Social Media: Is it Time to Cut Yourself Some Slack?

Hi, SEers! Welcome to the first Mae Day post of 2023. I hope your holidays were spent with loved ones and filled with good cheer! Yes, it’s a New Year, and you know what that means—resolutions, right?

Let’s not go there—because seriously—how many resolutions are actually kept? Cut yourself some slack with a kinder ideology like intended changes, accomplishments you’d like to pursue, and random goals. No pressure, but it’s nice to plan for change, especially when change can benefit you in the long run.

More and more I’m reading about people abandoning social media. From celebrities to indie authors, to family and friends. I’m not suggesting that in the least, but I have come to the realization it’s simply impossible to maintain a presence across numerous platforms.

You’ve seen this discussion before, maybe even blogged about it yourself, and certainly weighed in with thoughts to others. Well, it’s a new year, so maybe it’s time to think about it again.

image with multiple social media icons, smart phones fanned in front with word S O C I A L spelled out, one letter on display of each.
All images from Pixabay

Most businesses work with a budget. Even if we’re not rolling hand-over-fist in sales, as authors we are running a business, and thus faced with the same dilemma. We tend to think of that budget as dollars spent, and certainly money is part of it, but time is another factor. Just the mention of the all-important “T” word may have your blood pressure spiking, but let’s back up a step.

Remember the old saying about the grass always looking greener? Before Amazon paved the way for small press and indie publishing, most of us accepted we were unlikely to ever have our work published. We longingly ran our fingers over colorful book spines in brick-and-mortar stores and thought if only. . .

<insert sigh here>

Then the threshold opened. Hard working and talented writers everywhere jumped for joy. Suddenly, we had the means to share our work with an audience. The goal of every writer is to be read, and for a while, we experienced sheer bliss.

Soon, however, the reality of reaching an audience set in. We created blogs and websites, Facebook business pages, joined Twitter and Instagram, and signed up for oodles of Facebook and Goodreads groups. Pinterest, newsletters, Triberr, YouTube videos, Bookbub and TikTok elbowed in, along with endless paid sources for marketing.

Woman slumped at laptop, face buried in hands

Can you say burnout?

We might have contemplated tossing in the towel, but we love what we do far too much, and we’ve made dear friends through social platforms. Most of us, however, are still struggling to reach a larger audience. With every release we hold our breath and hope. And with every release, we scramble to do announcements and tours, update pinned tweets, book pages, websites, and platforms across the spectrum.

How sad is it that there are people and businesses who earn money teaching others how to manage their time? When did we become so busy? Sadly, as we scramble from point to point, we have less time for writing—and isn’t that why we started this journey in the first place?

If Twitter doesn’t work for you, don’t use it. If you’re not a fan of Facebook, it could be time to part ways. The same goes for Instagram and Pinterest. You get the idea—I’m simply suggesting that as authors we don’t need to be everywhere. When you stretch yourself too thin, you dilute your presence. It might be better to choose one or two platforms and focus your concentration there. It’s what advertisers did in the old days. Rather than creating small ripples in multiple markets, they sought to make a big splash in one or two. Dollars and time well spent.

When it comes to an online presence, there is no hard and fast rule that works for everyone, just as there is no guaranteed marketing strategy to help you achieve the brass ring. At the end of the day, we often live with the fear that if we disappear from social media for an extended length of time, others will forget about us and we’ll fade into oblivion, taking our books along with us. But I bet you took time off for December holidays, didn’t you? And I bet it felt GREAT, proving those breaks are needed.

That said, it’s fun to visit with our online friends. Maybe the difference (or the balance)—is just as with those New Year resolutions—we need to cut ourselves some slack.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t feel like you need to be everywhere. It’s a new year and an excellent time for beginning new projects.

I wish you happy writing and blissful time management. If you have thoughts you’d like to share, please drop them in the comments and let’s chat.

Ready, set, go!

bio box for author, Mae Clair

110 thoughts on “Social Media: Is it Time to Cut Yourself Some Slack?

  1. I’m late getting here, but this one speaks to me, Mae. Writing YA, I’ve been told more than once I need to be on TikTok, but the thought of trying to keep up with another social media platform exhausts me. Other than my blog, I’m spotty at best with the others. Sometimes your brain just needs a break.

