The Pros and Cons of Social Media

In his thought-provoking book entitled Booklife: Strategies and Surival Tips for the 21st Century Writer, Jeff VanderMeer devotes several chapters to the topic of building an authorial platform.  He calls this platform a “booklife” and discusses the double-edged sword of an author’s public and private book life and the challenges an author faces in trying to reconcile the two. 

According to VanderMeer, “Booklife is as much about balance as anything else” (153).  He goes on to explain that an author must guard against simply reacting to stimuli (ibid.).  Instead, an author must respond to the stimuli of his choosing and use social media judiciously. 

Social media involves a lot of stimuli. Unless we pick and choose what forms of social media we want to use–if any–we will be overwhelmed by them. 

Two of the most popular forms of social media are Facebook and Twitter.  Both of these venues keep authors connected with their readers, and vice versa.  As with most things, both Facebook and  Twitter have their good points and their bad.  We must all guard against spending so much time on FB or Twitter that we don’t spend enough time writing.  Worst of all, we must guard against allowing social media–or anything else–to steal the precious time we need to spend with our Lord above everything else. 

My questions for you this week are:

1) Do you use social  media to further your writing career?

2) If so, what are your chosen social media venues?

3) What challenges/benefits have you experienced from using this social media venues? 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Blessings, 

MaryAnn

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Source cited:  VanderMeer, Jeff. Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2009.

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