Being a writer is a lot of work.
It’s not enough to sit over your keyboard and sweat blood onto paper. It’s not enough to pay out for editors, or to get your beta readers to read, or to attend writers’ groups. It’s not enough to go to conferences, and book signings, and meet-and-greets.
No, you have to have a blog, too.
Social media of all stripes, honestly. Twitter, Facebook, WordPress.. it all takes time, and word count to upkeep.
The formula is simple. Social media = exposure = marketing. If you don’t market yourself, no one is going to do it for you.
Oh, and it really doesn’t matter if you’re a self-published author or a big-house backed author, the expectation is there. Publishing houses do marketing for their authors, but they aren’t going to run a blog or a Twitter feed for them. Maybe if you’re Stephen King, but you know. Who is?
The irony of this is that social media is the enemy of any artist. It is easy to look at a FaceBook page, click on an interesting link, and lose two hours. You only have to do this four times to lose a day’s worth of work.
So why do it? For people. It is the best way to meet people, people you may never have been exposed to otherwise. I met a writer on Twitter who was offering to send his work to anyone who would read it and critique it. I have felt the same way, shouting at the universe for someone to look at my story and tell me what they think. So, I responded to him. I learned a lot from the experience, and he did too. He’s sent me follow up chapters with my suggestions incorporated in them. He’s offered to read my work, and critique it too.
Someday, we may buy each other’s books.
I don’t mind having an obligation to my blog – its part of the process. And, it keeps me honest.