Sunday, December 9, 2012

Writing and social media

I am a big fan of social media and I never have enough of using it in the most creative ways, especially when it comes to areas ab initio considered as an elitist domain. Take, for instance, literature and writing in general.

When the Twitter was introduced, many adepts of the purity of writing complained about the deterioration of the quality of writing: how can you say something important within 140 characters? However, there are many who tried to use this opportunity and even succeeded to create books out of their tweets but most importantly, to promote their ideas, get in touch with journalists, readers and other writers. 

A couple of weeks ago - I know, my blog was not updated for quite a while, but some intensive work was done offline - I followed a book club discussion on Twitter about a book included on my priority list of reading: Shani Boiangiu - The people of forever are not afraid. The author answered in real time to the questions marked with the hashtag, by using an open way of the social media. It was a good opportunity for the media to ask her motivations and sources of inspiration, but also to explain some of the characters to the readers. Was an entertaining 30-minute discussion with a lot of news and tips that any writer should consider.

Another 2.0 discussion I followed relatively recently was an excellent online conversation with Salman Rushdie on Goodreads, on the occasion of the launch of his newest book, the memoir Joseph Anton. How did it work: a couple of hours in advance a chat was opened to the Goodreads members interested in asking Rushdie a question. A moderator collected them, organized the material and submitted to Rushdie to answer in real time. Due to the political sensitivity of the Rushdie's case, there were many online stalkers - 'on the Internet you can be exposed to any possible insult' around, but the majority of the questions - over 156 when I counted the last time - were decent and up to the point. For instance, he was asked what were the sources of inspiration for this memoir, what is his recommandation for the writers in process - initially Rushdie wanted to be a cricket player, how does he manage to live underground - 'the novelist's role is to engage with the world'. Now, I'm looking forward to read this book. 

Social media for avid readers contributes a lot in helping them to select their choices and better organize their wish list. 

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