Social Networking, WordPress and Aging

Last weekend I attended a wordpress conference, here in Fayetteville.   Widgets and plug-ins, pingbacks, SEO’s and geniuses in wizard hats.  I learned a lot.  I did.  But what struck me the strongest was that all but two of the organizers and speakers were obviously OCD.

Lela, sweetie, you know you’re one of the two who weren’t right?)

Here’s what struck me the strongest though.

When I worked as a mother or a loan officer or a teacher or, hell, as a shrimp picker, after a varying amount of time (shortest for picking the head’s off shrimp, longest for teaching) I was proficient at my job.

This will never again be the case.

As an author:    (Notice how I snuck that plug in there?  Slick, eh?) I am required to be reasonably proficient at facebook and twitter and blogging and Pinterest.

And I will never be proficient at social networking because the game changes every day.

The world in which I grew up is gone.


The illusion of being able to settle comfortably back into my life or my job has been shattered.  It’s as if these likeable, obviously obsessive computer geeks patted me on the head and welcomed me to the twenty-first century.

I have never felt older.

About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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17 Responses to Social Networking, WordPress and Aging

  1. mgmillerbooks says:

    No, your job is to write compelling books. Social media should be secondary, because it doesn’t matter how much you blog and tweet and share and pin, if you don’t have the product to back it up, it’s a waste of time. Since, for the most part I’ve given up social media, I’ve regained my time and sanity to be able to focus again on what’s most important, and it’s liberating, to say the least. No, you can’t keep up with social media because it changes every day. So content yourself within your comfort zone in regard to it, and realize that you’re in it because writing is your first job and your first love.

    • Hey there, sweetie. The sticky wicket is this: Who will know my beautiful, compelling books are there to enjoy and marvel over, if I don’t use social media? I told someone at the conference, “What I can do well is write.” Well, good, but I still have to find those first few people to read those novels and gush to others about them or they’re going to just sit there on Amazon and look pretty. It’s a combo, I’m afraid.
      The trick is the balance between the two and, I agree, I’m a writer first. Always a writer first.

      • mgmillerbooks says:

        You give traditional publishers the boot, do it yourself, go exclusively through Amazon so you can set free promotions, then let the work speak for itself. It’s a ripple effect. I’ve been selling every day, consistently, for seven months, and I haven’t blogged since January. No, you won’t get rich, but you won’t get rich with traditional publishing, either. However, you will make more $, because you won’t have a publisher setting your price so high it won’t sell in the first place, and when it does sell, said publisher takes their cut before passing the remainder to you. I’m just sayin 🙂

      • You’re not the first person to suggest this. And, I know you’re doing well with the method. Of course, Bayou Jesus is one of those books that is so unusual and so beautiful, readers can’t help but talk about it. I’m trying everything. Sort of a throw it against the wall and see what sticks methodology.

      • mgmillerbooks says:

        I just want you to be happy, Foster. OK, through with my ten cents 🙂

  2. Jan Morrill says:

    Pam, when my son was a little boy, he used to look at his messy room and be too overwhelmed to clean it. I told him to take it a little bit at a time — make his bed first, then pick up his dirty clothes, then his toys, etc. It was a slow process, but he got it done. This is how I’ve tackled social media — a little bit at a time. Then, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. But, Mike is also right – writing comes first. But, I think you’ve got that down pretty darn well.

    • mgmillerbooks says:

      Your situation is different, Jan, because of your publisher. Frankly, I’m not a fan of Pam’s publisher, which is why I told her what I did. Also, you like to blog, and it shows. Quality.

    • Nice way to put it, Jan. That is pretty much what I learned from six years of college. Do one thing at a time and keep moving forward. Very simple stuff, but when I forget the lesson, I get overwhelmed and, worse, life stops being fun and what, in God’s name, is the point of that?

  3. Jim says:

    I was right there with ya, Pam. Not only does it make me feel older, it makes me feel blinder as well. The conference gave me a better understanding of how certain parts of it all work. It’s easy to feel rushed and overwhelmed listening to someone’s success story because it takes much less time to tell it than it does to make it happen. It gives the impression it happened overnight, even if the speaker says more than once it didn’t. Not all the clothes in the store are going to fit. Try on the ones you like and if they don’t fit, leave them. Your social media/marketing strageties should be as unique as your stories, your characters, and the talentied writer who created them.

  4. Denton Gay says:

    This social media stuff is kinda like writing. We all make the same mistakes but eventually we get better at it. At least you’re ahead of me!!

  5. Pam, I felt the zing of info flash over the top of my head much of the time, yet I enjoyed the learning process and listening to those wizards. Since I began social media my books have been selling better and better. Good writing is the foundation, but if you don’t add some bricks to prop up your career with a bit of social media (pick only a few sites you really like and hit them a couple times a week) then eventually it will tumble down. It was fun, wasn’t it? Thanks again.

  6. Duke Pennell says:

    You’ve got to do what makes you smile. If not, why bother with anything? Patty turned me on to the truth: “Just put yourself out there.” We don’t know what the result will be, but we sure do know what happens if we don’t. Nothing.

  7. Greg Camp says:

    I’m with you, Pam–struggling to make sense of of something that was thrown together haphazardly by a bunch of nerds in basements who inflicted all this rubbish on us because they couldn’t get dates any other way. It makes me want to start a revolution.

    And Jan, as long as the bugs are carting stuff out of the room to hold their own yard sale, what’s wrong with a messy room?

  8. CJ Clark says:

    I know exactly where you are coming from Pam. I too feel overwhelmed. I too feel old. I want to write, but feel pushed, no, coerced into social networking. I still don’t have it all figured out and by the time I do, they’ve changed. And I agree with you in your comment about Bayou Jesus–sometimes it is just the book itself. I think my books would appeal to thousands of women, but I sell few. A friend of mine sells sixty a month! What’s us old timers to do?

    • Hey CJ. It’s a balance I think. I’ve worked other jobs where there was a balance required between say, paperwork and working with people. I’ve always been better at the people and always cussed the paperwork. So, I suppose this is no different, except I love, heck I live to write. Lately I’ve been thinking of social media as standing on a street corner in an animal costume, maybe a big dog, and waving my arms around yelling look at me, read my book.
      The bottom line is, I’ll do whatever I can to get people to read that first book, because I’m just egotistical enough to think, once they’ve read the first one, they’ll want to read the next.
      Ah well, life is good.

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