Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Musings: February 15 2015

Happy Valentine's Weekend Musers.

Hope this finds you warm of heart, but also just plain warm. My area of the world is supposedly being blasted with some artic air and "they" say temps will be close, if not, -40C windchill. Since I'm typing this before that is to hit, I'll check back with you and let you know just how cold we are.

In the meantime, what's better to warm the spirit than a rousing round of musings? And what if I've asked something that could be seen as a tad argumentative or even controversial? Wouldn't that warm you up, too? Nothing like a heated conversation to get the blood musing.

All in good spirits, so... social media killing writing?

Since I've thrown this out, I should offer my own opinion, shouldn't I.

Social media does cover a large area, even blogs could fall under this category. But, I was thinking more along the lines of how quick it is to hit a like button, to draw a smiley/un-smiley face, to throw out a comment without censoring our mind. How much has writing only 140 characters trained us to write short and snappy...has this crossed the line into communications, to the point of rudeness?

With story writing are we rushing to the end...rushing to get the stories out there before they're ready? Being the devil's advocate my dad helped raise, the other side is that perhaps social media has trained us to get the job done and done now.

One thing is for sure, social media has brought the vast world into the smallness of my electronic screen and that I like.

Social media has the potential to be deadly.  It can be addictive and devour the precious hours needed for writing (and other necessary activities).  However, the discipline required by every author should kick in and enable us to limit our participation in social media so that it does not impact our scribbling and keying.

On and off I have had different thoughts about this subject. Because of the need for speed when you are communicating on social media a lot of the words are sometimes abbreviated or misspelled. Many times people don’t realize it and you tend to overlook little mistakes. As you continue to communicate on social media you find that people who are not writers don’t seem to care for grammar or spelling. Yet many times this kind of slap dash writing is accepted without comment. If you are on Twitter the need to consolidate makes it necessary to abbreviate or use one word substitutes or even one letter substitutes like U. I think in this sense social media has diluted writing and allowed poor grammar and spelling to be accepted. In another sense we all tend to accept disjointed writing as well.

Disjointed writing along with lack of concern for editing has created a situation where at any moment in any publication you can find a typo or misspelled word as well as poor grammar. Besides that because we have to write in such small segments writing needs to be attention getting. Now this isn’t a bad thing, but it contributes to the kind of writing where description is too much to read. So now as a writer you are expected to be writing without much description. People have become used to deciding whether to read something all the way or just the summary that is set out on Twitter or Facebook of an article.

However, on the other hand, if you find a group of writers with which you can connect it can be very inspiring. During NaNoWriMo a group of writing friends formed and we were able to do sprints together and root on one another. Also, before NaNo we started a round robin story. This kind of bonding is difficult to find in person and is very helpful to a writer. The main reason I enjoy social media is this interaction with my writing friends.

Then there is the last part of using social media which is marketing your book. Social media gives a chance for your book to be seen by thousands of people. Some people blanket their groups with the same post about their book hoping to gain the attention of group members. It brings your book to people who would not have ordinarily seen it. So it’s good for writers in that way.

DAWN KNOX, author

Social media makes it easier to exhibit one's writing to a world-wide audience. However, now there are more authors than ever displaying their work, so I'm not sure that it helps the average author to make much of an impression on the reading public. From the point of view of authors promoting their writing, therefore, I don't think social media will make much difference. But since Facebook, Twitter and the like are so addictive, it may be that writers spend more time trawling through them than actually writing which will definitely have a detrimental effect on their work! As in most man-made institutions, social media can be used or abused and I think it may change the way we present our writing or even how we write, for example, 140 character flash fiction on Twitter, but I don't think it will ever kill writing.

Thanks for joining us and see you next week!
 If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at

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