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    • I couldn’t agree more, Umesh. A Digital Detox is something we should all do now and then. We exercise and eat better to remain healthy. Part of staying healthy includes cutting our stress levels. It sad how very much social media has added to those.

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  2. Actually this talks about me. I’ve always wanted to be everywhere,on all platforms which makes my life so hard. I needa take a break. This article is an intrinsic motivation for me, “cutting the slack”. I gotta take a break

    Liked by 1 person

    • Narin, I’m glad the post speaks to you. It’s really easy to get caught up in the mindset of needing to be everywhere, on all platforms, but the end of the day when we evaluate ROI, most of them fall short. I hope you do get to take the break you want and that it rejuvenates you and your creative energy!

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  3. Oh yes, the old social media burnout. I get the feeling, from whispers I hear, that many are tired of social media. But like you said, as authors we need it, so we can narrow down to sites where we feel we get the most interaction. I left Insta and Pinterest years ago, just too much. I now know of 5 authors who’ve been hacked there in the last few months and left. As much as I dislike FB I can’t see me leaving. Twitter too is taking a political beating, but I’m there to post and visit other writing posts, so I don’t really care. less. And finally, yes. all this authordom marketing seriously cuts in to the thing we love most, writing. 🙂

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    • It’s definitely hard narrowing down the sites, Debby. I guess there are pros and cons to each of them. I have a Pinterest account but haven’t touched it in years, and have touched my Insta account in months. I left FB years ago. I think the one I use the most (and it’s really just to share posts) is Twitter. I’m also really liking BookBub.
      It’s almost like the marketing end is getting out of control. Too many options, and it seems every time you turn around there’s something new popping up. I’m going to focus on 1-2 platforms and stick with those. That at least will leave me some free time for writing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Last year, I took 6 months off from social media and it was the best thing I did. For the first month I caught myself reaching for my phone to check apps I didnt want to view. It truly is an addiction. I came late to social media and actually did well on Twitter but the excessive drama drove me from it. I’ve had to unfollow so many authors who were posting multiple times a day on multple sites that just clogged up my feed.

    Personally, I still think a website, a newsletter and one (maybe 2) social media platforms are enough and work better. Especially if you a) like them and b) they are where your audience hangs out. 🙂

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    • Hi, Ari. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. What you did sounds absolutely amazing. The most I’ve ever taken off from social media has been a little over 2 months. That made such a difference for me. The thought of six months is mind boggling. I’m glad it worked for you.

      I completely agree that 1-2 social media platforms is the best way to go. I need to develop my newsletter more, but hope to do that in the coming year. The end result is that I want to use my blog and 1-2 other resources to drive traffic to my website.

      Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts. I completely agree that not only should we target where our audience hangs out, but it helps if we enjoy those platforms as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. This one is hard for me, Mae. I formed most of social media relationships when I was working. So, I’m connected to people I no longer see and social media has become the last link. It’s tough to break, but I am scaling back. I am also trying to introduce my contacts, who are outside the writing world, to authors that may be new to them. I am trying to figure out how to juggle competing goals.

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    • It is a tough balancing act, Dan, especially if a lot of your contacts are on social media. You definitely need to maintain those relationships. Sometimes it just comes down to discovering where those people hang out. I have a problem in that I have a fair amount of followers who don’t use social media. I rely mostly on my newsletter for reaching them, but I’ve been neglectful in keeping up with it. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple, easy solution to cover all bases and STILL fit into our time schedules?

      I keep hoping, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beem weeks mentioned that at FIG we hired a young man to handle primary social media posting and the newsletter, but I am still involved in all of them, doing posts (or scheduling) and especially responding to messages. I don’t advocate completely handing it off, more like writing the tweet and having someone else do all the scheduling. The bottom line on this is I need to keep after the few platforms where I have very large followings. I’m not ready to give up that much access. All of our contact methods ask how they heard about us, and 3/4 name on of those platforms. I don’t like being snowed under, but what works works. I just try to be efficient about it all.

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    • Good for you, Stephen. Back in the earlier days of real estate (my day field), we always used to ask how someone heard about us, and that helped fine tune our marketing efforts—weeding out what worked and what brought minimal results. That’s what I hope to do as an author. I don’t want to abandon social media, but I want to be smarter about how I use it.
      It sounds like you have a great plan at FIG!

