Clarbojahn Presents….Writer, Stacy Jensen!

Ladies and Gents, I present…. Stacy Jensen! I met her on my blog a while back when I blogged about my memoir. Yes, I write memoir. The entries have been far and in-between but slowly there is content growing. Stacy has been a stalwart commenter for me and when I asked her to do a guest post she said yes, to my delight. She has some wonderful insights to share with us.  

The Key to Social Media: Do What Fits You 

Social Media-Stickoutinacrowd

By Stacy S. Jensen

Social media is wonderful.

Social media is horrible.

I lean more toward wonderful, but some days it’s not so great.

Sometimes, I hear a bit of exhaustion in blog comments, Face book status updates and in Tweets. When a new social media site is mentioned, I hear groans, “Oh, please, not another one.”

I understand.

Here are some ways to lighten the social media load:

  1. Write first, then socialize. Last year, I did the opposite. This year, I have more than 130 pages in my memoir written.
  2. Turn off all email notification in your profiles. If you visit your Facebook or Twitter feeds, you don’t need the emails. Turn them off.
  3. Change your blog schedule. Three posts a week is my magic number. Some bloggers post every day and others post once a week. Figure out what works best for you.
  4. Say yes to what you want to do and no to what you don’t. There are a lot of fun, wacky and time-consuming events in the blogosphere. Evaluate what works for your writing schedule, your blog and your personal life.
  5. Develop a social media schedule. Figure out how many blogs you want to visit each week, then divide that by the number of days you want to surf the Internet. Consider ways to show your love by leaving a comment, tweeting a link or sharing a link on Facebook. Use the share buttons on the blog to make it easy and quick.
  6. Take a break. I took a short hiatus around the holidays. I’ve seen other bloggers take off weeks or months. It’s okay. I think it’s wonderful when a blogger, who is a writer first, says, “Hey, I need to focus on my manuscript. I’ll be back.” Many of your readers are also writers and should respect this. When I see a post about a blogging break, I cheer and comment, “I’ll be here when you return.”

The importance of social media in the new publishing landscape whether it’s a Big Six publisher, an agent or a self-published author is clear. Reading all the expert and newbie blogs makes me understand it’s a numbers game of monthly blog hits and subscribers to establish a platform.

However, I cling to the idea that it’s really all about my writing. I need to focus on building a strong writing foundation or my platform means nothing.

Are you an out-of-control social media butterfly or do you have your social network under control?

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Stacy Jensen

Stacy Jensen

Stacy S. Jensen loves her social network time after she’s finished working on her memoir and picture book manuscripts for the day. She used to work as a newspaper journalist. If you have time, visit her blog, like her Facebook page or send her a Tweet. If you don’t, she understands.

Blog: http://stacysjensen.blogspot.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/StacySJensen

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ – !/StacySJensen 

Photo: SocialMedia-stickoutinacrowd

I took this photo in Tanzania. Thought it might go with this. This zebra stands out in this crowd of wildebeest.

Thanks to Stacy Jensen for this informative and fun guest post. I am amazed at how small the world is. I recently organized a crit group from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MidAtlantic conference goers. One of the members had come across Stacy’s guest blog on Julie Hedlund’s 12X12in2012 blog and asked if I knew her. It was with great pleasure to tell him I did. And it has been an honor having Stacy here on my blog. If there are any questions please write them in the comments below. We love comments.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

And if you’d like more of these posts just click the follow button or click the email subscription button on the right hand side of the blog post. That way you will get emails notifications of each new post in your inbox. Thanks for reading! 

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, guest post, social networking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Clarbojahn Presents….Writer, Stacy Jensen!

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Great post Stacy and I didn’t know Clar was writing a memoir, so fab that you two met.
    I’m re-evaluating my social media all the time to make sure I have balance, though I find it hard to write at 5.30 am, so I clear the social media decks then instead or thereabouts. Sounds like you’ve got it sorted Stacy. Thanks for the tips!

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  2. Thanks Clar for having me. Catherine, I’m typically writing by around 5:30 a.m. on weekdays. It’s part of my new schedule. I get up when Hubby gets up and write for about an hour before kiddo wakes up. By changing my schedule up — writing first and not commenting on blogs, etc. I will begin writing page 191 this morning.

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  3. I like your zebra picture Ms. Bowman-Jahn! I think Ms. Jensen gives good advice here. I like how wordpress automatically posts things to twitter and facebook so you don’t have to worry about it. I like Ms. Jensen’s blog too!

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  4. I’m in Catherine’s boat – not a morning writer. Not really a morning person at all! But reading emails and blogs in the AM gets me excited about writing later in the day, once the kids are off to school. Thanks for your wonderful tips!

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    • That’s great Cathy. I realized at one point late last year, I was reading blogs and using my comments almost like “morning pages.” So, I realized I needed to change my writing habits. With the wee one in the house, I was too exhausted to think straight by the time he was tucked into bed.

