An Indefinite Hiatus from Twitter

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Almost a week ago, I decided to take an indefinite hiatus from Twitter. I haven’t looked back since.

For many reasons, I just don’t feel comfortable using Twitter anymore. It’s definitely not the same place it was back when I first joined. And, to be completely honest, I made myself a promise back when I started my career as an author.

I decided that, if any part of this ever stopped feeling good, I’d stop immediately.

Twitter hasn’t felt good for me in a long time. I straight up get nauseous when it’s time to check my timeline or mentions, wondering Now what? Wondering who’s going to be stomping on #OwnVoices authors while demanding more diversity, or who’s going to be telling me I’m not queer enough or disabled enough. Wondering who’s going to wander into my mentions without actually reading my tweets and start ranting at me. I’ve witnessed authors drag other authors or even bloggers and readers, encouraging their thousands of followers to pile on.

If you stand up and say “This isn’t right,” if you don’t instantly block the “trash” people, you’re out, too. Twitter feels like the digital version of high school: “You can’t sit with us, especially if we see you sitting with her.”

I’m almost 29. I am far too old for these kinds of games. I’ve got lots of books I’d rather focus my energy on writing. Not to mention my energy is already lacking, thanks to a current flare.

I’ve tried taking regular Twitter breaks. I’ve tried paring down the number of people I follow. These things helped a little, but they weren’t enough in the long-term.

So I’ve decided I’m done.

I’d already decided to focus my time and money on Facebook. Now that I’ve connected my Facebook page to my reader group, it’s so much easier for me to manage everything. Through research, I know that Facebook is where I need to be if I want to connect with readers. Plus, I’ve made some lasting connections with other authors there.

Authors who are professional and courteous, even when they feel passionately about something.

From here on, my Twitter page will serve as an outpost. I will not be checking mentions or DMs. I have, however, unlocked my account again; I will be tweeting only when I have news to share, and it will usually be an auto-shared link to my blog.

I’m still on Facebook—and have a reader group—as well as Instagram. You can also join my email list.

In the words of the wise Steve Jobs:

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

It feels so good and quiet now, I can hear myself again.

Make a Facebook Page a Group Admin

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Recently Facebook started rolling out a new feature: the ability to make a Facebook Page the administrator of a Group. Through this feature, you can now post to your Group as your Page. This eliminates a lot of headache for authors using a pen name. Previously, authors who were using an anonymous pen name or who wanted to separate their personal life from their business had to create a second Facebook account, because you could only post to a group through your personal profile. This was kind of a pain in the ass, though, because then you had multiple accounts to run, plus your author Page(s) and Group(s).

For example, if I’m running a pre-order for my upcoming release, I would:

  • post to my reader Group through my author profile to let my inner tribe know first
  • post to my author Page to let all of my fans know
  • post to my author profile to let all of my author friends and a few readers know
  • post to my personal profile to let close friends and family know

As you can imagine, this gets exhausting—especially if you have a limited supply of energy in the first place. Who has time to deal with all that on top of running a business, writing a new book, and managing a chronic illness?

I saw that a couple friends had been able to make their Pages an admin of their group, and desperately wanted to know how. At the time, though, Facebook was just rolling out this feature and only a percentage of users were getting access. So I continued with my lengthy process—until Facebook released the feature wide and I accidentally stumbled upon it.

I figured I’d share the steps with you so that you can make your life a bit easier, too.

  1. Go to your Facebook author Page. As far as I’m aware, this feature can only be set up while on the desktop/browser version of Facebook (not the mobile or tablet versions).
  2. On the lefthand side, you’ll see your tabs. There is now a Groups tab. Click on that.
  3. There will be a prompt to connect a Group with your Page. You can do this with multiple Groups that you run, by the way. However, I don’t think you can do this with Groups that you’re just a member of. Follow the prompts and Facebook will make your Page an administrator of your Group.
  4. Go to your Group; you can now post as your Page! There will also be an automatic notification to the Group that you’ve made your Page an admin.
  5. When you visit your Page now, there will be a Group widget at the top (much like the Shop widget). Fans of the Page will now see your Group, and members of your Group will be able to see the latest Group post right from your Page.
  6. If you want to rearrange your tabs in the menu, by the way, Facebook has a step-by-step guide. I currently have my Shop tab first, then my Groups.

I’m hoping this new feature will allow for easier growth of my Group. At the very least, it’s cut down on the amount of time it takes for me to manage everything. Now I can deactivate my author account and simplify things a bit!

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Lessons Learned

via Unsplash

Five years ago, when I first started out on my publishing journey, I naively thought that I could use my existing social media for my new business. It wasn’t hard to separate business from personal at first, but everything changed when I signed with my publisher. Suddenly authors were friend-requesting me on Facebook, even though I’d resolved to keep my personal profile separate from my business page. I felt bad denying requests, though, and soon my feed became a mix of everything ever.

A friend suggested I make a separate account strictly for business. She’d done so and, even though it was one more account to manage, it’d helped her separate the two. I still stubbornly insisted that I only wanted one. Over the years, readers began friend-requesting me from my reader group. It was fun being friends with both readers and colleagues as well as my IRL family and friends, but it also got tricky.

For example, if I wanted to go on Facebook just for fun, there was no avoiding work-related things. If a friend tagged me in an off-color meme, I had to do damage control.

Keeping the two separate was getting more and more difficult. I kept tossing the idea around, but hesitated because creating a second account and moving people, pages, and groups around would be a gargantuan task. It wasn’t as if I had spare hours to just sit around cleaning up my social media act.

This weekend I decided it was time, though. Today I sat down and created a separate Facebook; soon I’ll be doing the same for Twitter. If you’re an author, reader, or someone else in the book biz and you get a friend request from this account, it’s really me. I’m friend-requesting here and there, though, so it doesn’t get too tedious or hard on my wrists. Feel free to add me if I haven’t already made it to you!

There’s an old saying that you can’t mix business with pleasure, and even though I love what I do, it’s still true. I’m really looking forward to being able to sign into Twitter, for example, and just see book stuff.

Speaking of book stuff, today I hit 28K for Any Other Love. I’m thinking about release dates now, and I’ll be able to share more info soon! 💜

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