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  8. I do feel burned out and have backed away from a lot of social media platforms. And you know what? I feel a lot less stress. I’m reading more, cleaning the house now and then :), and generally enjoying life more. I say, go for it!

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    • I hear you, Jacquie. Stress exacts a horrible toll and there comes a point when you have to make some hard decisions. I’m glad you are feeling so much better for having stepped back. I’m right there with you and cheering you on!

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  9. Brilliant blog Mae. You are indeed right about this topic of Social Media here and I believe one should cut themselves some slack. It is a New Year and lot of activities will happen and unfold so being away on social networks is needed for your own peace of mind.

    I prefer using social apps that work in my favor such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook plus WordPress these 4 manage my time very well. Other apps I don’t care about their usage.

    Time is money so I use it wisely👏
    Have a great week💯

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Mthobisi. I’m glad you’ve targeted apps and social platforms that work in your in favor. That’s what it’s all about….narrowing down the playing field, and getting rid of the platforms and apps that aren’t making an impact for you. That’s definitely a time saver, and we all know what a precious commodity time is these days. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve started 2023 spending a lot less time blogging, and while I miss interacting with people, I’ve also appreciated the extra time it affords. As some others have already stated, blogging is where I’ve found the most genuine people. I don’t want to give up those contacts/friendships completely, but I don’t think those exist for me in some places on social media. It’s easy for me to give up those parts.

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    • I agree with you 100%, Pete. Like you, I’ve made the most genuine connections through blogging. I have my online “family” and would sorely miss that if I were to step away completely. But some of the other platforms equate to “noise” and little else. I have cut back on blogging too (through necessity), but I still try to make the rounds of visiting the blogs of my friends, and hope to eventually get back to a more regular schedule. In he meantime, I don’t regret giving up areas that aren’t working for me. There’s too much pressure to be “everywhere” these days, and after ten years of trying, I’ve realized that really doesn’t work. It’s better to put all of your eggs in a few baskets, rather than scatter them across many!

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  11. I’ve been thinking about quitting the social media platforms that aren’t working for me (mainly because I don’t know how to work them) and going with the two that are more fun and yield more readers. Indie writers have so much to do, and we’re lucky there is empathy and support in our community to avoid falling through the cracks. We’re encouraged to continue doing what we love.

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    • Great points, Linda. I think doing what we love is what it comes down to, and that is writing. I really enjoy interacting with my friends and other writers and posters in the blogosphere, but there are other social media platforms where I feel that I’m not connecting. There’s no impact at all, and those are the platforms I intend to step back from. I like your thought of going with those that are more fun and yield more readers. Social media shouldn’t be a chore, but rather something we enjoy. Like you said, there is great empathy and support in the blogging/writing community. I am so thankful we have that!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Ahh, this post speaks to me greatly. I decided to take a social media break two days ago. I’ve done this before for a couple of months and it helps clear my mind and not have as many distractions. Great points! Thank you!

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    • Hi, Rachel Ann. I’m so glad the post resonated with you. I normally take at least one month off from social media during the year, usually in the fall or around the holidays. Occasionally, I’ll also take one off during the summer. Like you, that time without being online really helps clear my mind and fuels my creativity. We need to give ourselves those breaks!

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  13. I’m thinking of flipping my writing to the morning and social media to later in the day. I like to read my e-mails and twitter first to get my brain turned on, and then write, but lately–and I’m not sure why–I’m getting a lot more distractions in the afternoons than I used to. And people always come before the computer for me. I can do social media with lots of distractions but it’s trickier with writing. So next week, I’m going to try flipping the two. We’ll see if my brain works after my first cup of coffee:)

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    • I think you might like that flip, Judi.
      My writing day is Sunday. I don’t open any social media until I’m done writing for the day, and then I only do a skim on social media. Most times I don’t log on at all on a Sunday.
      I found out if I start with social media, I can get too caught up in doing it, and then my mind isn’t primed for writing. With putting writing first, my mind is fresh and active, ready to embrace the creative side!

