I’ve spent a bit of time over the last week or so using Twitter to engage with the wider book-loving community. I can honestly say that, in the frequently toxic atmosphere of social media, I find reading tweets from fellow writers, reviews and publishers to be a relaxing haven. Whether it is discussing our favourite books or helping overcome common writing challenges, there is a genuine sense of community here. It is a broad church, with all sort of literary interests represented – romance, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, crime, history, humour and everything in between.
What I like most is that there is a great sense of collaboration here. Writing is generally a solitary pursuit, so I suspect there is something quite cathartic about sharing problems with people who have likely experienced them themselves. And everyone is super supportive – I don’t think I’ve seen one negative, snide or nasty comment from anyone. There is a recognition that writing is a hard and often lonely activity, that can easily eat into social and family commitments. Most writers are also very self-critical, perfectionist and often lack confidence in their abilities. The last thing we need is to be exposed to the bickering and nastiness that is prevalent across most social media. So, to find a tranquil corner of Twitter where people are supportive and genuinely interested in what you are doing is quite special.
There is one small downside, however. With so much good advice, inspirational material and alternative suggestions being shared, it can be difficult to know which to incorporate into your own work and which to leave alone. In truth, there is no science to this, so I’ve decided to take a more pragmatic “test & learn” approach. With less than three weeks to go before The Greyfield hits Amazon, it is too late to change the text, but there are plenty of things to try when it comes to marketing and promotion.
And besides, there is always the sequel.