The Audience

Writing is why I am here on social media, of course. None of this next separately really merits its own full individual post, I just thought they were sort of related and interesting. We know opening social media – in this case, Instagram – is usually, err, interesting.

One thing as an author I DISLIKE is anyone out there asserting they may somehow speak for what I do:

[From Instagram.]

“Most times?” Uh, according to whom? Him, it seems, based on that post.

As for me: I know how I write. And I do not write a novel like that. Every chapter, every page, every line, means a lot to me.

I do NOT “cobble together” a book from one or two “cool” scenes.

I firmly believe if you try to “fake” it as a writer, you will get found out. There are thorough readers out there who can spot an attempted “put on” job. Indeed there are readers who might it seems take matters to a whole other level. LOL!:

[From Instagram.]

When I see a post like that, though, I must admit I don’t really know what to make of it. Obviously it is a laugh. Still, it is also evidence there are “book bloggers” and “bookstagrammers” and others out there who seem, err, exceptionally passionate readers, that’s for sure.

Also on some’s wish list:

[From Instagram.]

I see this a lot on social media. And, yes, I have read women characters written by some men and I have found myself appalled. Often I have thought: “Has this dude ever had a genuine conversation with, let alone a sexual relationship with, any actual flesh and blood woman?”

Umm, don’t try to answer that. Let’s keep it a rhetorical question. LOL!

Ultimately, every writer knows that for the audience it is about the words… and that audience does, too:

[From Instagram.]

I guess that is actually also pretty obvious given the medium of writing. After all, we don’t know precisely what a character “looks like” in a novel to nearly the same extent we would from a photograph, so one cannot “fall in love” with what is “seen.” So, naturally, one falls for the words.

That is also why so many readers become so invested in who plays a (in particular beloved) character in any screen adaptation. An actor in many respects comes to “represent” the character in the book in many minds. Once seen, that representation on-screen cannot be unseen.

Speaking of actors, back on Monday evening I saw several Instagram stories from a woman actor I have followed for a while due to someone else I follow having made her known to me. I will not identify her. She wrote that she is deleting her “10,000” followers account and creating a new one, and this from one story (which I screen-captured) seems the gist as to why:

[From Instagram Stories.]

Here is a translation:

[Google Lens translation. Screen capture by me.]

None of us can do anything about Instagram’s mysterious internal workings, really. And it is no secret all social media is pushing accounts at us that pay for ads; unless you pay, you are not going to be “as seen.” Simple, unfortunately.

More importantly (to me, anyway), she notes a majority of her followers are abroad and men, and seems to imply there is something “wrong” with that; and that would also seem to have to include me.

In a follow-up story Tuesday morning in which she wrote that she had received several messages from men (indeed, the second I had read that “masculine” word, I suspected she had put her foot in it and would have to explain that further) wondering if they are welcome to follow her new account, she shared that she has nothing against men, just a lack of “engagement.” I found that “clarification” unsatisfactory given I have seen posts with lots of comments that go unacknowledged by her; many followers are clearly “engaged” from their end but “ignored” from hers. (I have commented a few times and been both acknowledged and unacknowledged.)

Taking her “engagement” assertion at face value as truthful, I feel it is worth remembering that we do NOT get to decide who will be our followers (unless we have a private account) and/or who chooses to like our posts and/or comments, etc., or even if followers choose simply to be “unengaged.” (After all, not everyone wants to like/comment on posts. And remember social media platforms do “push” content at us, particularly ads, and make it tougher to find those we actually do follow, so sometimes “unengagement” may not be a follower’s “choice.”) Most of my Instagram followers are women, as are insofar as I know most of those who actually buy my books. Regardless I am grateful for every legit person who follows me and buys my books. (Lately, I am getting a lot of “sp@m” likes and followers on here, and it is often difficult to spot a real person amidst the “sp@mmers,” so if you are real and I have “ignored” you, I apologize.)

To be honest, if every follower here or on Instagram commented on my every post, and I had to respond to all of them, I would not have time to write books. It seems to me if I was a little-known actor, I would not be disparaging any decent and legitimate followers as “not quality” or “unengaged” and just be thrilled to have them all even if not all of them are setting off fireworks every time I posted a selfie. But that is me, I suppose.

And while we are on the subject of acting:

[From Instagram.]

I know I am always pleased to finish a book I had been writing possibly for a year or two.

However, quickly, once I am “unemployed” again, I do find I miss the writing…

[Photo by Leah Kelley on]

…and so it is on to the next book. LOL!

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