Friday’s Fun Find: WOW! Blogging and Social Media

Whenever I go to writer’s conferences, an attendee will ALWAYS ask, “Do I need to have a blog?” and “Do I need to be on Facebook? Or Twitter?”

And the professional–editor, agent, publisher or author–will say, “It’s not absolutely necessary, but it’s a very good idea.”

That’s the short answer. The long answer is that first, what you write needs to be good. All the blogging and social media in the world is not going to make stinky writing smell nicer. But if you have sweet writing, then blogging and social media will give you a step up, will show professionals that you are a savvy writer as well as a good writer.

WOW!Women-on-writing’s issue this month is all about blogging and social media. What that means for you, dear writer, is a fun way to get all the info about this topic, whether you’re just getting started or you haven’t begun. Or even if you’ve been at it for a while and think you know everything (ahem) because now there’s Pinterest and really, shouldn’t you at least have an idea what that’s all about?

So.  The next time you’re at a conference, you can sit there, nice and smugly and in the know and skip the lecture about “Why Blogging and Social Media Are a Good Idea.”  Maybe you can pass notes to your friends instead (I recommend sitting on the back row).

Getting Personal on the Web

Yesterday was my birthday (and coincidentally, Cathy-on-a-Stick’s birthday) and since life never goes exactly the way we plan it, I happened to spend most of the day on the road, returning from a weekend taking care of a family member (Okay, it was Mom. She slipped while trying to pick up a dead roach from the bathroom floor. I believe the lesson she learned was, “Let sleeping/dead roaches lie.” Not to worry, though. She’s okay.) Anyway, I got home just in time to meet all the Junior Halls for a nice birthday dinner. So it was late last night by the time I read all the birthday greetings on Facebook.

Goodness, that was a lovely way to end the day! Even a simple “Happy Birthday” said someone took the time to wish me joy. It’s moments like that when I truly appreciate the wonder of Facebook.

And it was a little ironic, considering my post on The Muffin today where I discussed getting personal on social media. The thing is, there’s getting personal in a lovely, appropriate way and getting personal in a not-so-lovely and inappropriate way. And I’m afraid that, at least with folks who use social media to build a platform, to help grow an audience, that there are times when getting too personal can have a deleterious effect.

So I suppose I shared a little advice about sharing personal opinions on social media (or anywhere, really, on the wide world of the web). And now I’m thinking of that quote about giving advice: Fools won’t heed it, and wise men don’t need it.

But I’ll always need a little joy, birthday or any old day. (BIG thank you to all y’all for that!)

Finding a YA Keeper in my Mailbox (Among Other Places)

Oh, how I love to get the mail! You just never know what might be waiting to surprise you! Like today, when I opened the package from David Patneaude and found my autographed copy of Epitaph Road!

I won this YA keeper just a few days ago, so I have to give Mr. Patneaude props for his due diligence. And I can’t wait to dig into his latest work (he’s written 8-or is it 9?-books!). Oh, and I won a query critique, too! YAY! But there’s a reason I”m sharing my Epitaph Road news, other than just gloating over my good fortune (and extolling the virtues of its author).

The thing is, I won these fab prizes through a contest that I found out about on Twitter. Which directed me to Facebook, where I could enter the contest and win. So, if you’ve been putting off joining Facebook, you might want to rethink that. And if you think Twitter is for the birds, you definitely need to rethink that. The more I flutter around Twitter, the more I learn about queries, agents, editors, publishers, YA and books. Just to name a few topics that might interest you.  Not to mention lovely contests. You just never know what you’re going to find, waiting to surprise you.

‘Cause you know what they say: Finders, keepers. Losers, weepers!