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  14. Things that make you go, hmmm. I’ve cut way back on social media recently. No Facebook, limited Instagram, light duty on the blog. As you pointed out, it’s time consuming. If I saw a steady benefit from social media, I’d still be at it for hours a day. At Fresh Ink Group, we’ve hired a young man to handle our social media. He loads our Twitter accounts, Instagram, puts together our newsletter, and does a good job with it. I do visit Twitter once a day, usually to see what’s going on. I am truly burned out by the whole deal. I found limited time to write, which made me lose interest in the writing aspect of being a, well, writer. I have several works in progress but little ambition to finish them. I see such a small benefit from being all over the internet. I used to think I needed to have an account on every platform. There are a few of my accounts I haven’t visited in years! I agree with the big splash being better than the small ripples. I also take the weekends off most of the time. It helps me decompress and not lose my mind. A most excellent post, Mae.

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    • I’m with you on the weekends, Beem. I take them off, too.

      Like you, I used to be all over the place on social media, but no more. That ship has sailed.
      I do hope you find the ambition to finish your projects. I never want to lose my joy and interest in writing, which is why I need to step back from social media. Writing is why I started this whole gig to begin with. I’m happy to stick with blogging and 1-2 other platforms that don’t require a lot of time commitment (probably why I like BookBub so much).

      In any event, your fans would miss your work if you stopped writing!!!

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  15. Good post and so true. Once upon a time, in an effort to sell books I was active on all the social media of the time which garnered me quite a few sales, so it was not futile. Yet I came to realize that I was spending far more time socializing than I was writing new books. I started writing to become a writer not a marketing exec. Now I post only when I am finished writing for the evening and concentrate on very few platforms. There are only two times in my lengthy career that I have not released a book every year (at least) one was when my computer crashed (long before the possibility of back up) except to mag tape losing my almost complete novel in its entirety and when spending so much time on social media that I was not writing. I learned my lesson.

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    • Ray, did I read that right? Did you lose (or almost lose) a nearly complete WIP? The thought makes my stomach do somersaults!

      I remember the days when I used to produce a book (sometimes 2) every year. Oh, how I miss those days! I am, however, getting back on track with doing 1 a year, and I’m happy with that. Even so, social media can suck the life out of me. As a result, I’ve narrowed down the platforms I engage with others on. I need breathing room, and it’s sad when a WIP is calling and I’m worried about whether or not I’m maintaining a presence online. I really enjoy interacting with my online friends, but some platforms are just “noise” and there’s no true connection with others. I have decided to weed them out.

      You’re already ahead of the curve!

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      • I lost a complete novel. I still had to produce silly things like a foreword and to add advertising material at the end but the novel itself was complete when my computer gave a little groan and died. No recovery was possible in those days. Four hundred edited pages gone just like that. My editor had printed out the whole thing for her notes. But completed she had dumped them. We recovered the last forty pages from her dustbin covered in eggshells and goo but it was no use, the novel was gone. I was in the depths of depression at the time, this cemented when my publisher dumped me as I had nothing to release. Lol was a joyous time. Now I back up my back ups and make copies of them….. just in case.
        I agree with you about social media though there are times when I miss the interaction. I still do some but for me “the book” is paramount.
        I have no idea why that is the case or why I still bother writing, I no longer need to, I just like doing it producing something (some) others love.
        I will not give up social media, nor should you but as you said…. keep it light.

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      • Keep it light is definitely my plan.

        And, Ray, that is a HORROR story about your book. What a nightmare.
        I do two backups on my WIPs, and now I know why that is so important. I think you lived through a writer’s worst nightmare!

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  16. Hi Mae, good time management is skill we all have to learn, especially when it comes to black holes like social media. Authors need to have a presence but they need to be disciplined about the time spent on social media. My favourite social media is WordPress and I spend most of my social media time budget on my two blogs and its followers and readers. I like writing articles for my blogs, it pushes me to think more deeply about books I’ve read and even do some research on them. I also find and try new recipes and stretch my writing and artwork skills. I spend a little time on Twitter and FB each day and pop into Instagram a few times a week. That is it for me and social media.

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    • It sounds like you have a plan that works for you, Robbie.

      Blogging is my favorite, too. I concentrate on that and BookBub. I used to be on many other platforms but either got rid of them, stopped using them, or only visit occasionally. I still enjoy Twitter for sharing posts and seeing what’s trending. When I first started as an author in 2012, it was only necessary to have a blog and an FB author page. Extra points if you had a Twitter account. Since ,so many other platforms have sprung up, it’s made it almost impossible for authors to be everywhere. I’d rather concentrate on just 2-3!