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      • clarbojahn says:

        I agree with Stacy. Once the wee ones are in bed, that’s where we belong, too. I remember long days of sleep deprivation and them extending into years. (My kids woke up at five and I was working evening shift. No time to write there. ) Although I did from time to time write in my journal. My hat goes off to Stacy for doing real writing while she’s raising the future president. 🙂

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  5. This was great, Stacy (and thanks, Clar!) — I find it all too easy to get distracted by social media. I’m learning, but slowly, to make my writing time my WORK time, and to treat it as such.

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    • Beth, I have friend who uses an egg timer to monitor social media time. I have tried that a few times, but fear naptime might end too soon with a timer going off. There are also several programs that will lock your Internet out for awhile. I love what you said: “to make my writing time my WORK time, and to treat it as such,” so very true. Our writing is work! Fun work, but it is work.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I tried using an egg timer for a while but just ignored it when it went off so it didn’t work for me. On Tuesdays I have a Pilates Class in the morning so am always running out of time then. I do best when I wake up at 5:30 AM to write, too. I love the quiet time and usually do some good writing. I love it that you consider this work. I guess if I put the alarm on I would think of it as work, too. Maybe I’ll try that sometime. I just dislike the alarm so much, though. And I love just waking up early by chance and taking advantage of it then. 🙂

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  6. Great post Stacy. I find most days that social media is just plain taxing (although I love me some Pinterest and find that outlet awesome, although, distracting). These are some great tips though and I will make sure to keep them in mind as I continually try to balance work with play (social media with writing that is). 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Welcome, Jenny. So happy you found us.

      You’ll find that if you use these tips you won’t be as unbalanced in the social media networks. You’ll find that you won’t be as taxed with all the different things. I actually deleted all my boards by mistake on Pinterest and haven’t had the time to go back and try to figure it out. If you figure it out, come back and tell me, OK? 🙂

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  7. msdiamondhill says:

    Well done for the tps. It’s really getting difficult for me to go with all the blogs and writing and groups and blah and blah and blah!
    thanks for help.

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  8. msdiamondhill says:

    And I forgot to tell you I have tagged you on my blog for the campainge
    http://madiamondhill.wordpress.com/blog

    Like

  9. Linda Baie says:

    Wise words, Stacey. I am looking at many blogs now & lately just unsubscribed from some. I am sorry I had to do it, but just had to find my own time for creating, as you have explained so well. I’ll still be reading yours, however!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Welcome, Linda. We understand the whole process of unsubscribing to blogs that no longer work for us. As it is now when I see certain blog emails in my inbox I just usually delete them hoping I’ll have more time over the weekend for reading them if they come around again, and they usually do.

      The whole social media blogging network only works if we stay on top of it and if it takes scheduling time for it then so be it. Writing has to come first. 🙂

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    • Sometimes unsubscribing is the easiest way to get it all under control. I clean out my email list, especially, if i find I am not reading the blog.

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  10. Great tips, Stacy. I’ve retweeted and will try to follow your advice, as I seem to put the cart before the horse with my writing sometimes. Clarbo, nice to e-meet you, am now following you on Twitter, too. Thank you both so much!

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  11. The checking the email vs. the writing thing – Oh brother! I make this mistake some days. When I finally clean up the email, it’s 11:00 and half the day is toast. Great advice, Stacy. It’s great to see you over here. Thanks, Clarike, for hosting Stacy – she’s fab!

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    • Oh Karen. I didn’t want to talk about the inbox. Mine has been a mess in recent days! Hanging my head. 🙂

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      • clarbojahn says:

        Welcome, Karen. Yes, I agree with you. Email takes as much time as the other media networks. I take writing seriously and write first then email. It makes it so much easier to set priorities and stick with them. I feel better when I do. I feel better at the end of the day when I have done my time in writing, weather it be memoir or picture book.

        Thanks, Karen. 🙂

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  12. Oh Stacy, Stacy, Stacy. Could you come over to my house and slap me silly? I’m obsessed! And the thing is, there’s really not much even going on in my SM world, but I can’t stop checking emails and FB groups and such. AND I’m a full-time freelancer with young twins, so I end up working till 3am like last night to catch up. I’ve got it bad, I tell ya!

    I’m thinking it’s a newbie phenomenon and it will pass once the novelty wears off. But it’s SO important for all of us, plus I love meeting all you great people. Nope, no balance here. Your tips are sound, though, and I will try to heed them!

    Thanks to you and Clar. Tweeted!

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    • You’ll figure out your groove Renee. You are freelancing with the twins too. I’m in awe. I have found that true connections will be there no matter what happens in my social media world. I’ve had to give up checking all the groups and Twitter as much with my new writing schedule. My page count has brought me peace. Plus, when Klout reconfigured the way it calculates, I ditched checking that. I also don’t check blog stats either, because I know I don’t “have” the high platform numbers the industry wants. So instead of worrying about what I don’t have, I focus on the community/network I do have.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Ha, lol, Renee. You make me smile.. With your “tweeted”. Thanks though. Appreciate it.
      Some days I have no balance either. Those are the days I go to bed frustrated and feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything.

      Remember that with twins or any young child, that that is your new project. Forget the media of social networking. I take my hat off at you. 🙂

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  13. Hannah Holt says:

    Great tips! Turning off the email notifications has been a life saver for me. But I really need to be better about setting aside a specific time to social network. Take right now. I’m supposed to be reviewing my friend’s manuscript, but instead I’m reading about how to better manage my social media time. Ironic? Alright, I’m getting back to work… Right now.

