Balancing Act

I just received word from Goodreads that I am now counted as an official author. Which is thrilling. Run, don’t walk, over and mark Braving the Brontes, (Carly Keene: Literary Detective #1) as “to-read”! I’ll wait while you do that. Excellent work.

Carly Keene's cover art

Carly Keene’s cover art

But setting up a Goodreads page, and a Facebook page (CarlyKeeneBook) for the series, and a twitter account, and a Gobblydigook account (okay, I made that one up), takes time. A useful social media presence requires the exact opposite kind of attention and focus that writing does.  (So do children, but I’ve already talked about that, and I’m sure I will again).

For me, my best writing is done in periods of quiet without outside distractions (thus the number of posts here ranting about my children and their disinterest in my writing schedule). It takes concentration whether that means four hours of writing in one go or a long walk thinking through a plot problem followed by half an hour to get it nailed down on paper. Social media is the opposite of contemplative, creative time for me. Again, I don’t pretend to speak for everyone, but I am definitely not alone on this one. Kristin Cashore put it very well in this post. I don’t have the problem she has of too many fans, but the sentiment is one with which I identify strongly.

On the other hand, I want people to read my book. I’m really proud of it. I think it’s great. I’m already getting ready to write the next one. And if I refuse to be on social media, how will people know about Carly Keene? They won’t. So right now, while I’m still an unknown author, the best thing I can do is try to balance the two types of attention needed: the intense, dead-to-anything-else focus for writing and the fractured, frequent attention to various social media platforms to promote the book.  Carly Keene is good enough that she deserves all the attention I can drum up for her, and if you want to help, mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads and then once you read it write reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

Luckily B and I have gotten back into running now that we have a double jogging stroller, and for me exercise helps mediate how stressful I find social media.

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