Wednesday 6 February 2013

IWSG: February

It is February and time for an edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Check out the link for the other writers taking part and sharing their insecurities.

This month I have been thinking about blogging and tweeting. I am involved in the excellent Writer Diaries and am posting there, and more here, and have been trying to tweet more too.

I say trying because my time (due to work, life, chores, etc) is limited, and I can't spend as much time on twitter or blogging as I would like.

What I do find hard is how to use twitter. There are a lot of people who use it to publicise - links to their books on sale, links to their blog posts, what have you. There's only a certain amount I take these in when I am scanning my list in the short amount of time I have to read my twitter, and so I am wary about the amount I post these. I could probably link to my blog posts more.

However there is also a form of self publicity which takes the form of positive blog posts and tweets about oneself. I don't mean these coming from a 'big-headed' point of view. I don't believe self confidence or self belief has to be from an arrogant or big-headed POV and I think it's easy to pick out when posts/tweets are meant that way.

Most of the ones I see, and ones I mean, are people posting 'ooh just read my WIP and it's actually EXCELLENT' or whatever and that's absolutely cool. Good for you for saying so. If you don't who else will. Part of being a writer, whatever way you publish, will be to promote yourself.

Why am I not happy making similar tweets or posts? Why do these make me insecure? Like everyone would see right through to my secret rubbish-ness or think I was boasting or ...something stops me.

Sometimes I wonder if this is a British self-deprecating thing. We don't say we're good at things. We say we're a bit pants (aka rubbish, not the things you put on your legs) and we wait for someone to correct us. Though I hugely stereotype here (plenty of Brits who self promote!), it's true in my case, anyway.

What do you think? Am I worrying too much? Is it just straddling a line in *how* you self promote and be positive about yourself? Interested to know your thoughts!


  1. We do the same in the states...bit pants...except we call it fishing for compliments. What we want is outside validation to confirm what we already suspect. That our work is worthwhile.

    There is something to be said about that confirmation, and it's akin to having a publisher or agent or editor accept you. "I want people in the know to recognize my talent."

    I've learned this much: love your work, love doing it, and be proud of it, with a smattering of humility. Do that, and people will notice.

  2. Just participating in social media is, to some extent, self-promotion. Why have a blog, a Facebook page, or a Twitter account if you don't think you have something to say, or believe you can be a part of the global conversation around topics that interest you? Many people don't have blogs or Twitter accounts because they don't think they have anything interesting to say. The fact is, every person has their own take on the world, and by sharing that perspective they will either connect with others who agree, or stir dialogue with those that don't. And those that don't care will pass by. That's the whole point of social media--making connections.

    With Twitter, I think it's safe to assume that most people who "follow" you are interested in what you have to say. So it's not really presumptuous to think they might want to read your latest blog article. That's why I don't feel uncomfortable tweeting about a new blog post, or even tweeting old blog posts I think might be of interest to new "followers."

    I think what I'm trying to say is, yes, you're worrying too much! The fact you have a blog and a Twitter account says you have a relatively healthy self-image. You think you have something to say, and others might want to hear it. And the fact you have subscribers to your blog and Twitter followers proves you are correct. :)

  3. Probably you should balance self-promotion with other things. I don't mind self-promotions when the person also twits about other things of interest besides herself. I must confess I do find annoying those who only use twitter and facebook to say "buy my..." stuff.

  4. I don't mind tweeting my blog posts.
    But to send out a never-ending stream of tweets about the awesomeness of my latest novel? That's a bit much...

  5. I wandered over from the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Nice to "meet" you!

    If what you're talking about is British, then I must be British :) It's hard for me to self promote. For some reason I grew up believing that confidence was pride and not a good thing. I'm learning, however, that confidence is what gets you to where you need to be. It's definitely a learning process! I haven't gotten into tweeting; doesn't seem to be something that would benefit me right now. I do, however, need to dive into some more networking to build up a reader base for when that long awaited novel is finished.

    Balance is the key! My favorite posts of any sort are from people who know how to weave self promotion in with everyday happenings from their lives.


  6. I am still learning Twitter, but I can see how it would be a great resource for writers to build a supportive community. That said, I've already blocked a few people who seemed to use it as only an outlet to brag or try to sell me their particular brand of awesome.

    I think the fact that you're thinking about it will automatically mean you won't be one of those people. :) It's not in you.

  7. I share your thoughts about Twitter. I'm trying to use it more as so many people love it so much, but it just doesn't come easily to me. I'm not British but do have some Brit ancestry so maybe that is why I have a terrible time with self-promotion! :)

  8. I'm going to go with, "nope, not just a British thing." I have a really hard time doing the positive thing for myself too. Although, according to my friends, I'm more than half British. I'm even drinking tea, so they could be on to something.

