By Julia Kay
I mowed my grass. Big deal, right?
Yet, we find posts similar to this on social media. Some folks share their health problems, minor details of life, or political views. It’s a rather large spectrum. What does this mean for the writer?
Lean in, my friend. I’m about to share a secret.
It presents a way for writers to connect with readers and build a strong platform, which is important when it comes time to publish our book baby.
That’s not all, though. Social media provides us with an opportunity to experience other people’s perspectives and points of views.
I know my Enneagram type. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know “me.” However, that’s not helpful when I’m creating characters. Social media allows me to hear questions people are asking about the world around them.
How can we write powerful stories that impact or inspire other people if we don’t know what questions they might have, what struggles they might endure, or what they fear the most?
Social media gives the writer a glimpse into the heart and mind of our fellow humans.
Some of my twitter followers live on different continents. I find this fascinating—a treasure trove of ideas—endless possibilities, a sea of potential stories (or characters or settings or themes).
Throughout this pandemic, social media has been a lifeline for some. Now, does anyone really care if I mowed my grass? My husband would say no.
I disagree. This might open up comments containing questions like, “do you use fertilizer or do you hire a landscaper?” Or “how can I get those nasty ground moles out of my yard?” This could inspire the creative energy and imagination of a writer and lead them anywhere.
Not only that, but writing is such a solitary profession. This is a wonderful way to stay connected with fellow writers because we need each other.
Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the perils associated with this gold mine.
Social media isn’t the place to find solid facts.
I have to consider that individuals may not be authentic or transparent behind the veil of a computer app. The information may be biased or inaccurate. Human behavior, while intriguing to the writer, can be unpredictable and prejudiced—sometimes downright mean. My heart must be able to proceed with mercy and grace—love and patience.
Also, the amount of posts can distract and drain a writer, not only emotionally and mentally, but social media can consume our time if we let it. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TickTock, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, foursquare, Vimeo, Flickr, and the list goes on.
I have picked three and I try to limit my time. I also take a time-out from social media once a week. After all, gold mines are glorious, but boundaries keep our grass green and healthy.Social media is a GOLD MINE for the writer. @juliakayauthor #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Julia Kay serves as the President of Exodus Ministry, which helps women released from prison find transformative freedom. She has served as an ACFW Chapter president. She contributes faith articles to a local newspaper column and wields her pen to best explore and illuminate the human condition through women’s fiction.