Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Are you insecure? Er... yep!

Firstly I'm going to make my monthly apology for not managing to visit many blogs. I'm trying to fit so much into my days, and you lot are so prolific - when I check Google Reader, even after a couple of hours, there are 20 new posts. This in itself makes me feel insecure, especially after Alex's guest post last week where he said he visits 100+ blogs each day. I should do more. I try to do more. I never manage it.

Anyway, that's not even why I'm insecure this month.

Social media is making me insecure. I started with Facebook a few years ago. I created a blog. A little while (well, 18 months) later, I joined Goodreads. Then Pinterest, which I came back off again. Then LinkedIn. Then I got a Twitter account. Then  I realised that I could create an Author Profile on Amazon, and did that two days ago.

That's my social media journey so far.

Now I'm wondering, if I've got a profile on Amazon, is there the same need for Nook etc. (See - I'm so frazzled, I can't even remember what the other ebook formats are!)

But I'm not sure I'm using any of them effectively... and there's always another site I've never heard of that everyone else seems to be talking about.

At the same time, I'm supposed to be writing! And I'm not doing much of that.

I should also be reading more than I am. And I really, really ought to be feeding my kids... yep, I'm almost certain I should be trying to fit that in somewhere...


72 comments:

  1. Heh, it is tough to balance everything out! I find that blogging and Twitter are the two main places of importance, so I try to put most of my focus there. The rest gets done as and when I have time. Maybe I could be working harder too, but I would rather not stress myself out! :D

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    1. I've been visiting Facebook less often since I joined Twitter - I thought I was in love with Facebook, but I guess it was just a severe crush lol

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  2. Oh Annallisa, I just posted about more or less the same thing. I think networking is wearing - especially if you're not trained in marketing, nor particularly enjoy it. Like me. I hope it'll all settle down and we can get on with what we really enjoy - writing.

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    1. That's a good point - people take degrees in marketing, and yet authors are expected to know what to do instinctively!

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  3. I think we have to decide how much "more" we want to do, how much is "enough." I think it's about picking and choosing what works for you and doing that to the max. I'm not on Facebook and I haven't joined Twitter. Of course, I miss out on stuff but it's a choice. I'm not saying I'll never join but for now, I'm good. :)

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    1. Yes, I'm getting to the 'enough' part now. I swore off Twitter for a long time, but eventually I just wanted to know what the fuss was all about. I must admit, I like it. Arguments happen in real time, and you get to interact with your favourite authors.

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  4. The social media frenzy is intoxicating, in good and bad ways. I'm impressed with how you carved your way into it through so many routes. It's all beneficial for networking, but it takes so much time. I wish I had words of wisdom, Annalisa.

    When I sit at the computer, I tend to write little lists of what specific things I'm going to do (e.g., visit folks who commented on my blog post), so I don't get sucked in for days on end.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Lists are good. I tried timing myself. Half an hour here, a few blogs over lunch etc... but I always ignore my own rules!

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  5. Hi - you are not alone (please feed your children - ice cream is good!). Time management gets overwhelming and trying to promote yourself, blog, FB, etc can get crazy. Plus we're supposed to be writing new material - that takes lots of time. So - deep breath, do your best, watch some Olympics (!), and make sure you're having fun with the whole writing package.

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    1. Lol children would love ice-cream for every meal!

      The Olympics have definitely been on. Just saw Wiggins get a gold, so I'm happy. Fun - yes! I've told at least 2 other people to have fun with their writing today, so I really should take my own advice :-)

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  6. Feeding the kids is probably a good idea. :) As far as the social media goes, I know very little about it. I got a twitter account a few months ago, and I'm still figuring it out.
    Good luck with it! :)

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    1. I'm always afraid I'm going to make some huge Twitter faux pas. All that follow Friday, and Monday mentions etc... I'm sure we'll both get used to it soon. After the kids have eaten, of course!

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  7. cut the shoulds and do what you can. if it's stressing you out and keeping you from writing, maybe it's time for a break. just my 2 cents.

