Social Media is great because it means we can all stay in touch with one another and meet people we’d never otherwise had access to. Also: Social Media is a horrible business because we can all stay in touch … Yeah, you get it.

Every day, I see or receive TERRIBLE instances of social media – and I don’t just mean whinging about how you’ve got a cold, or how terrible your life is, or how hard it is to write or find a way “in” to the industry. Try some of these for size:

Here’s my pitch! I don’t care about your pitch. There’s a time and a place and guess what, Twitter ain’t it. Nor is it on my FB comments, via my LinkedIn account or in my blog comments. I will trash them all without reading. If however you’re at London Screenwriters Festival and want to pitch me your idea and ask nicely, even in the cafeteria? I’ll listen to it. I might even give you some quick verbal feedback. Similarly, if I say you’re welcome to share your work or links on Bang2writers (which I frequently do and always encourage), then feel free to put it on the wall and invite comments from other members, which I may or may not join with. Otherwise, STAY BACK or I’ll flame throw you and feed you to the WGs (they like barbeque).

Read my blog! Every single day, without a word of a lie, I get entreated to read someone’s blog. Usually it’s two or three times. And I don’t mean tweets with updates from NetworkedBlogs or whatever, I mean an ACTUAL EMAIL or PRIVATE MESSAGE to half a dozen or more people telling me (and the others) there is an update and could we stop by and say what we think? Guess what I do. I don’t click on the link. Why? ‘Cos I figure that, if your blog is good or interesting enough, the link will find its way to me via Facebook and Twitter via other people … You know, your ACTUAL READERS.  A personal recommendation from a reader (even if it’s just an RT) is worth a THOUSAND emails asking me to read your blog.

“Like” my page or join my group – but I promise I won’t spam you with updates! So you want me to keep updated with your service, product or film – yet you’re NOT going to tell me about it???? WTF is the point of it, then? IGNORE.

Get behind my Kickstarter/ Indi GoGo project – and if you don’t, you suck! Everybody’s trying to make their way here and I’m well behind anyone who takes the bull by the horns and gets stuff done themselves. But seriously, taking to Twitter or Facebook to complain you’re not raising the money you hoped for is not cool. In this climate, with many creatives feeling the bite of the recession hard, you’re lucky to get a couple of a hundred quid. And every penny helps!

No one will help me, including you. Boo hoo, etc. If I never receive a message again telling me how it’s somehow “different” or “easier” for me, it will be too soon. It’s not different or easier for anyone. You want it? Go get it. It’s what I did. And for the record, I help other writers as much as I can, but I can’t do it all for you.

Please listen to my story on WHY I can’t make it. As above. Though if you really *are* having a mega hard time, think of it as material! Seriously. Just like everyone, I’ve had shit times, you just don’t know about it ‘cos other than the odd enraged tweet, you won’t find me writing about it online … You’ll find it in my work instead.

I want to save you from traditional publishing/ evil agents! Whenever I mention online about publishing – as I’m doing now – I have to brace myself. Why? Because I know I’ll get a slew of messages about HOW NAIVE I AM to have an agent and to have signed a traditional publishing deal, because DON’T I KNOW I CAN MAKE MORE MONEY CUTTING OUT THE MIDDLE MAN AND SELF PUBLISHING instead??? Well for one thing, my novel will come out in German – I’d have a job on self publishing to *that* market when I never got much past GCSE. And secondly, WTF? Who do you think you are? I happen to think agents are well cool, I know a stack of them and no, I don’t regret a single penny in commission because they have contacts and mad negotiating skillz that I don’t. But I see writers, frequently new ones, giving this so-called “advice”, even to bestselling authors! As I’ve said before, I am not against self publishing, I support it,  but if you’re overzealous like this in your support for it? Be a dear and turn it down a notch. Like down to zero.

Wow! I’ve got great stuff going on … But I can’t tell you about it. Sure, I get it. Whilst contracts are being sorted and signed, it’s wise to keep schtum until it’s all been ironed out. Oh wait! You mean you’re not saying anything because you think it makes you seem more mysterious and thus more “professional”! Perhaps you think it will make your fellow scribes jealous? Well let me take those illusions and chuck ’em in the bin for you, ‘cos it doesn’t.

And perhaps my favourite of all:

I want to meet an agent and/or producer. Refer me! Dudes, seriously?? A) I don’t know your writing. B) I don’t even know YOU. You’re just a name on a screen to me. Yes, I know my LinkedIn is full of interesting people (hi everyone) and yes, I don’t mind doing that introduction thing that LinkedIn has, but beyond that? Oh and by the way: say mutha****ing please.

Oh and let’s not forget:

Here’s how you don’t do social media! Yes. Including this blog post. But you read to the end, right? SUCKERS! ; P

LINKAGE (of course!):

A Twit’s Guide To Twitter

Using Social Media As A Writer

“Like” Bang2writers on Facebook

Follow me On Twitter

Join me on LinkedIn

Follow me on Quora

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow me on Tumblr

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7 Responses to Congratulations! You’ve Just Totally Shot Yourself In The Foot

  1. Great post, those are all very valid points. It’s a nice list of behavior to avoid. Now I feel incredibly guilty I posted my Dead Roots comic entry on your wall without asking a few weeks ago, and I don’t even remember if I said thank you when you shared it. Um… thank you!

  2. Lucy V Hay says:

    Ooooh no Shauna, no need to feel guilty! I’m very happy for my Bang2writers to post to the wall there, that’s what it’s for and I frequently post on the wall entreating Bang2writers to share their work. That’s ALWAYS fine by me :) And you’re welcome!

  3. Nice round up, Lucy.

    I especially like – ‘Wow! I’ve got great stuff going on … But I can’t tell you about it’.

    I’ve tolerated my last of this sort of ‘you aren’t invited to this party’ mysticism that inevitably turns out to be baseless chest beating.

    It’s the quiet ones you have to watch, etc.

  4. Wereviking says:

    I have no idea who the author is that they’re so high and mighty, though I agree with all those points.


  5. […] But even an Internet Die Hard like me can get sick of the web, due to the SAME writing “debates” rolling around and around, two, three or even *more* times a year – and some of them NEVER seem to go away, despite the fact there’s so much writing info at our fingertips – or perhaps because of it?! […]

  6. […] Writers Take Note: How not to Succeed in Social Media […]

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