Like it or not, we live in the age of social media. Interacting in 280-character bursts has changed the way we live, work—and write. And rather than sitting in quiet solitude waiting for inspiration to strike, writers are now expected to be contributing members of our digital society. At Writer’s Relief, we’ve noticed several ways in which the life of a creative writer has evolved (or devolved) in the twenty-first century.
Now The Marketing Team—Is You
It used to be that the division of labor in the publishing industry was quite clear: writers did the writing, publishers did the marketing. Today, however, the line between these roles has become blurred. The Internet has put effective promotional tools at every writer’s fingertips, and the expectation is that they should make use of them. Whether self-published or traditionally published, today every writer should have an author website, a social media presence, and a marketing plan to help build book sales.
If you don’t have an author website yet, the experts at Web Design Relief can help you create one that best meets your individual requirements.
A Research Revolution
The modern publishing landscape doesn’t always mean more work for writers. In quite a few ways, the digital revolution has made writing easier than ever—especially when it comes to research. In the olden days of manual typewriters and index cards, writers had to spend a great deal of time researching subjects and topics they weren’t familiar with. Writers would have to regularly trudge down to the library and track down sources to interview.
While face-to-face interviews and the local library are still valuable resources, the Internet has greatly reduced the amount of footwork necessary for writers. In just a few clicks, a veritable mountain of information on any subject is available to anyone who knows how to use a search engine. And you can find it all while wearing your favorite PJs and bunny slippers, comfortably ensconced at your writing desk. For tips on how to make the most out of your web searches, click here.
The Irresistible Lure Of Distractions
If you’re reading this article instead of writing, you’re all too familiar with how easy it is to be distracted by information (and cat photos!) on the Internet. The fact is that there have never—in human history—been more distractions and ways to procrastinate than in the modern era. Between social media, streaming platforms, and online games, it can be very difficult to pry yourself away from your smartphone long enough to get any actual writing done.
One Big Happy Family…Mostly
One of the greatest things about social media is its power to bring people together in ways our ancestors never imagined. For writers, and especially writers who work in somewhat obscure genres, the ability to find a following for your work is a game changer. Along with in-person book reading and signing events, now you can reach your audience via podcasts, real-time social media events, blogging, guest blogging, and much more.
And whether you live in a bustling downtown or in the rural, sparsely inhabited foothills, it’s easier than ever to find and join a writing community! You can search for the nearest writing group, or become a member of an online critique group.
Unfortunately, the wide-open door of the Internet means a few trolls can also get in and make things unpleasant for everyone. It’s important to be prepared for individuals who choose to be rude, overly critical, or downright abusive. And, of course, be sure to take steps to protect yourself and your author website from cybercriminals and spambots. The Internet can be an exciting, interesting neighborhood—but lock the door behind you.
Question: What is your favorite online resource for writers?