The Role of Social Media in the Life of a Writer

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media. To be fair, it’s mainly a hate relationship. As most of the full-time writers will point out, you must have a presence in social media if you have any hope of being successful. So, why do I dislike social media? Mostly because it detracts from my own desire to lock myself in a small room, turn off the lights, and live exclusively in my own head.

There are other reasons. As the 2016 Presidential cycle demonstrated, social media seems to be a world filled with children who love to shout their own ill-informed opinions from the highest towers as loudly as possible. Lots of people talking but no one listens.

Building a social media following is difficult. Finding followers is like finding a needle in a haystack that is perpetually doubling in size and the needle shrinks every morning. Still, it is possible. Last time I looked, Stephen King had around 4,800,000 followers on Facebook. Dean Koontz has about 1,300,000. A few of the authors I personally know have followers ranging from 3,000-28,000.

Facebook and Twitter are like standing on the top of a proverbial mountain, shouting out to anyone who’ll listen while being constantly interrupted by the latest scandal or impossibly cute cat video. How does a guy who writes stories about serial killers and malevolent spirits compete with that?

The situation on Twitter is almost worse when you consider the word count limitations. When you write novels, the idea of putting all your thoughts into the space of a paragraph is hard. I think it’s akin to asking a chef who is used to cooking for eight hundred a night to cook one meal for a picky seven-year-old and ensuring there are no leftovers.

Social media can be a great tool to get your message out to the world. But it can also be a hindrance. I have a list of everything I need to do. It is constantly changing and morphing as tasks get done or become irrelevant so I take them off the list. Not once on that list has, “Reply to the vitriolic rant of a former professor” shown up on my to-do list. Facebook and the internet, in general, is a huge time-suck when you think about it. Sure, you have to be involved in social media, but participation in the actual fray is detrimental to success as a writer in some ways.

Responding to things on the internet can be toxic. I see tons of other writers who thought nothing about posting rants about their least favorite candidate. I have to wonder how those rants might have drowned out their intended message to the audience trying to decide if they wanted to read their books or not. While it is great to have an opinion, opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one. If you feel the need to try and shout over the din that is Facebook, I wish you the best of luck. You’re likely not going to be able to shout loud enough or long enough to make any kind of difference.

Just one my Facebook post and I’ll get back to editing.

I don’t have a good answer to the question of how to achieve success on social media. I wish I knew what the secret was. I guess I’ll just sit back and keep doing what I’m doing and pick up followers as I go. Who knows, maybe I’ll break the 1,000 followers mark by the end of 2017. Maybe that is the goal for Bryan the Writer. Let’s break the 1,000 followers on Facebook by the end of 2017.

-Your Humble Servant


This is why I think Hillary lost

Bleary eyed and coffee driven, I wanted to take a moment to try and bring some clarity, from my perspective, to what happened last night. Before Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets lose their collective minds over this election and all of Hollywood picks up and moves to Canada, let’s have a moment of reality here. From Bryan the Writer, here’s how I think Hillary Clinton lost the election last night.

American Flag

  • From the very beginning, the Clinton campaign ignored rural America and the blue-collar workers who depend on big business, mining operations, steel jobs, and other industries to feed their families. For better or worse, she doubled down on the urbanites, figuring they would be alright with promises of more secure welfare when what they really want is a good paying job. The Latin American gentleman, who takes his oath of US Citizenship, is also worried about what everyone else is worried about; feeding his family. Trump talked to those minority groups and preached the right words and that brought enough people out to vote for him. It swayed things. Look at the wins in those traditionally blue collar states and you’ll see what I am talking about. He won by the slimmest of margins, but he won in places you never see a Republican win.


  • America wants answers. We just do, it’s in our nature. When Former Secretary Clinton figured we would all accept her explanations of the e-mail mess with her assurances that ‘it was behind them and they didn’t want to talk about it anymore’, she left a ton of people scratching their heads. Throw on top of that the dismal job numbers as of late and the pronouncement of double digit increases for Obamacare next year … well that makes people skittish.


  • The way Hillary Clinton left her audience last night tells me everything I need to know to answer the question of why she lost. When it was time to make that phone call to Donald Trump, she, and her staff, walked away and hid. They should have taken the time to walk out on stage and thanked all of their supporters, even if they were going to contest the election results or were flat-out admitting defeat. But, she didn’t. In my humble opinion, that was less than a classy move and shows an elitist attitude. This elitist attitude is what people saw from her the entire campaign. It bled through those awful pant-suits and the American population reacted to it.


What you saw last night was not a vote for President-elect Trump. It was a vote against the last four years. People are willing to give a President four years to see if things improve, but after a second four years, the likelihood of that party staying in power is greatly diminished if they can’t make it all work.

Finally, America, do me a quick solid and take a deep breath. America isn’t going to vanish off the face of the earth because President Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The likelihood is that either he’s going to be able to fix a few things that need fixing, or he’ll be ineffectual as a president. He is more of a liberal than many people take him for. But relax America, take a deep breath, and maybe fix a cup of your favorite hot beverage. Things will be alright.

-Your Humble Servant,