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  17. Great post, Mae! We did start off writing, good reminder. It is so easy to get caught up in social media and promtion side. There are so many platforms and we do need to decide where to spend our precious time. I make sure to step away from it and focus on writing. I’m known for losing my phone on weekends because I rarely pay attention to it or anything media related. I keep it on silent which always makes it hard to find, though 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • Good for you, Denise. I take weekends off from being online as well. Now and then I make rounds late on a Sunday, but from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, that’s “me time” devoted to family and writing. Those down periods really do help!

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    • Interesting about Pinterest, Jacqui. I would have never thought of that as bringing high engagement. I used to love Pinterest when I first signed up. It was so relaxing to just sit and create boards and look at photos, then it became another marketing tool, and I no longer felt the same about it. I’m really glad it’s working for you. That’s awesome!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Great post, Mae. Sometimes it seems that social media is alternately a blessing and a curse. I enjoy visiting the posts of those I consider unmet friends, but life can complicate my time such that I can’t. When that happens, it’s hard not to worry about it. I think we all need to find our own peace and let it be–that’s one of my goals. 😊

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  19. Wonderful post, Mae, and I agree with your thoughts on this completely. It’s time for me to make choices, too, and the first of those needs to be my writing. I still have a couple more stories I want to tell. When I’m satisfied with that, I can play around on social media all I want, but until then, I need to be choosy.

    I love my blog and refuse to ever give it up, whether I’m still writing or not. Blogging STAYS, period. I only recently set up a new page on FB, but it’s for keeping in touch with a few friends and relatives, rather than for any serious marketing, and I can cut it at any time, should I decide I need to. And I only tweet to share posts from my fellow writers/bloggers (like this one), so it’s not a time suck for me. I do get a huge amount of email that I try to sort through first thing in the morning, but I’m getting better at doing so without falling into the abyss.

    Still, now that I’m feeling better again, I really want to focus MOST of my energy on finishing my two WIPs, and on any future books I decide to tackle. So, my social media time is going to be limited to reading blog posts from my friends or from authors who have things to teach me. (Most of the time, the blogs I follow are both, like this one.) And I will devote my usual efforts to writing fun things for my own blog, including hosting guest posters. Everything else is going to be severely limited so I can do what I love most of all. (Rabbit is patiently waiting for me to get back to his first spin-off novella, and how can I disappoint HIM?)

    Saving this as a great reminder of “what NOT to do!” Thanks so much for a helpful and timely message, my Penderpal. 🤗❤️🤗

    Liked by 5 people

    • Marcia, your plan sounds much like mine. With the exception of FB, we are pretty much on the same page. I agree that blogging (and visiting blogs) STAYS. I’ve built a decent following on BB so I will continue to post reviews there. That platform requires little work, and I really love it.
      I stopped interacting on Twitter except to tweet out posts of blogs I visit and to glance at the trending topics.

      I just finished a short story and have a novel I’m waiting to jump start. I can’t wait! As for the rest of social media, I just can’t make the time. I’m sure Aloysius would agree with us! 😁

      Happy writing, Penderpal, and tell Rabbit I said “hello.”

      Liked by 3 people

  20. A dear friend of mine told me about her recent visit to a rather large bookstore chain. She remarked to me “We do not need any more books – there are too many already!” Of course I took issue with her comment. I will say the effort required for an author to be noticed is more competitive than ever. In my opinion social media is so fleeting it is difficult the lifecycle of a post is only 24-48 hours. Great thought provoking post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Maggie. You hit on something truly important—the lifecycle of a post. You are absolutely right that social media is fleeting. It’s a constant barrage of information that changes with the blink of an eye. How much of an impression does it really make? I think most authors (especially small press and indie authors) develop a niche following that are pretty faithful. It’s growing that following that is a constant problem for all of us. I so wish there was a quick solution!

      As for your friend and her comment–one can never have ENOUGH books, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. When I first started out, back in 2013, I hit so many platforms … as advised, since then, I’ve cut right back to Twitter and blogs, out of necessity.

    My mailing list was an absolute failure and massive time suck.

    These days, between chronic pain and pain meds, my time is even more restricted and precious. Even keeping up with blogs is overwhelming at times, but I have to maintain some kind of presence … mmm, huge dilemma.

