Therapy, Relationships, Writing

Making Real Connections in a Digital World

Guest Post by Melissa Sercia, Author of Blood and Magic, and Flesh and Bone.
How do you use social media?

In the vast world of cyberspace, it is becoming increasingly harder to make real connections with readers and writers. Social media posts seem to range from constant “buy my book” ad campaigns, to repeated retweets of other people’s original posts. It is hard to stand out. Attracting new followers can be challenging. I have found that engaging sincerely with people can make all the difference. When you become an individual, rather than a robot, fellow writers and readers are more likely to follow you, and real friendships can be built.

One of the first things I participated in were weekly writer chats on twitter. This is where a group of writer’s come together to discuss a weekly writing related theme. The themes can range from plotting, character development, overcoming writer’s block, to even role playing through the voice of one of your characters (my personal favorite). The host or moderator will ask a series of engaging questions over the span of about an hour and everyone gets to answer and engage with each other. By the end of the chat, you will have most likely made new friends and new followers, and learned something new and inspiring for your writing.

Another great way to find like-minded people is with hashtags. Some of the most engaging hashtags are #amwriting, #writerscommunity, and #writetip. In searching through these, you may find insightful posts that you would like to share. The key here is to not just retweet it, but to retweet it with your own personal comment. Share how the post affected you. Talk about why you are retweeting it. I love to see writing advice with a personal connection to it. Otherwise, your feed will just look like a ticker of everyone else’s thoughts. I want to know who you are. Adding your own personal comment when you retweet, allows people a glimpse into your own uniqueness.

Lastly, make it a rule that if you are going to like a post, leave a comment as well. Comments start conversations. And that’s what it’s really all about. When you show active engagement with a post that you like, the person posting will want to engage back. Can you imagine, if in person, we just smiled and nodded to everything someone said without responding? We wouldn’t learn anything new or make any real connections. I tend to look at this in the same way on social media. When you post something, you do so in hopes of getting responses. So do the same for others. This is how real connections are made.

I am by no means an expert on the matter, I just know what has worked for me. And I’ve made some great friends from practicing these habits. As social media changes and evolves, I am always learning and finding new ways to engage. I don’t want to be a robot. I have something to say, and I want to hear what others have to say as well. The writing community on twitter is a welcoming and supportive one. So, what are you waiting for? Log on and start engaging!

If you want to know more about Ms. Sercia, please visit:

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