Splatter Café: Writing Tips within the World of Social Media.
First off, I can’t say with confidence that this post I’m writing warrants as writing tips, but more of a heed on the side of caution for those who want to create a brand for themselves and social media being your number one priority.
Honestly, focus on your writing foremost. The following, the likes, the... validation...will come in time. My biggest mistake was trying to create a presence within a universe of fakes, avatars, and people behind their avatars who did not give two shits about me or what I was trying to create for myself. Now, granted, there are some who can work the social media angle like a pro, get the likes, the followers, but sometimes that doesn’t work for everyone. If you don’t have a portfolio to back your shit up, get one. When I mean a portfolio, I mean have writing or a platform well established to show off your work. Whether it’s short stories on your blog, reviews, etc., etc., you need to show the masses you’re serious about writing.
I must admit, I’ve taken a long extended break from all social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. My Goodreads account is active, so I can keep track of the books I’m reading and to layout some reviews too. But the rest, I completely deleted. I unplugged from the anxiety driven, depression inducing A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) machine. Yes, I was (and still am) raging against the machine. The amount of free time I have is amazing. Those countless minutes and hours wasted on scrolling, clicking, scrolling, clicking–double tapping, has allowed me to tap into new and unprecedented artistic talents. It has freed my mind so that making room for creativity and thought is at the forefront. My depression and anxiety have decreased a considerable amount. Since about September 2020, social media hasn’t been a part of my life. And I can say with confidence: I. DON’T. MISS. IT.
I have my hang up’s and my disdain towards social media is never ending. In the future with this blog (and my books on the horizon), I will use social media differently. I will not rely on its users to sell my product or validate my brand. Where that comes from are your readers. The ones who subscribe to your website, who connect with your words, your characters. People who don’t get caught up in the WOKE BRANDING and HASHTAGING trying to solidify their importance. And the reviewers. Yes. There’s a problem in this part of the Horror Community that has, like social media’s A.I., has run a muck without guidelines or consequences for what they say or do to others.
I don’t know if this type of... what do I call it...? Type of validation by cancellation happens in other genres of writing, but I’ll be honest, it has left a nasty taste in my mouth when comes to the Horror Community.
What do I mean by validation, by cancellation? Well, it’s like this: Say you disagree with a fellow avatar on twitter or Facebook. What you have to understand is that first, it’s not the person you’re connecting with on social media. No. It’s their avatar. You make a human connection in person, not over the fucking internet (I’m sure this will be up for debate). But I digress. So say said avatar disagrees with you, well then the next step is to post about it, call them you out, and they’ll wait for their minions to come and comment to validate that they’re right. You’re the punk, you have imposter syndrome, you’re picking a fight with a known author or reviewer to make yourself more popular. Now your're tainted with a stigma in which the elite use their platform to keep you on blast. You’ll get some unfollows, even blocks. Yep. Motherfuckers will go as far to block you based on what another avatar said about you. But here’s the other kicker that most new up-and-coming writers don’t know. Unless you have countless free time to spend reading, reviewing, spending your day on socials, interacting with other avatars, it’ll take a very long time for you to reach a level where that algorithm notices your worth. But for most of the community, they all know each other on a more personal level. Anyone new who acts out or says something off the cuff in a tweet should expect others to cancel you out of the community. However, if you know them personally, you can get away with sexually harassing a woman on Instagram and have people come to your defence. When the hypocrisy exposed its ugly fucking face, I really hated what social media in the Horror Community represents.
Hell, I’m still learning the ins and outs and I’ve minded my business mostly, but it’s just a fucking cesspool of filth you have to wade through. The best advice I can give (and this is for myself as well) is to let your work do the talking for you. It may take a couple of years before you see any responses on your work but don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Your words matter to someone out there. Find your audience and leave the social media cliques in the dust. And don’t rely on reviewers to sell your book. I know that is how a lot of them think they have that power. Hell, I’ve seen the top reviewers review a book, and that author is still begging people to buy their book through social media. I’m going to throw a cliché at you: Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and they all think theirs doesn’t stink.
Write what you love. Write whatever your heart, mind, and soul desires. There’s no one way to do it. Though, some would say differently. I will return one day to those platforms or if I’m lucky, this COVID shit goes away and I can make genuine connections with genuine people discussing books, writing, Horror, or whatever comes to mind.
Stay Wicked motherfuckers,