Though I’ve always loved writing, it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to take steps to grow as a writer. One of those steps led me to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Texas last year.
I was thrilled to connect with other writers in real life, and then later, on social media. I know it’s important for an author to connect with their readers on social media, so I scrolled through the profiles of established writers, trying to figure out just exactly how a real author behaves on social media.
First of all, I learned that real authors post the books they are currently reading. But you can’t just say, “I’m reading so-and-so’s book and it’s really great.” No, you have to set up a mini-photo op on your coffee table or desk, complete with a vintage tea pot, ornate tea cup, and perhaps some flowers tastefully arranged in a vase. (You get bonus points if they color-coordinate with the book cover.)
Easy, you say? Well, there are two reasons the “photo-op-of-what-I’m-reading” won’t work for me. 1) Nerf guns wars. 2) Slam dunk contests. Yes, both of these things happen in my house. And they will continue to happen until my three teen guys leave home. So for now, the one teapot I own will stay safely in the kitchen cupboard.
Secondly, I learned real authors occasionally post pictures of where they are writing. One of the most popular “hashtag look at where I’m writing” pictures is an upscale coffee shop, with a perfectly-but-casually-placed cup of coffee beside the laptop. Or the author might take a beautiful photo of their home office, laptop open, sunlight streaming through gleaming windows, a bouquet of flowers on the desk (color-coordinating with a nearby stack of books).
Sadly, this won’t work for me either. My writing space is um…unconventional. And not exactly beautiful. (Unless you have a thing for high chairs.) I write at the kitchen table in my daycare while my kiddos are taking their afternoon nap. I do, however, have a casually-placed cup of coffee beside my keyboard at all times. 🙂
Ok, so I’m not doing too well in the “looking-like-a-real-author-department.” Surely there is something I can do on social media to claim my status as a genuine writer?
A moment of inspiration hit me. My boys LOVE to read! Why not post pictures of them reading? This could work!
Hmmmm…a picture of my son reading at breakfast. Not bad.
Another one of my boys reading while brushing his teeth. Not quite the look I was going for. (I kid you not, my boys do this all the time. I guess they think brushing their teeth is really boring?)
What about a picture of what they are currently reading? The coffee table is always covered in books. Again, not quite the look I was going for. It’s a bit…un-photogenic. (Yes, I just made up that word.)
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to find my own way. Forge my own path. Become my own kind of social-media writer.
And I decided that’s not such a bad thing. For what is writing after all?
It’s simply sharing what’s in my heart, and hoping that it connects with your heart.
Happy weekend to you!
May your sleeping-in be restful, your activities be enjoyable, and your social-media posting be real…or at least entertaining! 🙂