Monday, 12 March 2018

Would Shakespeare be on Social Media?

Left jaw-dropped on Sunday by a Facebook post on a fellow writer's site. 'I had my pants on backwards all day, who knew?' she shared. Too much info? By the end of the day seventy-three people had commented. Apart from wanting to tell her that when she reaches my age, she will discover that such occurrences are so frequent they are hardly worth remarking upon, it did make me think ... and I am still thinking ... about the way we writers now have to 'put ourselves out there'.

With the development of  Facebook/Twitter etc, it is getting far harder to preserve one's privacy - given that readers, both actual or prospective, now want to share not only our work, but our lives. And yet, here is the paradox: writers, by their very nature, possess the sort of introvert, secretive personalities that make them go and lock themselves away in a room for hours at a time, so that they can invent stuff in their heads.

No longer is this enough, though. It is now almost obligatory upon any writer wanting to sell his/her work to feed the insatiable reading public's hunger for details of their lives, or their writing regime. I wonder whether we are beginning to reach the counter-productive stage, where maintaining a high-level media profile is actually hindering the 'real' writing process from taking place. Even writing this blog means that I am not editing the 6th Victorian Detective book novel, prior to handing it over to the professionals.  Not sure how to square this circle. You?

But in answer to my question about Shakespeare, yes, I am absolutely sure he would have loved it. I can just imagine the sort of stuff he'd have posted, too: "To Deptford, where I quaffed much ale. Upon return to my lodgings, discovered I had been wearing mine hose inside out. A merry jape."

Not sure we'd have had as many plays, though



13 comments:

  1. Haha, I would definitely follow Shakespeare if he was on Twitter! Love this post, Carol. As I'm reading it and sharing it on all my platforms I too am totally distracted from current WIP - d'oh! When you find the answer please tell me! Now, I'm off to clean the bath, iron the cat, and bake a pie ;)

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    1. and in replying, I am NOT working on my edits!!!

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  2. And without a doubt, Charles Dickens would have been on Twitter. When he wasn't writing scripts for Eastenders, that is!

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  3. I'm sure he would be on Twitter and all the other social media platforms. Like you, I despair about some of the nonsense that is posted on Twitter. Seems to be a lot of whining, ranting and boasting. I know writers have to self-promote but some take it a tad too far.

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    1. Bet he'd have posted pics of his meals!

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  4. And Charles Dickens would definitely have been on Twitter. Plus writing scripts for Easteneders

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  5. Yes, I am sure he would have been too but would have been careful but what he said. He was an astute business man as well - which sometimes means not self-promoting as much.

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    1. True...but what he'd have said, the comments about fellow actors etc would be so worth reading.

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  6. Yes, I’m sure he would have been on social media.

    And for me - I don’t sell anything like as many books as you do, as I took a positive decision a long time ago to limit my social media time, and to be very, very careful what I write about. You are clearly comfortable talking about all sorts of personal and family stuff, and good for you - I’m not, and that’s fine too. And I know it keeps my sales down, but it’s right for me.

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    1. we do what we do, Jo. The main thing is we don't do whatever makes us feel uncomfortable. I went 'public' about my cancer to help people also going through the treatment, to de-mystify it a bit, and to make the political point that if we drop out of Europe and leave Euratom, people like me will die. Simples.

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    2. I applaud you, Carol - we need people like you. It just not for me,

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    3. Oh I did laugh at your Shakespeare tweet. Wonderful. I want to see tweets like that every day. Oddly enough for someone who writes personal memoirs, I’m much more private than most people would think, but I’m sure there’s a balance and we all have to find our own. I like the mix, but as you say, it does get in the way of writing somewhat...although blogs are still writing and they have their own form. And now I must to sleep, and no, thou shalt not be privy to the donning of my night attire....inside outor outside in! Haha.

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