    As for resolutions and goals … it being January, I’m heartily fed up of reading about those! For me, just getting through a day and doing what I can manage is an achievement, and I need to keep that in mind.

    Soon, I might have to disappear from online just so I can get some actual writing done in my limited ‘up’ time. But will I have an audience after that? Even more importantly, I LOVE supporting my fellow authors/bloggers and would miss the interactions.

    Great post, Mae, and one that prompts further thought. Thanks for sharing. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Harmony, you really have a lot on your plate with the chronic pain you suffer. I don’t know how you manage to accomplish all that you do!

      Like you, I was pretty much everywhere back in the day, but now I concentrate on my blog (and supporting other bloggerss), and BookBub. I hop on Twitter to see what’s happening but that’s about it.

      I remember when I was ready to ditch my Facebook author page, I was worried whether it would prove to be a mistake. Then I remembered you had done it and said it made no impact. You gave me the courage to get rid of FB and I have never looked back. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to let go of other platforms as well.

      I hope you take the time you need to write. What we do should bring pleasure, not stress!

      Liked by 4 people

  22. A super post today, Mae. I wish I had an answer to this problem. It keeps coming around to how to raise visibility without going broke. I’m at the point where I think trying to become more visible is a fool’s errand. I tried the email route and was sorely disappointed with the amount of time vs. real results. I think it felt good to have an audience, but when it came to participation, there wasn’t any. I wish I had better news, but after doing this for 10 years there still is no easy answer.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Great post, Mae. It’s funny how often we need to repeat this wisdom, and yet we still struggle to make the hard choices of where to focus our limited time. I dropped Twitter recently (for multiple reasons) and Linkedin and Pinterest and Tumblr and Stumbleupon (most of them signed up for back in the days of trying to be everywhere – unsuccessfully). I think your advice to go big with two or three is perfect. For me, that means only two. My challenge is picking the one, aside from my blog, to focus on. I’m tempted to try Booktok, but we’ll see. Maybe next year. Lol

    Liked by 4 people

    • Wow, Diana, you really were on a lot of platforms! I never experimented with Tumblr or Stumbleupon, and never did LinkedIn as an author. I think LI started out well, but then it ecame a place for others to try to sell me something (I’m on there with a day-career account). I know longer even except invitations to connect, because as soon as I do, I get the email trying to sell me a service. Really, people?

      I really think picking 1-2 (possibly 3) platforms at most and concentrating on those is the better plan. At least it is for me. I favor my blog and BookBub. I haven’t had a Facebook account in years, and IG and Pinterest fell by the wayside a long time ago. I still check Twitter for a few minutes in the morning, but I’m not interacting on it. I like it as a source of news and what’s trending.

      As for Booktok? Eeesh! I never even heard of that one. There’s just too many platforms!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I paste all my reviews to Goodreads and Bookbub, but that’s the extent of my involvement there. Booktok is a branch of Tiktok that apparently has a decent record of selling books. I was thinking about recording my book reviews and posting them there, but like all other social media, engagement is key… and I’m afraid I just won’t have time and it will stress me out. For now, I’m just blogging and writing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I suspected Booktok was connected to TikTok. That’s one platform I have no interest in, although I know it’s huge.
        I’m sticking with blogging and writing, too, Diana. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I really don’t need that brass ring. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  24. You hit on a raw nerve here, Mae. It’s a dilemma. As you said, I was told early on I had to build a presence everywhere, and I worked hard to build that platform. But is it worth the daily time suck? What do I give up? I spend a lot of time every day visiting and supporting blogs because those bloggers visit and support me. I still have Twitter, Author FB, personal FB, IG, and Pinterest boards. Honestly, I don’t spend nearly as much time on any of those SM platforms as I do in the blogging world. I have no answers. I feel like I’m on a tumultuous sea in a tiny boat without a paddle. I do not know the answer. All I know is the time I actually spend writing daily is very little. Something needs to change. Thanks for making me stop and think about it all.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi, Jan. I feel your pain!!

      One thing I’ve noticed is it’s no longer a requirement that I be “everywhere” as I was in the old days. My publisher wanted that. Now that I’ve decided to go indie, I can pick and choose which platforms are important to me. I’ll never abandon blogging. That’s where I’ve made the most friends. They support me and I support them.

