I’ve been mulling over deleting my Facebook account for a few years now. While the platform works well for others, it has never meshed well with me. These days I’m increasingly suspicious of FB’s motives and business model. Thus, I’m finally shutting it down.
Because I’ve been on FB so little over the last two or three years, deleting the account will have little effect on my public author social media presence. Mostly I may lose easy contact with many friends and family, some of whom are on other platforms (like Twitter) but some of whom are only on FB. Nevertheless as 2020 looms and with it the launch of my newest series, I have to think about how, where, why, and what I want to be online.
Some writers like marketing and publicity and are good at it. I’m not one of them, which is one of several reasons I do not self publish.
It’s a truism that it’s best not to try to be something online that you aren’t or can’t sustain. Trying to curate an online presence in a way that makes you unhappy or that stresses you out is definitely not sustainable. This is one reason I remain on Twitter. While Twitter has its hellscape side, it remains the current platform I most enjoy.
It’s been easy for me to fall into the trap of believing that if I just do something better, something more time and creativity consuming, with my online presence, that I can become more visible, more successful, on the basis of the extra heaps of work I put in. While the changing nature of the marketplace means writers should, if they can, build new skillsets as a form of adaptation, it does not mean they have to do everything or have to do things they simply aren’t good at or don’t have time for, if that time spent takes away from what they are, presumably, best at, which in my case is writing fiction.
It’s counterproductive for me to take away energy and time from writing fiction, even as hard as it can be to just say no sometimes to thinking I can do it all and that somehow if I churn churn churn then my hamster wheel will shift location. But the whole point of the hamster wheel is that it tires out the hamster without its base moving an inch.
At the same time, I’m not going to vanish from online. I value the friendships I’ve made and sustain, the networking, the outreach, the humor, and the amazing ability we now have to touch base with people all over the world with astonishing ease.
I have no idea what will emerge next in terms of online platforms, so for now I’m going to focus my online presence on Twitter, my newsletter (you can sign up here if you haven’t already), and a renewed presence on this blog for people who may want to ask questions or interact in a quiet corner of the internet that is under my control.