If you want to be a writer — leave social media
There’s nothing ‘social’ about writing. Writing is loneliness.
The word ‘media’ in social media is an instrument for the word ‘social’. Young people who want to become writers face a danger of letting the ‘social’ overshadow the ‘media’ function. Because of this — the writer adjusts his/her writing and voice to his/her own folks and feeds them with words that suits them.
In an interview with Ezra Klein on ‘The ezra klein show’, Ta-Nehesi Coates advised young journalists and writers to get off twitter. “Twitter can help like any other tool, but I’m not sure you need it. I’m not clear on that.” He noted.
Some young writers have of course gained a lot of audience though their social media activities. The Congolese born British writer JJ Bola is an example of them. He feeds his 18k followers on Twitter with words that enlighten, surprise and amuse them. He just published his first novel ‘No place to call home’, that will be presented this weekend at Africa writes in London.
But not everybody is JJ Bola. Besides, people follow him for his words, social media is just an instrument to communicate these words. At the same time, Bola published an article last year here on medium with the title: ‘Social media is killing your writing career’. “ My suggestion is this, take some time out, evaluate how much time you are spending on social media, and what it is that you consume, and what you could instead be consuming or creating in that time. Disconnect your internet, and finally go and write. Your perfect novel awaits.” He wrote.
“Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet” – Zadie Smith.medium.com
Social media is social but there’s nothing social about writing. Writing is a necessity and it is only though a difficult struggle of invisible lonely hours that a writer is born. Excellence is found in solitude. Be the next JJ Bola. Remember to log out and put those words on paper. And when your novel is done — publish a photo on twitter and ask your followers to read it.