I swore I wouldn’t. Social media is only good if you do it well, but how many social media sites can one writer do well and still write her book? I’ve done Facebook for a long while and have a healthy following. For posting news, sharing events, offering contests, and simply getting the opinions of readers who matter, Facebook is my go-to site.
So why join Instagram? Instagram is just about taking pictures, right? But pictures alone? Why would a writer do that?
Well, that’s an interesting question. Did you know that I was a photographer before I was a writer? I actually taught photography for a while – was probably a better teacher than doer, as the old saw goes, but my pictures are all still pretty good. I take a lot of them and often, meaning that my phone, iPad, and computer are packed with them. In that sense, Instagram would be right down my alley. Funny, Instagram prides itself on its filters, like its followers have never tinkered with iPhoto before. I tinker all the time. If it isn’t adding contrast to my shots, it’s enhancing saturation or highlights or definition. Whether shooting with an iPhone, a compact Leica, or a full-size Nikon with a 70-300 mm lens, I understand that what makes a picture is less the equipment than the eye of the photographer, both at the shooting and editing stages. An example:
So I knew I could post good pictures, ones with my own signature look. Still, joining Instagram wasn’t an impulsive decision. I did a ton of research, including studying other authors’ posts. Some focused on the author’s work, some focused on the author’s family, some were simply of the look-at-me-signing-my-book-in-Italy kind of thing. Some were truly artful and, in that, an inspiration.
Mind you, I didn’t find a lot of authors on Instagram. I suspect many question the purpose of it, just as I did. But the more I looked, the more intrigued I became. It struck me that Instagram isn’t simply about posting pictures of my breakfast. Well, if I were Kim Kardashian it might be. But I ain’t her. No, for me it would be about offering readers something of quality and thought that was different from what I already offer them on FB or Twitter.
So. What’s different?
For starters, my Instagram author photo is more casual and fun than the one I use on other social media sites. Same with my bio. “I eat/live/write New England” sums up my Instagram theme. I’ll be posting photos of my New England, my desk and desktop, even teasers from my books in the form of screen shots as I work. Some photos will offer writing tips, like one of the timer I use to help with self-discipline. Some will be of typically New England food, such as maple syrup, lobster, and fiddleheads.
What really makes the photos I post on Instagram different, though, is the personal angle. That is MY computer you’ll be seeing, MY desk, MY colander with the fiddleheads I just bought at the market. Those are MY blue fingernails on the BLUEPRINTS cover I just received, MY grandchildren with me in VT. Yes, that screen shot of my manuscript is taken from what I wrote just moments ago.
Does it sound (and look) like I’m having fun? Well, that’s the bottom line. I am. I’m using my art eye again and having a good time of it. I’m at instagram.com/barbaradelinsky. Take a look and see what you think.
Not on Instagram? Perhaps a daughter or friend might check it out on your behalf, even follow me so that she can keep you apprised of new posts. Oh, and if you know of an author on Instagram, I’d love to follow him or her, if only in support of our field.
Another request? I know I’m supposed to set up hashtags, so I came up with #bdbooks, #read2escape, and #write2escape. But I’m still trying to figure out how, when, and why to use them. Help!
Do you do Instagram? If so, why? What do you get out of it? How often do you check it? What inspires a “like”? Any and all tips are welcome, here. I’m still a total novice!