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    1. I think part of the problem is I use these things to 'market myself' and then get sidetracked by 'enjoying myself' and realise I've wasted a whole day not writing and not marketing, but just stalking my friends! I think I'd panic if I took a break! I'm worse than a teenager if you suggest they leave their mobile at home :-)

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  8. Since I signed up for Amazon's KDP promo I had to lose the Nook pages. I really wasn;t selling much on Nook and what I made from Amazon was way more than B&N. So that was a good decision to leave B&N for me.

    And I use Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads and stop there as far as social networks are concerned.

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    1. I was invited onto LinkedIn - but I REALLY don't get that, not for writers anyway. I can see it's good for business, but I'm not a business!

      Goodreads is great for just keeping your books in one place (in my case, book, so it doesn't need much ordering, but still...)

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  9. I've had the same thoughts, and I'm not even using all the options you are. It's about priorities, balance. And for me, the question...why am I doing this? Which form of media is most productive/purposeful/etc? What is your goal with all of these options? I've also decided, for me, people are more important than social media. Our kids are going to grow up and be gone. Unless you don't feed them. :-)

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    1. I'm trying to learn from others, because they seem to have this social media sorted. It's hard to copy though, because I like to think of myself as being unique!

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  10. I keep the social networking to a minimum now (FB, twitter, World Literary Cafe) and I'm trying to concentrate on writing. It just seemed too much and didn't make me happy. I do read many blogs (though I may not comment) to learn from my peers.
    I also turn the internet off when I write and vow not to turn it on until a certain word count is met.
    It's a tough balance. I hope you find yours. Keep your head up :)
    Here for you if you need anything.

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    1. Thanks Marta. I'd love to turn the internet off, but I always convince myself I need to google something for research, or check my email in case so-and-so has replied. Perhaps I'll give that a go...

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  11. Annalisa, you can't do it all, and a lot of it isn't very effective anyway. For example, I don't think I've ever made a significant contact or even a book sale through Linked In. I recently deleted my account there.

    I joined Pinterest recently, but the people following my boards are the same people who follow me on Facebook.

    As for the Amazon author profile and Goodreads profile, those can be linked to your blog, so whatever you post here shows up there.

    Pick and choose, test to see what works, and know you can't do everything -- especially if you want to have time to write!

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    1. I've linked Goodreads to my blog, but then I post daft things about not being able to figure out social media, and I wonder if that's the right image - I feel I should be more professional there. As a result, I haven't linked my blog to my Amazon author profile yet.

      Your last sentence is exactly what I need to hear though - thanks :-)

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  12. It is definitely a challenge trying to fit everything in. You are not alone.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  13. Just reading all I should be doing gives me that tight-in-the-chest-panic-mode feeling. I spent a ridiculous four hours yesterday trying to figure out how add a writer's credit page in my blog yesterday (nevermind that in the end, all it required was an adjustment that took one click of a button....). It's definitely a priority of time, isn't it? First time visitor to your site. In the words of Ahnahld, I'll be back!

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    1. Lol - yes, I've been there before trying to do something that ought to be simple because other people have done it and not having a clue!

      Like someone said further up, forget 'should'. I think that's very good advice.

      Thanks for the visit and the follow :-)

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  14. I think you've reached inside my brain! I am so insecure regarding social media as I know there is no way I use it to its most effective and I have not visited nearly as many blog friends as I should. I'm trying to get better, but it seems the more I try to keep up with what I do, there is always something else, another level. Rather like being Indiana Jones and finding six new doors after you've struggled to open the one.

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    1. I'm just happy I'm not the only person who feels this way. We're all in it together :-)

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  15. THIS!!!! I totally feel like a slacker after reading about Alex's crazy 100 + blog hopping and commenting. It's just completely crazy! I'm always wondering how he finds the time. And he really does comment on a ton of blogs, it's CRAZY.

    And yeah, I have no idea how to manage any of this better/wiser/more fulfilling. I guess you find your balance and run. Or stroll. Or whatever works for you (I think I'm at 'slogging through the blogosphere').

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    1. I'll join you on your slog around, Rena!

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  16. I completely forget that I have a Pinterest and LinkedIn account. And I know I don't use the rest of my social media correctly. Or intelligently, more like.

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    1. I was told I'd find Pinterest addictive, but I didn't... I was also concerned about all the copyright issues, so I came off. 'Intelligent' use is probably better than just bombarding the ether with our profiles!

