Connor Sansby, Whisky and Beards Editor-In-Chief and Bookie poet aficionado, had a chat with us about social media’s place in the creative process. Here are his top tips:
Know your platform
Most of us are scrolling social media on our phones, so long pieces of work can look overwhelming. Poets and writers need to think about where their audience are and how they want to consume content. So does that mean long form work can’t be shared on social media? Not at all. Connor suggests attracting the reader’s attention with teaser lines from their poem rather than linking through to a website with the full piece. Also great for getting readers to visit your site, double win.
Use the limitations to your advantage
Social media has opened up new opportunities. You might have seen the six word story on Twitter, or be familiar with Rupi Kaur on Instagram. What these pieces and projects have done is use the character restrictions on each platform to create ‘micro’ work. Quicker to read, potentially quicker to write, and easily digestible.
It can be daunting putting your work out there. But part of the creative process is getting feedback. With literary journals once something is published, it’s there forever. On social media people can get feedback from likes, shares or comments so they can see what’s going well and what they can change. There’s a whole load of Facebook groups dedicated giving and receiving feedback. But remember – social media can be brutal, so you need a thick skin.
Find your tribe
Not every platform works for every person. Some might like the familiarity of Facebook groups. Others enjoy the fast paced nature of Twitter. For some it’s the visuals on Instagram. It also depends on who your audience is. If you’re targeting young adults you might have to consider TikTok, whereas Twitter is great for finding an agent.
Whichever way you play the game of sharing your creative work, whether by teasers of short stanzas or by dabbling in the world of micro poetry, there is an audience out there and social media can help you find it. The best advice Connor can give is to find a way that works for you and go with it. When people are genuinely into your writing and creativity, they’ll go with the flow.