This was after realizing that everybody has an opinion, and most people's opinions differ from others. Most importantly, though, too many cooks spoil the brew.

Period.

Katie Ganshert said...

These are all really great ideas, Jennifer. I'm currently reading We ARe Not Alone: A Writer's Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb. Awesome, awesome stuff. She has all kinds of ideas for writers when it comes to networking.

Linda G. said...

Social networking is a great way to feel like you're not alone in the writing trenches. I don't tend to use it for specifics on a first draft, but nothing can beat it for motivation to just keep on writing.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Thanks for the highschool musicial reference. I am now singing "getcha getcha getcha getcha head in the game" which is also appropriate for meeting writing goals--but that's about all! Glad you're blogging this week. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Welcome back! I generally work alone through all the drafts and then my crit partner takes a whack at it. I may engage a few beta's as well, but usually that's all. I get oogy guts if too many people see what I'm doing. (Unless of course I decide to put them up on the blog, but that's different to me. I'm ALLOWing it to happen.) I know, I'm just weird.

Joanne said...

When I did write a recent blog post asking for post ideas for a particular photograph, the response was phenomenal, creative and very positive! Our fellow bloggers were ready to jump right in with help :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I imagine the writing experience is vastly different than it once way. The internet has changed the game so much. These are great ways to get readers involved.

Asking my blog readers helped me decide on my blog header.

~ Wendy

Diane Craver said...

Great post, Jennifer.

I did that when I wasn't sure what to work on next - I had several different stories I wanted to write but couldn't decide which to work on first. I threw out my story ideas during a blog tour and it was fun to read the comments.

Rula Sinara said...

Great post and ideas. I'm not on FB or Twitter yet, but the same notion can be applied the old fashioned way. This weekend, I made it to my first local chapter meeting. The lecture was fantastic, and just being around fellow writers recharged me. I sometimes use my blog in the same way.

Sarita said...

What great ideas. I had a beta reader, someone to constantly bounce ideas off of, but now I'm having a really tough time writing because that luxury is gone. Some new ideas might help me, thank you!

I hope you enjoyed your time away.

Carol Kilgore said...

This is great! I'm going to be joining the larger social media world this summer. Now I have a more positive view :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Carol: I'm so glad!!

Tana Adams said...

I use my husband to bounce ideas off of and don't tell him I said so, but he's got a few good ideas of his own. ;)

Diane said...

Even parenting questions or any sort of info we may need it's good to get many minds' thoughts to draw from. :O)

Susanne Drazic said...

Sounds like an interesting idea. I've never tried that, using social media. I bounce ideas off family members, sometimes.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Great list, Jennifer!

I never feel alone, thanks to all my pals out here. :)

Holly Ruggiero said...

Those are some really great ways to use social networking.

Maria Zannini said...

Not for my writing, but I do ask questions occasionally about everyday things.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I think these are great ideas. I ask around about the topics that are in my stories, both fiction and non-fiction. I always hear things that I didn't think of on my own, new perspective, more personal stories.

Sandra Cox said...

Some great ideas here, Jen. Thanks for sharing!

Tracy said...

Oh, good question and cool blog! I like to work by myself to build a really good sense of what it is I am writing and then I put it out there and yes, have used Facebook to help with the title of my book and ideas on how to define it...
I really like your blog and thanks for stopping by mine!

TheBookGirl said...

Glad to see you back Jennifer :)
This is a really interesting post; I love the idea of a name that character contest!

Lacey Devlin said...

Great post, Jennifer! Thanks for this.

Manzanita said...

You have some great and fun ideas. This would work for well for the social person who is chomp'n at the bit to socialize. Why not get writing input along with it?

Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

Nancy said...

Great post. I love your ideas for help. When I get stumped, I will try some of them.

Carol Riggs said...

Super ideas! Love this. :) We all should share ideas and help each other out!

Halli Gomez said...

Great idea. I threw out a couple ideas and asked for advice from family with my blog name, but I never thought about doing it with story or scene ideas. What a better group to ask then a bunch of writers!

I am stuck with scenes in two stories, may have to make that this week's blog post!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love these ideas! I have asked some questions on FB and it really does help! I love the instant feedback and help and it really has made me rethink some things.

Laura Pauling said...

Now I want to watch Highschool Musical again. Thanks a lot! :)

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Thanks for the good social networking tips. Sometimes social networking can be daunting and overwhelming, but these tips are helpful.

Gina Conroy said...

Recently, I had to make a decision about something and I posed a question on fb. It was interesting to see the different opinions out there. I haven't used this to help with my writing, but I can definitely see the benefit!

puertas plegables said...

Wonderful ideas. Congratulations on your effort and thanks for sharing with us.
Continues to publish, is a real pleasure to read you

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