Eating the Paste on Facebook

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Intern(al) Affairs

All I want for Christmas...
...Is two weeks of my life back. Rather than celebrating the holiday with my family in the comfort of my home, I celebrated it in a fog of anesthesia and painkillers. The weekend before our last week of school leading up to vacation I found myself in the emergency room doubled over with a stomach ache that felt a lot like a small dumpster fire right below my rib cage. It was 4:00am when I woke my husband up and dragged him out of bed to take me to the hospital. By 11:00am the next day I was in surgery having my gallbladder removed. Turns out it was four times its natural size (not that I know what that is but it sounds bad) and super infected. Next time my stomach hurts like that I'm just going to go play in traffic.

The best part of the whole scenario is that I had never had surgery before and it turns out I'M A GIANT BABY. I left my husband in my room when they wheeled me down to the OR but the minute the nurse started explaining the surgery to me I started to sob. Uncontrollably. Ugly crying with no way to wipe my face because I was connected to every machine they could find. I was so freaked out they had to call up to the floor and have them send my husband down.

So they give me the sedative as they're wheeling me out of prep and down the hall to the operating suite and I remember asking the nurse how old the OR was because it had that cool old turquoise tile on the walls. She said it was about fifty years old, then asked me why. That was about the time the sedative started to kick in and they got me on the table. The last thing I remember is the nurse asking me if I knew anything about Belchertown State School. I think I mumbled something about it being my favorite and may have mentioned my thesis...

The moral of the story? Even under anesthesia I still babble about asylums.

A few weeks before I had elected to start my internship with the Santa Fe Writers Project a little early. I agreed to take over doing social media marketing as the press wasn't seeing the level of interaction the founder, Andrew Gifford, had hoped for.

As authors, most of us have discovered the value of an active social media presence. As much as we might hate it, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become necessary evils. Luckily SFWP has a lot going on right now, making it really easy to create content and post daily. The press just opened up their annual literary awards contest which is one of the largest events the press hosts. This year Andrew was hoping to increase the number of entrants so we took to social media to do it, reviving the press' Instagram feed.

Even though Facebook is currently the largest social media platform with the greatest number of users, Instagram has overtaken Facebook in relevance. The algorithms that allow Facebook posts to reach a tailored audience are complicated and can't yield any kind of marked results. Instagram, on the other hand, has simple algorithms driven by hashtags, much like Twitter. Many social media users have actually abandoned both Facebook and Twitter in favor of using just Instagram which multiplies engagement opportunities exponentially. All that is a long-winded way of saying there's already been a major increase in traffic to the SFWP feed, most of it direct interaction with the posts and the individual authors whose work is being tagged and shared.

Starting this week I'll continue to work with SFWP's social media accounts but with a greater focus on the next issue of the Quarterly. The contest is open and running until July 15th so I will continue to post about the contest but I will also be working to solicit submissions to the Quarterly, post Kindle daily and monthly deals, and promote the spring releases which I'm very excited about.

Since I'm already in the swing of things, I know that I will be getting a great deal of experience in marketing and working with a team to create engaging content. I also have the pleasure of working closely with Anne Pinkerton, a Bay Path MFA alum! Andrew will also be having me read some of the contest entries and some of the Quarterly submissions which I'm also very much looking forward to.

I'm sure that my understanding of this internship will continue to grow and change as the semester goes on but right now I'm really having a great time watching the interaction and the excitement that SFWP stirs up in writers and readers alike.

Signing off for now but I insist you go check out SFWP!