  9. Twitter's a strange mix of a lot of things. And it moves so fast, sometimes I wonder if anyone if paying attention to anyone else anyway...

    I joined Twitter to learn about writing and connect with other writers, however, and for that it's been a wonder.

  10. I don't particularly care for the "all about me" posts either. But if you have interesting things to say and an interesting way of saying it you'll probably eventually get followers. Then you have a built-in audience the one time you do tweet about your books.


  11. I think it's a British thing - probably one we need to overcome if we're to be any good at promoting our work.

  12. M.L. - thank you for your positive words. You are right, be proud with humility is the best way forward!

    Colin - Thank you, that's what I needed to hear. I will stop worrying so much ...

    Al - yes I must say I pay more heed when there is a mix of stuff being posted/tweeted!

    Michelle - yes consensus seems to be tweeting blog links is okay - I should remember to do it more!

    Jen - I think you are right that balance is important. We must both be better at promoting ourselves it seems! ;)

    Jeannette - it is a great resource, I agree. Thank you, I'd hope I'd strike that balance okay!

    Julie - Hee maybe it is the Brit Ancestry you have ;)

    Rena - drinking TEA. They are onto something. :) Not a British thing it seems! :)

    Barbara - yes it does move very fast. Interesting thought that it might be passing us all by fast!

  13. Lauren - yes fair point that interesting things to say gains interest in itself.

    Patsy - overcome it we must! :)

    Thanks all for commenting.

  14. I'm putting on my PR day job cap here, but I think the difference is "promoting" yourself as the brand vs. your books. Tweets that constantly try to sell a specific book are annoying. Tweets that demonstrate how cool of a person you are and how much you love what you do in terms of writing, will win people over AND potentially drive them to your books.

  15. haha, "a bit pants"? I've never heard that before! I do the same thing--I don't like to talk myself up. Maybe it's a Canadian thing too? ;)

  16. You could start small and build up to the big confidence Tweets. <y favorite is "My manuscript doesn't suck as bad as I thought." Work your way up to awesome!

  17. I'm exactly the same (it must be the British thing). I have a big problem with saying that my writing is good. And if someone else says it is, I'm always surprised!

  18. You shouldn't worry because your writing IS excellent!! And a lot of writers on Twitter are looking for others to connect with that have the same goals and passion - so if they see you posting about insecurities as a writer - like this post - they think "Hey I feel the same way" and want to check you out. At least that is what I do. I do get annoyed by people who are constanty self-promoting - I try to keep mine a healthy mix of my random normal tweets and ones that share what I have been up to (my blogging posts or Writer Diaries). Anyways, there are probably only a few people that really care about my random posting so why not post for those who might be interested in what I have to say? I guess I don't have any books to promote yet so that is different. I use Hoosuite to schedule posts so I don't overwhelm people, like I schedule a "like my Facebook page and I will like you back" post every few days at different times - nothing too severe. Chances are, like you said, most people will not see it because so many people are tweeting all the time.

  19. I'm still learning the twitter ropes myself, and catching what works and what doesn't. It's okay to tweet about yourself now and then, but I find it more fun to tweet about others.

    Tagging people = awesomeness! :)

  20. Hmmm...tough question. I'm not sure how to answer this cause I could never go on Twitter and post that I think my work is great even though I just read through my latest WIP in its pretty amazing. haha. Just kidding. I honestly don't get the whole Twitter thing. It seems like, in order to use it as an actual resource, you'd have to be on there an awful lot and who has time for that? So, I'm a bad one to ask, but I thought I'd pitch in with my two cents that I wouldn't be comfortable with that kind of self-promotion either.

  21. Nicole - great distinction, how interesting to put it that way. You are right there is a difference.

    Allison - I am thinking it might be a Canadian thing too! :)

    Alex - good plan, I will work my way up!! Thanks for the advice.

    Laura - we need to try and be more confident maybe? I blame Britishness ;)

    Ja - thank you, and you are right a mix is good. Scheduling would be good if I could learn to do that!

    David - yes tagging is good!

    Tamara - yes I agree I think there are people who are able to put time into Twitter and therefore it works well for them - I am always constantly missing stuff!

  22. I HATE all that self promotion stuff :(

    I tend to Tweet interesting articles about writing that I come across.

    But I agree with you that it's hard work, there are only so many hours in the day.


  23. Interesting articles is good! :) There isn't enough hours in the day for it all that's for sure.

  24. I've heard that Twitter is an excellent tool to get your blog noticed, but I haven't been brave enough to try it. I saw a TV show where someone was begging everyone she knew to follow her on Twitter, and would not want that to happen to me.

  25. Julie - it is a good tool, though I think it does take time. It is fun tho! Thanks for commenting.


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)