But I Don't Want to Tweet or Friend Anyone

Extroverted writers have it easy when it comes to social media. Their hardest task is trying not to spend all their time on social media sites and get some writing done instead.

Introverted writers have a very different problem.

Introverts

There are some common misconceptions about Introverts, just like there are about Extroverts. Introverted doesn’t mean shy or withdrawn. Instead it means that you draw your energy from inside yourself. Internal thoughts and ideas stimulate the Introvert.

Just like an Extrovert needs an environment with outside activity to stimulate them, an Introvert needs an environment that allows for internal reflection. This often means surroundings that are quiet, isolated or free of distractions. Sounds like a quality that is uniquely suited to being a writer, doesn’t it?

The Introvert’s need for limiting external stimulation is why you probably won’t find them hanging out in large crowds of people. The activity and noise and hubbub that are generated by people is draining to an Introvert.

As an Introvert myself, I avoid large crowd situations whenever possible. I leave parties early or if I can’t, I find a corner where I can just watch and not participate. Afterward, I can easily sleep for a few hours. Time spent by myself with very limited inputs, i.e. noise, visual stimulation, conversations, etc. recharges my batteries.

You See The Problem

For an Introverted writer, social media sites are draining. All the things that an Extrovert loves–conversations, Likes, tweets, replies, pokes–suck the energy out of an Introvert.

As a result, it can be difficult or completely overwhelming for an Introvert to participate on a social media site. Many Introverts probably avoid social media sites altogether because they’re just “too much work”.

But social media sites are terrific for networking and finding readers. So an Introvert is challenged to find a way to participate in social media without draining away all of her energy.

If you’re an Introverted writer who’s been avoiding social media, try these tactics to make it less overwhelming:

  • Pick just one social media site to use and use only that one. Yes, your name be as well-known on the sites as more socially-active writers, but it’s better to have one site you use consistently than several sites you barely touch because they’re too overwhelming.
  • Think about how often you need to participate on the site to stay active and schedule specific times to log on. This doesn’t have to be all day, every day. You can check into a site for a few minutes each night, every other day, or even every few days.
  • Keep to your schedule and don’t feel like you have to log on more than that. No guilt here.
  • Remember that you don’t have to spend hours on the site. A schedule of short, regular visits (say 15 minutes twice a week) is better than an entire day just once a month.
  • LIke the Extroverts, use automation between the sites to limit your need to visit each one. Just don’t go overboard and post the exact same thing everywhere each time. Some people may follow or friend you on multiple sites and they’ll see the same message repeated everywhere if you do this. That can turn some folks off.
  • Reward yourself when you’re done on the site for that day, so it seems more like a treat than a required activity.
  • Make use of the social media sites that need less frequent updating. The booktagging sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, Booktagger and LibraryThing can be quickly reviewed and updated once a week or every other week.

What tactics do you use to encourage yourself to participate in social media sites and keep it from becoming overwhelming?