Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Twitter Versus Word

I've noticed an odd inverse relationship between my fiction writing output and my social media involvement.

When I'm really churning out fiction, my Tweets and blogs and FB updates dwindle to nothing, or nearly so. And when I'm writing at a crawl -- paragraphs a day, and not many of those -- I'm racking up tweets and FB posts and blog entries by the dozen.

Right now I'm on a writing roll, cranking out the last of the new Markhat novel in good solid bursts. I don't think I've been on Twitter since the middle of last week. I know I haven't blogged since last Sunday.

When I considered this just now, my first thought was 'Well, I was busy, with the real work.'

But was I?

I mean sure, I was busy. Busy writing, which is good, because if I don't get some new books out pretty quick people will forget who I am and I'll be starting from proverbial Square One when I do have a new title to sell.

But could it be I'm also harming myself as an author by neglecting the various social media?

I'm a bit envious of mid to late 20th century authors, who never had to ponder such questions. They wrote books. Maybe they did a few bookstore signings, and if they were lucky a few newspaper interviews.

Earnest Hemingway never had to look at a clock and decide whether to hit Twitter for an hour before supper or just keep on working on the new chapter.

No, I'm not comparing myself to Hemingway. For one thing, I don't have any cats. I also don't see any shotguns in my future. But my time to write is limited by unavoidable circumstance -- do I limit it even further just trying to maintain scant visibility in a sea of new titles and authors?

It's not that I don't enjoy hanging out on Twitter, understand. I do. I could do it all day, much in the same way I could play 'Skyrim' all day. But my internal auditor frowns at such pursuits because, he notes, "I'm not that young to begin with and I'm certainly not getting any younger."

So I feel guilty if I don't write. That's a good thing, one it's taken me years to construct.

Now I feel guilty, or at least a ghostly facsimile thereof, If I'm not blogging and tweeting. I'm not so sure as to the efficacy of this feeling. For all I know, it's my perpetually lazy subconscious trying to trick me into getting on Twitter and out of work. Because that's just the kind of sneaky crap my innermost self would love to pull.

So I've compromised. I'm blogging. Whining, really, but that counts.

BROWN RIVER QUEEN is very nearly done.  We're down to the climatic final scene, where everything comes to a rather violent head.  I think fans will find that Markhat outsmarts all his foes deftly this time around, with very little help from any supernatural allies.

See? Just writing the above, I had an idea concerning the final dust-up. It's just a tiny detail, but it will add something genuinely creepy to the business at hand. I'm off to add it.

See you all later!


  1. Write the books. Blog when you have something to say. Have your friends tweet about your books. Post on fb / twitter only when you feel you must. Your subcon. MUST know mine, as it too is sneaky in luring me to distractions.

    In short, MORE MARKHAT!!! MORE SHADOWS! Yeah!

  2. Dude, Hemingway committed suicide. I'm guessing that his writing wasn't so smooth and peaceful and easy that it made life all worthwhile. :>) Maybe it would have been better if he had twitter.

    Nah. I doubt it.