      I ditched FB a number of years ago, and I can’t remember the last time I touched IG or Pinterest. I normally look at Twitter for all of 5-10 minutes (if that) in the mornings. I really do enjoy Bookbub, and have picked up a lot of followers there. I plan to continue to nurture that platform because it’s one I enjoy and it actually <gasp!> appears to be working for me.

      As far as writing, the way I’ve managed all these years is to have a set day, pretty much like I’m going to a job. I spend all day Sundays working on my WIPs. Sometimes I get off track with that, and of course, there are family commitments that come up, but that’s really helped me in being productive as a writer.

      Whatever the answer to this dilemma, I hope we (and every other struggling author out there) finds it together!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Timely! I’ve been feeling the strain for a while now, Mae. I’m retired and don’t have a blog, but I do have three adult children, seven grandchildren and close friends and my time with them is precious. After spending time with them, there’s that pressure from social media that needs addressing before I feel free to focus on my own writing. Illness forced a break over the last couple of months with just minimal contact with the likes of Facebook, but now I’m getting back in the saddle again. Social Media has provided me with the friendship of some wonderful people who I want to keep in my life. It’s also introduced me to amazing authors whose work deserves a far better audience that it’s getting. It’s also provided me with support that has made a huge difference to both my writing and my visibility as an author. Something has to give, though, to prevent the pressure impacting so much on the quality of my life that it makes me miserable. Knowing others feel the same way helps, and I need to learn when to take a step back and not beat myself up about it. There’s the rub! ♥♥

    Liked by 4 people

    • I hear you Trish! I have made so many wonderful friends through social media platforms. For me, most of those come from my blog, but I do maintain some other platforms (BookBub and Twitter being the two I use most). It’s always hard dividing time between family and online commitments–and writing! I used to be pretty much “everywhere” back in the day, but I cut out Facebook years ago, and haven’t been on IG or Pinterest in ages. I’d rather concentrate where I’m interacting with others the most, and that’s in the blogosphere.

      I’m so sorry illness set you back for a while. And I definitely understand the pressure and stress of trying to be in too many places at the same time. That’s why I plan to concentrate on just a few platforms and let the others go. I’m no longer capable of keeping up with it all!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Time is a constant struggle, isn’t it? If only we could stay in our writer’s cave and just write, nothing more. When “they” advised authors to be everywhere, many of us built audiences on every platform. So now, where do you cut? Do you trash 13+K followers on Twitter? Or faithful readers on Facebook who’ve been with you from day one? It’s an impossible choice, and one I struggle with on a daily basis. At the end of last year, I started popping in to Twitter twice a week, Facebook three times a week, Instagram maybe once per week, and TikTok daily (or the algorithm slaps my wrist). This year, I pop into Facebook more, but I’m keeping my schedule for the other sites. Most importantly, I save ALL social media for late in the day, so I don’t waste precious writing time. All that said, it’s still difficult. Not sure what the right answer is.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I don’t think there is a right answer, Sue, or a one-size-fits-all answer. I think it’s a matter of whatever works for you and if you can afford the time to juggle all of it. The thought of tackling social media at the end of the day makes my head hurt, LOL.

      I try to check in the morning, then at lunch time when I’m on break at the day job. If I have a blog post, I’ll do a quick pop in after dinner to answer any later commenters, but I need evenings to unwind. And are you telling me that TiKToK actually penalizes you if you don’t check in daily? That’s just insane!

      It sounds like you’re managing with the schedule you have in place. If something is working for you and you’re connecting with people, I think that’s awesome. I only invested a few years in FB before abandoning it. I had a nice following on my author page but then the platform changed ad guidelines. That’s when I left. For me it’s all about blogging, and BookBub. And, of course, I’d love to develop my email list, but that involves a commitment of time, LOL. One of these days . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. If you ignore TikTok for a few days, your view count plummets. The only exceptions are during major holidays. A day here or there isn’t too bad, but if you skip days every week, they’ll limit your views. On the flip-side, they reward you for engagement.

        LOL I built a strong email list, but I rarely send newsletters. Stupid. Especially since I pay a monthly premium to MailerLite. Oy. facepalm

        Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, that’s insane about TikTok. I could never use an app that required me to check in on a daily basis, rewards or not.

