Reseach, social media, life of the modern writer

This post is here because we had an interesting discussion over at writingwenches over on Facebook. I don´t remember who started the thread but she, yes it was a she, if it would have been our only male wenche I would have remembered. Well anyway, she complained over the fact that she had started research on the distance between two places, only to find herself looking at homes and architecture. We all could relate to that problem. Luckily we got an explanation to why we did it and was not procrastinating as we thought, it´s research! Research is a very legit thing to do as a writer. You have to research the best way to poison someone so they don´t die too soon. The link with houses for sale, way over your limit is research for a character in your next book. Those pictures of cute puppies are purely for knowing how your character looks in real life. What? Puppies as in dogs? No, no, no I meant puppies as in gorgeous men and women, well you can find cute pics to. The ones with the boyish charm and looking all innocent. Usually we share the ones that are a bit more, spicy, erotic ones. You don´t write romance on cute pics unless you are a teenager, and that, neither of us are.

 

Well what the conversation started in my head when I read the thread was that we, writers/authors are encouraged to roam the internet. Find inspiration, read books about how to write books, read articles, blogs and websites. As a writer you are also told to use social media to get your book baby out in the world. If you are not seen you don´t exist, at least not in the book world. So you sign up on all these sites that should be good to get yourself and your baby out to people: Facebook, twitter, google+, Instagram, Goodreads, linkedIn, youtube and the latest thing Pinterest. I´m sure there is much more sites I´m not mentioning here, well I don´t know about them so.. You get on these sites, create your profile, and taking forever to decide on background pic, profile pic, colours and content. How much should you tell? How little do you tell? Should you just write about your books, your writing process? Or do you put in something about you, as a private person? While you are doing this, you are supposed to know who your intended reader is, your audience. What would they like to read, see on your page? Usually we go back to ourselves, what we would like to know about our favourite authors. That means some pieces of personal things, your likes, dislikes, favourite colour, if you are single or taken. The list can go on for ever.

 

Where do we draw the line? When is it to personal? If we are the lucky ones we get our book/s published, printed and people like what they read. They leave reviews, they share links of your book/s. Enter competitions on your page and spread the word. Your book/s sell of the shelves and you can make a living on being an author. Life is good!! Right!? This is what we all want, no matter if someone say they don´t do it for the fame and money. We all want to do this for a living, not just for peanuts, decide when and where we work. Heaven… Well, heaven have a backside, or a downside. Fame comes with a price. Early today, while writing this, I was on FB and read in one of my author groups that a friend has a creepy follower. This follower enters EVERY competition, even if she already won all books this author has written. Likes EVERY thing the author writes, telling how much it would mean to win the books. Now my friend got a really creepy message, this reader/follower/stalker wants to come home to my friend and meet her. Meet her, in her HOME!!! Really?! I would love to meet my favourite authors but I would NEVER ask to meet them at their home!! A signing or seminar is what I will settle with. If I would be fortunate enough to learn to know them on a personal level I wouldn´t say no. My friend asked in one of the author groups how she would deal with this, creepy reader, she didn´t want to hurt her feelings but didn´t want her at home. Everyone said, keep your distance and tell this person you don´t meet readers at home but at signings and seminars. The sentence, “I don´t want to hurt her feelings” is a typical thing a woman would say, yes some men do that to. We are brought up to “be nice” to everyone. You can be nice up to a point, then people will start using your kindness against you. In this case it has been too much kindness obviously, time to put a lock on the gate. As a reader I get offended by this follower/stalker, you give the rest of us bad reputation! As an author/writer I get horrified by the question! Why would I let a stranger in to my home?? It raises the question, would the follower/stalker let anybody in their home? Probably no, you don´t know the person just because you read about them, there book/s or seen them on TV or movies. I´m now torn in two about this writing thing, don´t worry, I´m not stopping. Do I want my book/s to do well and get noticed, so I can make a living on writing? Or do I hope for a more unnoticed life for them? Just to duck under the radar and don´t get the stalker??

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