More than a writer… The expanding task list of a writer.

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on transmedia narratives and how stories now flow through several mediums. I’ve listened to a few about this topic, and one in particular caught my attention because they brought up a minor issue about what the role of the creator is… is it to make sure the website is accurate and up to date, that the twitter page is working, or to create the story. What is the creator’s role and how can they do it all?

This is a question that I see popping up over and over again. Writers can no longer lock themselves away and just write. There are websites to update, blogs to write, conventions to attend,  tweets to send out and Facebook events to create. After all of that (let alone a day job), when is there time left to write? How can you be all of that and still have time to write?

And I don’t claim to have the answer. I don’t know how you can do it all. I struggle with it, all the writers I know struggle with it, but the game has fundamentally changed and people expect writer interactions and multiple means of communication. Now, I know some writers who let one or two close friends or long term fans manage their social media accounts. I know I personally would not be comfortable with that, but it seems to work well for them.

Things like hootsuite (or other social media management sites) can help manage some of the time, delegating tasks to others (either paid of volunteering) can also help, but just the simple fact that the role of the writer has so fundamentally changed is something that I think is just starting to be realized on a wide scale.

This generation of writers (people writing now, not based on age) have new challenges to navigate, and some of those are going to veer into uncharted territory. The truth of the matter is, is that we are still mastering the use of the internet as a tool for writers. It changes every day and there is no way to predict what will be the next thing that takes off and where the future is leading us.

For right now, I feel a little bit like I’m heading out to sea in a row boat and some supplies with the hope of building an engine in the future.

I’m very curious how you manage these new roles a writer takes on.

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3 Comments »

  1. bobbynash Said:

    I know how you feel. I struggle with this too. All of the non writing parts of my job, while important, can suck up a lot of time that could be possibly better spent writing. It’s like walking a tightrope sometimes.

    Bobby
    http://www.bobbynash.com

  2. Laura W. Said:

    They’re also supposed to research the market and basically be mercenary (according to some), rather than just writing what they want to write. There’s a great post over at The Write Practice about that (“Who Dictates What You Write?”).

    The good thing about social media is that if there is an audience for what you write, you’re practically guaranteed to find it even if it’s relatively small. And social media can be a great support system…even if trying to juggle all of that plus “life” is stressful as all hell.

    • Andi Judy Said:

      I love The Write Practice! Yes, social media has some wonderful benefits. It’s one of those perils and perks sort of things…there’s an uptick and a downtick.


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