By which I mean Twitter – but maybe more.
I’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the writing business for a while. If I’m perfectly honest, the flop of my last book has weighed heavily on me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sidetracked, and based on the handful of reviews for it, readers have loved it too. But I never cracked the visibility code.
Sidetracked is not as trope heavy as most of the successful holiday romances. Romance is a trope focused business. Even though the “Grump and Sunshine” trope is popular at the moment, my “Grinch and Holiday Train fanatic” don’t fit the mold. I’m trying to figure out where my writing fits. The scraps of story I play with these days fall under mystery, fantasy, women’s fiction and more. The only thing I know for certain is I am not writing Amish fiction.
This brings me to Twitter. I joined Twitter years ago because I loved the writing community I found there. Romancelandia on Twitter was brilliant and fun and insightful in 140 characters. Producing a good tweet provided a certain intellectual challenge. You could engage with anyone, but really, the romance authors were the best. But those days are all in the past.
I became disenchanted with Twitter when it switched to longer posts and paid algorithms, but there was still enough fun to be had, insights to be gained, and connections to me made. Then came the hate and haste. It was one thing for people to post content that showed what an idiot they were. Continue to follow the wrong person for an hour after their scandal broke, and you could find yourself blacklisted or blocked without knowing why. Context became irrelevant. Instead Twitter functioned as a social hierarchy so complex, ever shifting, and mysterious that if you missed an hour, much less a day – you could look like an ignorant buffoon, and there was no shortage of people ready to call you out, both publicly and in your DMs. It got to the point where I pretty much quit writing tweets. I just went for the memes.
The assumption on Twitter was you did everything with intent, but intentionality on Twitter went away when the tweet size doubled and bots took over with the sole purpose of getting attention. Accounts you had no connection with would tag your name with their questionable product so it looked like you had endorsed something. I stayed on because Twitter is where the writers are, but I engaged less and less. It didn’t matter. I saw less of what I wanted to see (cute animals, bad weather, clever authors) and saw more politicians screaming, more public shaming (which does serve a purpose, but only when it allows for a growth mentality), and more dick-pics sliding into my DMs. It’s only gotten worse in the last month.
Twitter isn’t fun anymore. Finding photos of Buffalo under six feet of snow should not have so hard. Instead I had to wade past the bot driven irrelevant posts, or worse – ones spouting harmful messages – before getting into the good stuff, like opening garage doors and puppies frolicking in the snow. I have no time or life energy to waste on wading through the anger and hate. I’m deactivating my account -as soon as I archive it. Until I find something better, I’ll be on Facebook.
PS – If you are looking for something fun, Sidetracked is going on sale Nov 25-29th. Pick up the ebook for $1.99.