I just read a blog post, and left a rather lengthy comment, that got me thinking about the way writers use social networking. Also, about the differences between male and female writers, in a general sense (as this was the theme of the original blog post). The original comment I left is below, in italics…
“I’m the girl who broke her ankle on the way to the homecoming dance, tripping down the stairs. I couldn’t even make it TO the dance floor first. I get along better with men than with women, most of the time. And, I’m not the best at what’s considered “normal” female conversation/support. I’m the kind who shows support by cracking a joke, or relying on sarcasm and funny stories to raise spirits. I’m also the kind who will tell a female friend to knock it off, if they’re obsessing over “it’s the WAY he said goodbye this morning.” Though, I will admit, I really cannot shut-up!
That said, I don’t find women writers annoying in writing circles or social media. At least, not any more than I find men annoying in the same circles. People are people and they’ll all be different. Actually, I find that kind of nice. If we were all the same? Not only would I be bored to tears, I don’t think the world can handle more than one of me.
I’ll tweet/blog/etc. about writing, particularly on my professional accounts, most of the time. And, I will curb my tongue (in real life – truckers and sailors run screaming, covering their “virgin” ears) in order to keep it professional. But, I’ll also tweet about more personal matters – family, things I’ve read, what I watched last night, etc.on occasion. Why? Because all of that plays a part in my writing as well. The fact that I took anthropology as a college major, play video games like Left 4 Dead and Fallout (Oh my beloved Xbox, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…), love horror movies with a passion, am a homeschooling mother, etc. – all of that will inevitably spill over in how I write.
Besides, I know I don’t want to ONLY read advertisements. I don’t mind them now and then. I certainly want to hear about the books. But, I’d also like to be able to find something I can relate to in the writer – the person, authentic and genuine, behind the writer.”
So – female writers? More annoying than male writers? Less annoying? Does it matter (i.e. is there really a gender-based difference)?
When you decide to follow, or not follow a writer on Twitter, or Like/not like a writer on facebook, or even just sit down with fellow writers at a writing group – do you want to know anything about them as people, or are you only interested in their writing? Does knowing about them, who they are and what roles they play in real life, help you connect with their writing?
For me, obviously everything above applies, but much more as well (hence why I had to blog about it).
I’ve known much chattier men than women, at times. But, I have noticed that most men, in a social networking setting, try to keep their personal lives personal. Women, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more open with what’s going on in their lives. This is all very general of course, there are highly private women, and men you’ll never be able to shut-up. But, I have observed that this is usually the case.
Part of the draw in social networking, to my understanding, is that it gives your audience a chance to get to know you. If all you’re giving them is book info. and nothing else – ever – to me, that seems to defeat the purpose. How can they connect with you, in any minute fashion, if you never give them a taste of your personality.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that I think you should have all night “my husband is cheating on me, I know it!” ranting sessions with your followers, facebook “friends”/fans, blog readers, etc. (at least, not on a professional site/account). But, do chat it up. Do give me some small sense of who you are.
To me, as I said in my comment, who you are spills over in your writing. A good example would be Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame. She’s Mormon. Finding out that she’s Mormon gave me greater insight to the book series. The fact that all the Native Americans have Jewish names, for example, suddenly made a LOT of sense.
You put a little bit of yourself into your writing. Most of the time, that’s what makes it worth the read! So, why not put a little bit of yourself into a tweet or status update or blog?
Then again, maybe I’m misunderstanding the original meaning behind the post that put me on this thought-train. Perhaps I’m responding more to the comments left on that post than to the actual post itself. Either way, this is where I’m at.