With all of the outlets for social networking these days--Facebook, blogs, group blogs, Twitter--I often wonder what it was like to have a debut book published five years ago, back in the era where MySpace was really the only option. Of course, MySpace lost popularity due to all of the strange people that infiltrated the site, but it does make me wonder. Was it easier or harder?
On one hand, now that I'm writing full-time, social networking is a must for me. It keeps me connected to readers, to the "real world" and has truly helped foster wonderful relationship with other authors. I can't imagine how lonely writing life would be without my daily dose of friendship via the internet.
On the other hand, however, I know I would be so, so much more productive if I wasn't constantly distracted by all of the fascinating things posted on Twitter, Facebook and the like. So, for me, I've found the best way to balance all of the demands is to take mini vacations. Periodically, I'll ignore Facebook, only glance occasionally at Twitter, let my personal blog collect dust, and only post here at The Novel Girls.
For me, when I'm in the middle of a book, it feels like too much of a distraction to continually talk about it. I need to get lost in my own head for awhile. And when I'm writing, well, there's little else that I do. Or, I should say, there's little else that I do that would be deemed blog-worthy. I mean, trips to Trader Joe's and letting my house deteriorate into crack-den-status aren't exactly great blog topics. So, I often feel like my blogging is sporadic, with lots of gaps and a post that says, "Sorry! I've been doing XYZ."
With that said, I feel that social networking is absolutely essential for building buzz about a debut book. Thing about it--how many books have you heard about, that you never would've known existed, if you didn't read Twitter, Facebook or blogs? For me, it's nearly every book I've bought this year. And that, my friends, makes being pulled in a million different directions totally Worth It.