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  17. Oh, I know what you mean. There's so much to do and then you add social media/networking on top of it. It can drive a person crazy.

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    1. Well, as writers we were always at a bit of a disadvantage in the sanity stakes anyway, weren't we? lol

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  18. You're in more places than I am! I have an author profile on both Amazon US and UK (they have to be done separately) but that's it.
    And not to scare you, but I've visited about 130 blogs today and still have about fifty to go...

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    1. Yes, I figured out Amazon are separate quite early on - you'd think there'd be some way to syncronise, but apparently not.

      130?? I've got my fingers in my ears and I'm singing 'La la la' to myself :-D

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  19. LOL - social sites are crazy time takers . . . I'm trying to narrow my focus down to 2-3 and forget the rest.

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    1. I think that's the most sensible way. Take part in the sites you enjoy the most - it shouldn't be a chore!

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  20. What? We have to feed our kids? Where's THAT written???

    ;-)

    I totally feel overwhelmed by all the social media and blogging and whatnot. I know I can't keep up, but I try to, which is making me a bit crazy...sighs. I reckon we'll get the balance right some day!
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. I think part of the problem is that it's all so new, we're fumbling around. In a few years time, up and coming writers will have it sussed, because we would have sussed it for them!

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  21. I'm completely insecure about social media, too. I just feel so inadequate compared to others who seem to do it effortlessly. But hey, we're learning. I do the best I can in a willy-nilly way. I could be more organized about it. I think you're doing fine, Annalisa!

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    1. I tried to be organised once... it was chaos!lol

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  22. WELL... I'm doing my best to visit as many as I can this month. and here you are! and YES, social sites are soul sucking, (if you let them)

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    1. Hi Green Monkey... thanks for visiting. I try to get around as many blogs as possible sometimes, but I can't do it every month - and this is one of my slack months. Too much tweeting to do lol

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  23. I read all that then had the warm feeling of pain as I thought, "Holy crap, do I have an Amazon author profile?"
    Yes. I feel your pain. And I have a hard time getting to all the blogs too. I often wish I only needed to sleep like a couple of hours a day!

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    1. Ah no Elizabeth, the idea wasn't to make you feel more insecure! Talking about the blogs - I've just gone and followed another 5 or so during this IWSG. That won't help :-)

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  24. I understand your insecurity. I don't use Facebook or Twitter and everyone else does. I just don't like having my finger in too many pies. For now I am just blogging, apart from freelancing. You don't have to apologize for not visiting me. I know how hard it can be to visit everyone and leave a comment, so I fully understand. Don't stress yourself out. Just do what you can do.

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    1. Thanks Murees, it's nice to have 'permission' to not feel obliged to comment/visit, although I do try to stop by as much as possible :-)

      To be honest, I've made the best connections through blogging. My new followers on Facebook and Twitter are friends I've met on my blog.

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  25. i'm organized & like to make schedules. i do my best to stick to them, but things come up, like fun blogfests!

    i suggest you prioritize. then put a limit on each item. i do a chore then write then do another chore or errands then blog/surf, etc. i get more done that way =)

    dont fret about new sites, things change too fast, but the goid ones stick around long enough to figure out!

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    1. I do try to give myself a time limits, but I'm really bad at sticking to my own rules, especially when you get locked into a conversation on Facebook or Twitter - I hate not having the last word!

      I think I'm going to have to get myself sorted before I completely waste my time. Great pep-talk Tara, thanks :-)

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  26. I don't think we can do it all. I think it's a matter of finding the ones you are most comfortable with. For me it's Twitter and blogging, but blogging is definitely more time consuming.

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    1. I think there's a little kid lurking inside me that doesn't want to miss out - but I think you're right... I should use the ones I enjoy and 'get' and ignore the others. I'm still not completely to grips with Twitter - I always understood you shouldn't just advertise your books, but there are so many people on there who do just that, and it's really annoying... I just want to chat with people!

