Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Perk of Social Media

By Kim

Yes, Facebook can be a tremendous time-suck and I still find Twitter to be like standing in a crowded room where everyone shouts “Look at me!” all at the same time.  Both are necessary evils for many writers, an expected marketing platform.  For me, an as-yet-unpublished writer with nothing out there to sell, social media is about networking, connecting with writers from all over the world, people I would not otherwise get the chance to know. 

I confess that the vast majority of my social life takes place on-line.

Without Facebook I would never have connected with Therese Walsh, the Blog Mama over at Writer Unboxed. I would not have been invited to join the Mod Squad, a cluster of volunteers who keep Writer Unboxed’s Facebook group a refreshingly self-promotional free zone. The Mod Squad is a tight bunch; we connect daily through a private group on Facebook, sharing not only information on the posts we have zapped, but also our personal and professional hurdles, our rants, and our greatest fears. We listen, we comfort, and we tell each other to just write the damn book already. 

It’s safe to say this group has become a part of my closest circle of friends, though I had met none of them in real life until this past week.

Kim, Vaughn and Heather in Dallas
This photograph, taken here in Dallas, would not exist without social media. I would not know the epic fantasy writer from Michigan (Vaughn Roycroft) or his wife, Maureen (who took the photo). This would be a shame as they are arguably the nicest couple on the planet. Though I live only twenty miles or so from Young Adult fiction writer Heather Reid, DFW is a crowded place and chances are we would never have met. Now she and fellow Mod Squad member Valerie Chandler will sit beside me on a flight to Boston in November.  We will share a hotel room in Salem’s Hawthorne Hotel where we will attend the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference, which is sure to be a highlight of our year. 

Would I be more productive without Facebook? Probably. Would my life be as rich? No way.

Have any of your virtual friendships become real ones? We’d love to hear your stories!


  1. I agree! It's a great experience getting to he a member of Mod Squad and it has enriched my life too. Maybe I can meet you Dallas folks this summer? If not, I'll see you in November! I'm so excited!

    1. Other than for a short trip up to Missouri and possibly a family vacation, we will be around, Valerie. Can't wait to meet you, too!

  2. As I said on FB (because we talk there... every day), I so agree, and you guys are like a second family to me. And the Un-conference will be like a huge extended-family reunion. I'm really glad we got a chance to sort of get used to being with each other IRL. It was a wonderful novelty, but we will have that out of the way when we're all faced with all of those other cousins and distant relations in November. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

  3. Second family is definitely the way to put it. There are days, when my schedule is particularly hectic in the evening, that I talk to the Mod Squad group more than my spouse! I wish I could have hung out a bit longer at our lunch and can't wait until November when I'm free from my normal obligations for a few days. Yes, I'm glad we got a chance to meet IRL first because then we'll go into the conference surrounded by a few truly familiar people. That's important for us introverts!

  4. I can't wait to spend more time with each of you in November! I am truly blessed to call each of you friend and meeting IRL wasn't as awkward as my introverted mind sometimes imagined. :) I don't know what I would do without your support. And Kim, I'm going to make an effort to grab a coffee with you more often. It's silly, really, that we live so close and don't hang out more. Valerie and Lisa, you both better expect huge hugs from me in November. Maybe even a tackle hug!

    1. I get it, really, Heather, because I'm also an introvert. We know each other so well on line and that can add a whole other layer of awkwardness if it seems you meet a different person than you "know." There was none of that with you, Vaughn, or Mo. Perhaps it is because we all knew everyone else (with the exception perhaps of Mo) was an introvert. We also knew we were all huggers.

      Yes, we certainly do need to hang out. I will have Ashlyn with me much of the summer, but you'd probably find her amusing.


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