Last weekend I attended a writers’ boot camp to help me learn how to market my writing. We were told that in today’s climate, writers needed to spend 60% of our time writing and 40% of our time on social media. Why is it I have to spend 40% of my time doing something I hate in order to do what I love? Why aren’t there “people” who will take care of that dreaded 40% for me so I can concentrate on what I want to do? Well, I suppose there are—for a hefty price. So far, my writing as been a big negative in terms of monetary reward. So I opened my aging brain and set out to learn everything I could.
The problem is when it comes to technology, these workshops are taught at a PhD level and I am in kindergarten. They use words and acronyms that apparently everyone in the world except me knows. We started with building platforms. Okay, I’ve been to several of these “platforming” sessions, so I have a vague idea of what that means. I just don’t have the foggiest idea how to go about it. This is what I need from these seminars:
Step one: How to turn on your computer.
Step two: How to maneuver the mouse (no, not an actual rodent—that oblong thingie you hold with your hand that attaches mysteriously somewhere into the back of the computer). This is how to attach it.
Step three: This is what social media is in terms that even Ellen, can understand.
Step four: Let’s start with Twitter. That’s the little blue birdie picture thing.
Step five: This is what you can do with Twitter.
Step six: This is how you Tweet.
Step seven: This is how to actually open a Twitter account—step-by-step with big color illustrations and a real live person sitting next to you to show you where to click—without accidentally signing up for hundreds of dollars’ worth of services you will never understand or use.
Step eight: This is where Twitter goes in cyberspace. (I still don’t “get” who is going to receive my Tweets).
Instead, this is what I got: I need a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linked-in, and Pinterest account and I need to be active on all of them. I need to use a scheduler, such as Buffer or Post Planner and load it. Hello, can we please go back to Step one above? I need to build an e-mail list by funneling something or other and I need Mailchimp. (Is that like an actual monkey? Why do all these computer things have animal names)? I need to create opt-ins and lead magnets and export these as PDFs. I need to place Facebook and Instagram Ads. I need to do book sweeps. I need to leverage all my connections. (Say what)? I need for all my social media platforms to demonstrate growth. I need to pull my blog content out to post on all social media. I need to get on Zoom, Screenflow, Cantasia, or iMovie and record myself and put it on all my social media. (Yeah, that will probably go viral on the Twilight Zone website). I need to set up automations and ask all my email followers to whitelist me. (I think). I need to get an app to resend email if it’s not opened. On my website I need a back button.
Okay, can we please go back and repeat all the above in English? At the end of the session my head felt like it was going to explode. All I could think of was, “I need to go home and google exactly what Twitter is.”
I am not a millennial or tech savvy. I was only recently dragged kicking and screaming into Facebook and I’m still not sure I’m using it right. Plus up until a few months ago I didn’t even have a Smart Phone. I’m still too dumb to figure out how to use it, but I have one. So. . . for us old dogs trying to learn new tricks, can we please start off with “sit” rather than, “go tell Dad Timmy’s fallen in the well?” I can do this if I start from the beginning rather than the middle. After all, I’m not stupid, right? Don’t answer that. But the depressing fact is even if I do manage to get a handle on all this foreign-to-me stuff, everything will change in a few months and leave me out in the cold once again.
Besides, who in their right mind wants to read fifty posts from me a day? I don’t think anyone cares if I’m at Walmart or cleaning up dog poop in the dining room. Couldn’t someone out there take pity on me and just do all this for me so I don’t have to mess with this stuff I don’t understand? My feeble brain can only take in so much new information. I’ll be happy to pay double what I have earned as a writer!
“. . . the time of the end many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4 (King James)
Look for my blog online at the Northwest Florida Daily News. Click on “Sections” and find blogs in the drop-down bar. Newshttps://www.nwfdailynews.com/
Watch for my Tweets. I have no idea where they are! LOL!
Fantastic article, Ellen! I sure can relate. Social media is a complicated mystery to me. This old dog (me) can’t learn new tricks very easily. See you soon. Cara caralynnjames.comA Path Toward Love Love By the BookLove on AssignmentLove on a Dime seekerville.blogspot.com
You have really blown my mind now! I don’t tweet and I’m still trying to find energy, time and discipline to write. Now to think all of this…hummmmmmm…🤔
This old dog runs counter to the social marketing motto to be everywhere all the time. I adhere to the “pick a couple you understand and will do and stick with that.” I have a hard enough time using 100% of my time writing, much less 60%. Besides, If I have no writing to talk about, why would I involved myself with marketing anyway?
This is absolutely hilarious. I love it.