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  27. Omg, that could have been me writing! I know exactly what you mean. I started all this social media to have a "platform" for when my book is published and now I don't have any time to finish writing the damn thing! Arrgh! All I can say is, thank God my husband is good at feeding the kids LOL So good to know I am not alone :)

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    1. Yes, you know it's a problem when you run out of writing time. Perhaps there should be some kind of Social Media Anonymous programme! I'm relieved it's not just me - I thought I was doing something wrong while everyone else was sailing through effortlessly. Now I know different, I'll be more relaxed :-)

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  28. FIFTY comments! You're obviously doing something right, annalisa! As for social media - the whole kit and kaboodle has me in a spin. The best I can do is Facebook and my blog, and although I apparently have followers through Twitter, the most I do with that is to copy my blog to it. I have enough trouble keeping up with proper writing:)

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    1. Lol - half those comments are mine, Lizy :-) If I lived where you lived, I'd have no problem writing - I'd be going to those beautiful cafes and beaches you keep posting on your blog! Inspiration abound.

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  29. I definitely struggle with the same thing. It's hard to keep up with all these many many social medias. They say that we need to in order to build a following, but when is it too much? Poor Goodreads...I neglect it constantly.

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    1. I use Goodreads to keep an eye on my own reading, to post up reviews, and a place where people can find out about my book. But I've yet to make any proper connections through it, like people promised me I'd be able to. You also get stories of prolific writers (even self-pubbed ones) who have no platform, and sell thousands... so perhaps social media was never completely necessary to writers after all?

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  30. Social networking definitely can become a huge timesuck when you don't keep a measure of control over how much of it you're doing.

    Always remember: it's no use to network when you don't have anything to market. So writing must ALWAYS come first. :-)

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    1. I think I need to print out those 2 sentences and pin them to my forehead!

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  31. I stay with blogging because I enjoy the format. Twitter can be fun, but I rarely visit facebook and I disabled Linkedin. What use are these tools if we don't enjoy them?

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    1. I think part of my problem is I enjoy them too much - not so much writing anything useful myself, but following other people! Really have no idea about LinkedIn. I have an account - every so often someone wants to connect with me, but I don't actually update anything.

      Thanks for visiting and following!

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  32. Be assured that you're not on your own! I've given up on Facebook. I still use Twitter because it's quick responses and friendly. I love my blog but some weeks that's all I seem to write... at least it's writing!

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    1. I love FB for keeping in touch with friends and family, so that one definitely stays. I think we just have to find what works for us, and not get swayed by the next shining new thing.

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  33. LOL, I posted about this topic as well on my Insecure Wednesday. I've been on social media for awhile now and I don't think it ever gets easier, as far as thinking it's handled, because it moves so fast and there's always something new going on. It's impossible to keep up, or to catch up, once you've been away. Just the nature of the beast, I think. I go through my ups and downs with it but refuse to give it up because I've worked too hard to establish my online presence to throw it all away during a bad spell.

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    1. I popped over to yours, but my computer hiccupped as I was commenting, so I don't know whether it went through.

      I think sometimes I should be strong and just avoid it all for a couple of day every so often, and not worry about what I've missed.

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  34. totally ! there are so many social sites u tend to forget even their format , i enjoy using twitter and tumblr :) and about being insecure , no one can win me in this matter haha

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    1. I've never even looked at tumblr! Thanks for visiting.

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  35. The combination of writing, blogging AND dealing with marketing through social media is a tough juggling act. One thing I've found helpful is the fact that you can link your Twitter and FB accounts so that anything you post on Twitter also gets posted to your FB timeline or page. Since FB is kind enough to send emails when people like or comment on your wall posts I don't have to visit unless there's someone to reply to. All the other social networks I've found have much less impact and they have all slowly slipped to the wayside.

    Feeding the kids is easy as long as you have finger foods that you can just dump on a plate and let them have at it. Takes literally less than a minute. Yes I am kidding. Mostly.

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    1. I did try linking my Twitter and FB accounts, but then I realised I wanted them to show different sides of me, and I rarely want to share something on both sites... so I unlinked. And I'm far too nosey about my friends to wait until I get that email!

      My eldest son is almost of an age where I can just let him make my dinner. He loves cooking but still needs help with time and order... but soon, very soon :-)

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  36. There just isn't time for everything, is there?

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Please comment - I love a good chat!