Some Write It Hot

February 21, 2011

Confessions of a Social Media Lurker by Gillian Archer

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

Hello. My name is Gillian and I’m a lurker.

I’m sure my crit partners will find this confession a bit hard to believe. In our crit circle I never have an issue speaking up and saying my part. Whether I’m critiquing a piece or commenting on publishing news, I don’t hold back. But our circle is a safe place—what’s said there stays there. We can debate anything and it never leads to flame wars.

When it comes to places outside my safe haven, I’ve become somewhat of a hermit. I still read blogs and some of the larger writer forums, but I don’t comment. I don’t speak up. It hasn’t always been this way. When I first started writing, I joined a few forums and commented pretty much without a filter. I said anything that came to mind and prolly overshared quite a bit.

Now though… I’ve seen the issues that can come with posting without thought of the consequences. Cringe inducing confessions, hurt feelings and flame wars abound in romancelandia’s corner of the WWW. I don’t want to be one of those authors. Rather than figuring out how to find the proper balance, I’ve back away all together.

But now that I’m on the brink of selling my first story, I need to figure it out. Soon I’ll be promoting and putting myself out there. And honestly I think that part scares me more than any other part of the publishing cycle. Okay maybe not the most but still it’s a large fear. So any advice out there for me?

I’ll be here… lurking in the shadows.

Check out what Gillian’s up to now at her website


  1. Hey Gillian:

    You’re right. I don’t see you as a lurker. My best advice having been in your same shoes with my first book coming out not too long ago is to submit your books for review and then listen harder to the criticism than to the praise. Praise always feels good, but the criticisms tell you how to do a better job of meeting a wider audience. Of course, some people won’t like what we write and we have to discriminate, but I have found that a simple thank you and an acknowledgment of a criticism I have received has gone a long way to spark productive conversations and to get my name out there just as much as the positive reviews.


    Comment by DH Starr — February 21, 2011 @ 05:26 | Reply

    • Hi Doug. That’s great advice. I think my first instinct would be to hide when faced with a negative review. But your attitude is very smart and well…adult. I guess we all gotta grow up sometime, huh?

      Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 07:03 | Reply

  2. Gillian,
    First, congrats on your story being sold.
    Second, because you do understand how whatever is posted on the Internet is forever, you’ll do just fine.
    Accept the fact you won’t be a lurker much longer and enjoy the ride =)

    Comment by KevaD — February 21, 2011 @ 06:11 | Reply

  3. You mean I can’t stay in the shadows? 😉 Thanks, KevaD.

    Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 07:11 | Reply

  4. Hi, Gillian. Congrats on your sale!!

    I was the same, quaking in my boots over what to say. I still have trouble with Twitter, but I find Facebook getting easier all the time. A good way to start is to friend some of your favorite authors and start responding to their posts. I also repost when something that grabs my attention and give my own opinion. Before long, you’ll start feel more comfortable sharing articles and blogs you find interesting. And books you’ve read that impressed you. And short little blurbs about what’s happening in your life, thoughts, opinions, things that excite you. When a few of your friends start ‘liking’ what you say, your courage will grow.

    Give it a try and good luck.

    Comment by alicats — February 21, 2011 @ 07:12 | Reply

    • Yeah, I have some issues with twitter too. I think it’s ’cause of the time difference–perils of living in the future I guess. I can’t started a Facebook page yet. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks, Ali!

      Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 07:18 | Reply

      • Errr, I meant: I HAVEN’T started a Facebook page yet. Where’s the edit button?! LOL

        Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 07:20

  5. Hi Gillian,

    Congrats on your first sale 🙂
    It will get easier the more you get out there.

    Comment by Ren — February 21, 2011 @ 07:57 | Reply

  6. I feel the same way, Gillian. Congrats on the sale!

    Comment by jerridrennen — February 21, 2011 @ 08:22 | Reply

    • Thanks, Jerri! Nice to know I’m in good company 🙂

      Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 08:25 | Reply

  7. Thanks, Ren! I guess I gotta stop being lazy and do something, huh?

    Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 08:24 | Reply

  8. Congrats on the sale.

    I have to admit I tend to be a bit of a lurker too. I comment on other people’s posts a whole lot more than I post my own thing on facebook and twitter. I never have a clue what to say about myself. LOL Guess we both need a little practice at climbing out of the ol’shell.

    Comment by Lauren Fraser — February 21, 2011 @ 10:30 | Reply

  9. I think a lot of authors feel the same way–we’re authors because we prefer a book to reality. But people are so wonderfully friendly, especially on Facebook.

    Now the review or book sites are different. Anywhere you find that someone is not happy with your book–or someone else’s either…well, it’s much like walking down a canyon trail, knowing there’s people hiding up the slope in perfect positions to ambush you. Anything you say can set off a nasty barrage, and since you’re in the open and at the bottom, you can’t win. Just keep your horse moving, don’t engage, and get out of the area fast. LOL

    But I’m sure readers will be flocking to meet you once your book comes out, and facebook is a fun place to chat with them. You’ll enjoy it. 🙂

    Comment by Cherise Sinclair — February 21, 2011 @ 10:32 | Reply

    • Awww thanks, Cherise. You and Ali have convinced me. I think I’ll have to setup a Facebook account 🙂

      Comment by Gillian Archer — February 21, 2011 @ 11:15 | Reply

  10. Yes set up a Facebook & give me yet another way to stalk you. I tweet more than I FB. It’s short so you don’t have to worry about being witty/personable/awesome for long stretches of time. It’s also easier to accumulate more ppl via twitter.

    In terms of reviews, I wouldn’t say anything unless expressly asked & even then I’d make it short & non-confrontational. But get in the game woman!

    Comment by Sasha Devlin — February 22, 2011 @ 16:17 | Reply

    • LOL Sasha. I know I gotta get back on the Twitter horse. Hopefully after the move, I’ll be able to get into the thick of things again 🙂

      Comment by Gillian Archer — February 22, 2011 @ 16:51 | Reply

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