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    • Oh. That made me smile Hannah. I always enjoyed my daily newspaper schedule, because I knew at the end of my workday, the paper would be published — no other options. You are very kind to review your friend’s manuscript.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Ha ha. Congrats on getting back to work. That’s a worthy item in itself.
      I don’t get email notifications. I think I would go mad if I had them. One thing at a time for me. 🙂

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  14. Great post, Stacy and Clar. So fun that you’re both writing memoirs! Stacy, this is great advice about social media – I definitely have a love/hate relationship with it because I love the interaction but it does keep me from actual work 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Really enjoyed your advice Stacy. Yes, I get overwhelmed, even though I have set my boundaries. I’m not a morning person anymore, so it’s easier to read blogs and get inspired. I usually write in the afternoon and late evening. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

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  16. Margot Finke says:

    Love your advice list Stacy. Thank you. I can see that I need to adopt some of your social networking rules. If you don’t watch out, Facebook and others can gobble up a lot of your day.

    BOOKS for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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  17. Yes. Margot. It can gobble up time.

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  18. I am learning almost every day to navigate the social media streets better and better. I agree that the writing must come first, if you are a writer, and the rest can follow. Having a certain schedule for the blog posts, visiting and commenting on others’ posts plus Facebooking, tweeting etc. is definitely the best way to do 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Welcome, Angela. Glad you could stop and visit. Appreciate your comment. I agree a schedule is best. Found out one of my youngest commenters, Kid who reviews, does all his blog posts on the weekend or on a holiday. I take up that suggestion. Right now I blog twice a week and usually end up staying up late the night before publishing it. I love his idea of scheduling them. 🙂

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    • So true Angela, “the rest can follow.”

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  19. “Write first, then socialize”–that is my social media mantra too 🙂 Otherwise not much gets done, there is way too much fun stuff to do around here!

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  20. Nina Badzin says:

    Such a great post, Stacy. I’m definitely spending too much time on the blog, and I only post once a week! You have some great tips here. Totally agree about the email notifications. Nobody needs those. And so true that the platform means nothing without the book. I KNOW this and yet I’m spending way too much time on the social media stuff instead of the writing. Ugh. SO your advice about taking a break is good! I can’t figure out the most natural time.

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  21. Clar…thank you for providing us with such a great guest poster!
    Stacy…great seeing you at the SCBWI meeting on Sunday…it was fun looking at each other’s work!
    I appreciate your words of wisdom here…I started out the yeer thinking I ccould blog daily..hahaha! So now I am down to 2 or possibly three…but your post really helped make me feel better about keeping up with the blogging, emails, Facebook, twitter, etc. It does get to be too much…and, if one wants to be writing as well…you have to give up sleeping. 🙂
    BTW, I think someone messed with my Twitter account…had to change my password…so if anyone in the 12 x 12 group or PPBF group got an email from me yesterday or today, please delete it. This is the first time anything like that ever happened to me. 😦

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    • Vivian, Great to see you too. The daily blog schedule can be a tough one. Most daily blogs I follow tend to be a writing resource like writerunboxed.com, which is a collaborative blog with different people posting. When you find your right blogging schedule, it just works. 🙂 Sorry to hear about the Twitter account. I get spam from time to time, but just delete it. It happens.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I did get an email from you but haven’t opened it. I had emailed you first remember? Should I not open it, too??

      Awhile ago I had to change my password for twitter. I did face book too just to be on the safe side. It sucks but does happen. Don’t let it worry you too much. 🙂

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  22. Darlene says:

    Some great advice! I do get overwhelmed with social media at times. But I enjoy it and love all the new friends I have made. I will be sure to follow some of the tips Stacy.

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  23. jarmvee says:

    Thanks so much, Stacy, for allowing us to “take a break” from social media, and to encourage us to write first. This is so wise!

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  24. Julie says:

    Fantastic post Stacy and Clar! I’ve had lots of social media anxiety lately because I truly do want to be an active and supportive participant. BUT, we all have to make time for our own creativity and writing. I’m starting to get better and letting things go. I realize now I can’t comment on every blog post of every blog I follow.

    It’s funny, because I certainly don’t keep strict tabs on who typically comments on my blog and think, “where is so and so’s comment today?” So I don’t know why I presume people do that with regard to me. It’s probably a lot of ego.

    Best to just be as natural, giving and available as you can and then let the rest go. Make sure there’s enough energy for creative time.

    Anyway, food for additional thought… 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Wow, Julie! And here I thought you were super woman! lol!

      No really, I think you have a lot on the ball. I have noticed my weekends are getting busier and busier and I don’t have the time I once did for commenting either. I rarely subscribe to comments anymore. And I rarely go back and see what the comment was after mine. It’s a sacrifice but there just isn’t time for it all.

      I think what you said at the end of “Best be natural, giving and available as you can and then let the rest go. Make sure there’s enough energy for creative time. ” says it best.
      Thanks for that.
      Clar

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