7 Warning Signs that Social Media Is Ruining Your Life

I might be biting the hand that feeds me…but after one year of being on social media I see some major warning signs.

I had a thought the other day as I watched the person in the car next to me attempt to drive and navigate their smart phone.

My thought—they probably aren’t “texting”. They are updating their Facebook status, tweeting, instagraming, snap chatting (or whatever the latest new thing teenagers are doing). In their mind none of that is texting!

If you didn’t already know, just a little over one year ago I was not on any social media. Not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, NOTHING. I know, how did I survive without knowing what the world was doing. How did anyone keep up with me?

I had successfully avoided all social media.

Why am I now submerged in this world?

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Tools I Am Using to Build My Platform

When I decided to become an author, I had no idea what a “platform” was. I soon learned that the experts suggest to build one first before writing a book. I was writing for six months before I knew about building a platform.

 

By: zzpza

 

I learned that even if you go the traditional route and get a literary agent who then finds a publisher, the marketing will fall heavily on you, the writer. In fact, if you don’t have a large amount of people already following you, a platform, you might not get a publisher even if your content is excellent.

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Author as Entrepreneur

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, uses the term, Author as Entrepreneur, in the video below.  He is sharing about WestBow Press, a self publishing division of Thomas Nelson.  Over the past few years, the status of self publishing has risen.

I put a lot of research into self publishing vs. traditional publishing.  Blogs, articles, and author friends of mine had a lot of different advice.  Some said to stay far away from self publishing.  Others said that self publishing is an excellent option.

For me it came down to a few things that helped me make this decision:

  1. The idea of being an author and an entrepreneur is attractive to me.  I like the idea of being in business for myself and ultimately being responsible for my success.
  2. It is also attractive to me to work with a division of Thomas Nelson.  I will be able to use their expertise and name recognition.
  3. I did not want to wait the length of time that it probably would take to go through the traditional publishing process of writing queries, hiring an agent, and finding a publishing house that would accept my manuscript.

Ultimately, the decision was mine to make.  But as I was on the phone with the WestBow representative, I felt very strange.  She even commented about how I did not seem very excited.  Believe me, I am excited!

The strange emotion lasted for most of the day.  Finally, as I was getting ready for bed, I processed with my wife what I thought was going on inside of me.  Why did I feel so strange?

I decided that making this commitment made everything seem more real.  Another thought lingered around the edges of my mind – “Do I really want to take the risk of sharing some of my life, my story, my passions?”

The answer is yes.  But, I do not take what I am doing lightly.

I appreciate everyone’s encouragement to follow my dream of writing.  Will you help me get the word out.  Like me on my FB page – Adopting a Father’s Heart – the book. You can do so by looking to your right on the sidebar.

Follow me on Twitter.  And join me on LinkedIn.  You can also follow me on Pinterest and Google+.  All of these are on the header of my home page.

Enjoy the video!

 

 

 

 

Final Draft

This morning I finished my final draft!  It is a little hard to believe.  I know I still have a lot of work to do before publishing.

First, my wife will read my manuscript while I decide on some professional editing.  I have not decided yet if I will have an editor from a publishing house or a freelance editor do the work.

I will also make a decision on the publishing route.  I have decided that I will contract with a “self publisher”.  I researched many of these options online.  Now, I will make some calls to interview the ones that I am interested in.

While doing that, I will be also putting more time into developing my online presence.  This includes my website, enhancing my blog, and networking through the various social media sites.

My hope is to have a solid following by the time my book is ready to be published.  Not only will this help with marketing of the book, but it also could catch the attention of a traditional publisher.

As I started my morning today, I was thinking about finishing my final draft today.  I had not been confident that this day would ever come.  Even though some had encouraged me over the years to write, I was not sure that I would ever take the time to do so.

I thought about how so many people have a story to share, but in comparison so few take the time to write it.  Just like any endeavor or project, many excuses prevent someone from writing a book.  I am proud of myself for jumping that hurdle and sharing this story.  Hopefully, there will be more to come.

Refocus

I really thought that I would finish my final draft last week.  However, I bogged down on a chapter.  I did not like the way it was structured.  I was having a hard time seeing it written differently.

So, I shifted gears and worked on homesteading some social media sites with the name of my soon to be published website.  That took me a little longer than I expected.  But, I have a Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and a Pinterest site now homesteaded.

What I mean by homestead is that I have signed up for the accounts with the name that I want to use.  It is the same name for all sites and my website.  Personal Branding.

I still need to take some time to set them up and begin networking.  In fact, tomorrow I am spending some time in the afternoon with a photographer friend for a head shot photo shoot.  The idea is to use not only the same name for all the sites, but also the same personal photo.

What is the reason for that you ask?  By using the same name and photo, over time, people will recognize that it is me.  Again, Personal Branding.

This morning, I returned to working on my final draft.  Spending a couple of days working on something else helped unlock some ideas on how to restructure my chapter.  So, I hope to finish the final draft sometime this week.  Then, I will give the manuscript to my wife to read.

I am getting closer!

More on Personal Branding

As promised, here is an update on my work on developing a personal brand.  I have contracted with a web host company, and I am in the process of setting up my personal website.  I could give you the address now, but you would not see anything yet!

The website will be my main online hub from which all other social media, including this blog will spin off from.  This includes any other blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and any other social media I decide to utilize.  Ideally, all will have the same “brand” or name.

The idea is to provide the most consistent brand possible.  So that, if a person sees my Facebook, Twitter, or website, they will immediately know it is the same person.

This will hopefully help in developing a larger and loyal following.  This takes social media beyond entertainment and begins using it as a business and marketing tool.I have learned that especially for nonfiction books, publishers want to see that a perspective author already has a following or personal network.

So, as I am getting closer to finishing my final draft of my manuscript, I am also developing my personal brand.  Once I have all the pieces set up, I plan on blogging about more specific topics found in my book.

Hopefully I will have my website set up next week along with my other social media sites!