After a long time of hearing about the benefits of using Instagram to connect with fans and promote one’s work, I finally caved and signed up for an account (instagram.com/jmdwriteist). Last week I made an announcement on my various social media pages, and just yesterday I began posting images and linked the account to Facebook and Twitter (unfortunately, Google+ doesn’t seem to have this option). However, despite the excitement of adding yet another way of connect with people, the growing social media trend creates a bit of a conundrum for me.
Social media has always been a challenge for me. I suppose I do adequately enough at it, but I certainly don’t use it to its fullest potential. Rather, I use it sparingly. That’s not for a lack of being social. In fact, if you’ve caught me at a convention, you know that’s the case. It’s just that, though Facebook, Twitter and Google+ do help me connect with fans, friends and colleagues who I don’t see regularly (and I enjoy this fact), I’ve always been a face-to-face sort of person.
I don’t talk much on my cell, and even when I was a kid, I’d walk to someone’s house rather than make a phone call (I’m young enough that talking on the phone–a land-line, that is–with a friend was common, so much so that I stood out for my practice of making house calls with my friends). When a problem arises, I’d rather sit down with someone and sort it out than text back and forth. Hell, when I was still Catholic, I’d opt for a face-to-face confession with the priest (which undoubtedly turned into a discussion) rather than sitting behind a slatted wall. In short, I value physical contact.
Adding to this, I enjoy a quiet, private life–well, perhaps not always quiet, but I take pride in not having everything about myself on the internet. More, I’m of the opinion that a writer or artist who is constantly on social media is doing themselves a disservice in the practice of their craft (multi-tasking is not truly possible, and if one is posting about drinking coffee, they’re not working on their next novel). In fact, I had as early as last year hoped to write an entire blog piece on all this–apparently it’s going to happen now, after a fashion.
On the other hand, the word is going around (and I suppose it’s been going around for quite some time; I’ve heard it before) that writers and artists are being measured by their social media presence. I would have thought the quality and even quantity of one’s work would speak for itself, but apparently this is not the case. So to get ahead, one must be social on social media. And thus my conundrum.
While on one hand, I have envisioned my career as a writer and artist since I was a kid (there’s nothing else I’ve ever wanted to do) and this will apparently help, I am stuck on the fact that I don’t want to compromise my personal beliefs or even what comes natural to me. It’s a sticky situation for me as I’ve been taught from early on to practice what you preach, and I do my best to uphold that. I’m a man of principles, as uncommon as that may be in today’s age, and I pride myself on that.
I’m certain there’s a formula that will work for me, and so the new Instagram account is part of my efforts to increase my internet presence, for what it’s worth. Though I hope, honestly, it’ll mean even better connections with my friends and fans (which seems, separate of this initiative, to be happening more and more; and I’m happy about that). Just give me some time to work out all the kinks so that I can do this in a way that won’t lead to self-loathing. But, all in all, you should be seeing a more active J. M. DeSantis on social media going forward.
That said, there is still one more web-initiative (for lack of a better term) which I’m putting the finishing touches on and planning to launch in the coming weeks. It was vaguely referenced back in the Spring when I launched my Zazzle and Society6 stores (which are doing fairly well, I might add). Of course, I’ll make an announcement about that as soon as it is up and running.
Last, for my Chadhiyana fans, I know the delay in issue 5 has been severe, but I promise you I submitted the issue back in late July. Currently Rosarium Publishing has been doing some work on a few different initiatives of their own (behind the scenes), and I patiently await the edits on that issue. As soon as I have them, it’s my hope that Chadhiyana #5 will be quickly made available. In the meanwhile, please enjoy the on-going Gentleman Cthulhu comics and the forthcoming collection of the first year of comics, if you’re also a fan of those.
Stay tuned, there’s much more coming down the pipe. I only ask that you, as always, be patient.