        I need to work on building an email list. If you’ve got a strong one, I would definitely use it. I’ve heard of authors getting great results from regular use!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Great post, Mae! It took me several years and hitting a wall of burnout before I realized social media is a huge time suck for me. I’ve listened to many podcasts where authors have left social media, yet they are still able to sell books. In addition, I’ve reached out via email with a few authors who aren’t on Facebook, IG, Twitter, etc. and for them it all comes down to writing good books and maintaining an email list. Over a year ago, I shut down my personal and author page on Facebook, both with a large following. Since, I’ve seen no drop in book sales. I kept Twitter and IG because I enjoy popping on when I feel like it, not because I have to. Both my stress level and mental state of mind has improved greatly. I find it interesting with all of the time people spend on social media the rate of suicide, drug addiction and people on prescription antidepressants are at some of the highest levels in history. Fantastic topic today!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi, Jill, When it comes to newsletters I want to be you when I grow up! 🤣
      Your newsletters are always exceptional and you’re faithful with them. That’s something I need to concentrate on.
      Like you I cut out my personal FB and author page years ago, and it was a blessing to do so. I do hop on Twitter to peek in on what’s happening, but I don’t use it as a marketing tool. I want to be one of those authors who works on building an email list and writing quality books. I will always keep my blog, however, but I’m happy to limit my time on social media.
      It is so sad that social media has impacted many people in a negative way as you noted at the end of your comment. Hopefully, there will be a changing trend in the future!

      Like

  28. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this lately. I’ve cut down on the use of social media, but I’m not ready to give it all up. I mostly use Twitter to promote others, and sharing things such as this post. I have a Facebook author page, but it’s only for the feed from my blog. I don’t go there often and I don’t create other posts on it. I still have Pinterest, but I don’t use it for promotion. Weeks or months may go by before I visit. And I have zero interest in using Tictok.

    My concentration this year is to build my newsletter readership. I’ll maintain my blog because I especially enjoy doing my Mystery Monday posts, and I also like to host other authors. I’ll remain on Goodreads and BookBub. In my last book release, the only link I provided was to my website. Anyone wanting to connect that go there and get links to other social platforms if they so choose.

    Great post, Mae. Social media is a big time suck. I even wrote about that in one of the stories in my latest release.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I remember that story in your latest release, Joan. It really hit home.

      Like you, there’s no way I would cut out all social media. In marketing the whole idea is for social platforms is to drive people back to your website, but I think over the years some platforms took over. I would never give up my blog. I enjoy blogging too much. I have cut out Facebook, and haven’t touched IG or Pinterest in what seems like forever. I use BookBub faithfully, and like GR for tracking my reading challenges. I still use Twitter but normally only glance at it once in the morning, then I’m out of there.

      Like you, I would love to grow my newsletter audience. If I can find the time (haha!) that’s something I would love to concentrate on.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. Excellent post, Mae! I found out how to increase visitors to my website by focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. I invested a fraction of the time previously spent on social media and learned how to reach the people looking for the topics I care about. A year later, I’m happier and enjoy an ever-increasing flow of visitors. The combination of a WordPress website and the Yoast plugin made all the difference.

    Liked by 5 people

    • That’s awesome, Grant. I’m glad it’s made such a difference for you. I will have to look into the Yoast plug-in. I know SEO takes a lot of work, but a plug-in that makes a time-consuming easier would be amazing. Thank you for the tip and for sharing your experiences!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I discovered consistency is the key to unlocking positive SEO results. Once you get used to identifying keywords to include in title, headings, and URL, it becomes intuitive. I started for free, saw the improvement after a few months, and upgraded to the paid plugin. Yoast keeps updating the Plugin, a real bonus given Google’s changes to the website criteria.

        Liked by 2 people

  30. Pingback: Social Media: Is it Time to Cut Yourself Some Slack? | Legends of Windemere

    • Hi, Linnea. Social media is such a double-edged sword. We need to invest some time in it, but it takes a LOT of time unless we come up with a strategy that works. I’ve tried pretty much every platform out there and kept with them for a number years. I’ve reached the point where I’m spreading myself too thin, and have started evaluating which platforms allow me to truly connect with others, and which are just “noise.”

      It’s kind of like cereal boxes (ever walk down a cereal aisle and look at all the choices?). Some times too much really is too much!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’m glad you found the post interesting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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