Ryan Baron North
All over the place, I find suggestions of what you, as a writer, should be posting on your social media accounts. I have personally signed up for more than a couple of writer’s newsletters because they offered a list of “50 social media posts for writers.” I think I did a total of three posts off those lists. I hated each and every one of them.
Let me start by saying, I love writers. I have a ton of them on my podcast, I love getting drunk and talking with them, but I hate the #writerscommunity. Trying to be a part of that mess has been driving me away from all social media. It has started making posting content this obnoxious chore I want nothing to do with, so I haven’t posted in forever. Not to mention that it’s turned my feed into two million posts of the same thing with different filters. Introduce yourself and your favorite novel, tell us what your MC is thinking right now, use so many hashtags, and remember to ask a question so readers can engage you in the comments! I just can’t.
Look, if that is your thing, more power to you. Ask those engagement questions and tell us the shit out of what your MC is thinking. You're making it work, and you kick ass. This post, though, is for those members of the #writerscommunity who can’t stand it. This one is for those writers who see all their peers posting three times a day about how great their writing is going while we are struggling to get through our next chapter. This one is for the writers who managed to squeeze out four pages at their day job, and the thought of making a happy post about it makes them want to vomit. This one is for writers who feel that they can’t be themselves and be active in the #writerscommunity.
Really, really quick… fuck the #writerscommunity. We’re talking about a group that champions social justice while maintaining Twitter—X—as their primary means of communication. Seriously. Check it out. Go try and fill out a novel query without having to enter your Twitter handle. If I had a nickel for every white writer, I personally know, who jumped on the inclusivity movement by putting undiagnosed mental conditions in their Twitter bios, I’d have… well, I’d have twenty cents, but it’s fucking weird I know so many.
Look, my final advice on the matter: post whatever the hell you want. I mean—no racist shit. But, post whatever. Chances are, and this is gonna’ suck to hear, but chances are, you and I will never be famous for our writing. That doesn’t mean don’t try, and it doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying. I write because I can’t stop, not for fame. It does mean that you don’t have to go out following all the social media rules, posting self-promotion bullshit, asking vague audience questions, hashtagging, and looking like a total dick on the way to a career in something else. It’s your social media. Do what you want. Post a picture of some random image with no context. Post your cat two billion times. Do you like the 90s punk band The Offspring? Post a random picture of one of their albums. Life sucks; none of us are getting out alive, and we probably won’t be famous. Post what you want.
Final note, I don’t know if this is the way to go. I wrote this thing because no one’s gonna’ read it. But, at the end of the day, I don’t think I’m going to hate social media anymore. I’m done trying to post “normal” writer shit. I’m going to post what I want. Without context. Without a care.