Adventures in writing part 20 – a personal view by Stuart G Yates

It’s been some weeks since I’ve written anything.

Lots of reasons for this, but I suppose the main one was an almost total rejection of social media as a means to promote. It had been brewing up inside me for quite some time. The endless stream of writers, editors, interviewers, all of them spouting off about how great they were, how much the world owed them, and I knew, right then, right there, that I would never, ever buy any of their books. So, equally, why on earth would anyone ever buy my work? They hit the ‘like’ button, but nothing ever comes of it, so what is the point? There is none, and that is the point!

I’m not gregarious, not at all out-going. I prefer to sit in the corner, smile politely, self-effacing, quiet, ‘humble as the dust’ as the Taoists say. I find it all so uncomfortable to pontificate over how sublime and life changing my words are. Because they’re not. I write to entertain. Novels. Thrillers. Escapism. That is my medium. I don’t shout from the roof-tops at how great I am, and I can’t stand people that do. So I’ve turned my back on Facebook. Twitter is better, because I don’t understand what people say, with all those weird hash-tags and Cyrillic looking web-site addresses. Better to live in ignorance. Someone told me that they were unhappy that I did not think FB worked, and that actually it took ‘a special type of person’ to achieve success. Thanks. And good to know you think of yourself as ‘special’.


That’s the only word to describe it all really.

I remember in the early days, writers lived in a strange, self-contained world. Lonely, but happy.  I would sit in my room, my only friend the typewriter. I’d write all day, every day, and I’d create worlds that I slipped into, populated with characters that became my friends. They weren’t real, of course. Imagined, created by me. The only difference with Facebook ‘friends’ is that they are not created by me. They exist. But are they any more ‘real’ than those ones I penned all those years ago. Unless I’ve actually met them (and I actually know perhaps only one-third of my total number of friends on FB) how can I be sure? This is coming close to all those horror stories of stalkers, and ‘dirty old men’ who lure girls into meetings and ultimately attacks. The film ‘Hard Candy’ took this to its natural conclusion, and it makes for deeply uncomfortable viewing. So, it follows, that if these people are not ‘real’, why should we believe a single word they say?

There’s a lot of material here for a whole host of good, heart-stopping thrillers. Perhaps I’ll write one. Nobody will buy it, but at least I would have got it down on the page and out of my system.

I got a lovely message the other day, from someone who had read my thriller ‘Burnt Offerings’. They said if it had been a movie it would have been ‘one of the best gangster films’ he had ever seen. To say that lifted me was an understatement. There is more honesty and good grace in such words than anything spouted by the self-aggrandisement one sees constantly on FB. All it does is switch me off.

Of course, I probably will occasionally post something there, but nowhere near as much as I once did. I’m going to begin to hone down my ‘friends’ too, cull the ones I don’t know, or can’t stand. The ones I wouldn’t choose to know in real-life. There are better ways to get ones voice known. Writing novels is the best way, for me. And as more people pick up a book or two, and see what I do, then they’ll pick up another, tell a friend, and the word will get round. It may take a long, long time but I’m not here for instant fixes, or multi-million sales, I’m here to write.

Simple as.


Glenn Stuart’s latest paranormal thriller is available in paperback, and it’s the best thing I’ve done in that genre. Visit my website for details of where to buy it, and thanks for dropping by.





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6 responses to “Adventures in writing part 20 – a personal view by Stuart G Yates

  1. You are so right Stuart. I too am getting fed up with working FB. My blog is on my web site. Instead of working FB, I am working to drive traffic to my web site. We’ll see. In the mean time, keep sharing your thoughts. You are right on point.

    • Thanks for dropping by Brian! Yes, I am totally fed up with it too. So many ‘I am the great I am’ authors out there, and so many shysters. I got sucked in, did some interviews, paid the fee, and the end result was that one person bought one of my books. So…I’m going to be like you, keep my blog as the main vehicle to my website, and do it that way. So much more personal and, hopefully, effective. Take care, and thanks for your words.

  2. L. Jagi Lamplighter (Wright)

    Your experience seems to fit with what my editor told me, Stuart…that people seem to react negatively to people promoting on social media. He (my editor) gave me a list of things he said were successful. I’d be happy to share it with you if you want to write me directly. (If you can’t access my email from below, let me know. But it all boils down to just what you decided…blogging and sharing ideas can attract readers, but self-promotion tends to turn readers off. One can always do what you did here…post one’s blog post on FB so some of us can follow it and see what you have to say. 😉

    • That is REALLY interesting Jagi, because for a long time I was worried I might be the only person who thought like that. I would love to see that list, and thanks for sharing. Hey – as a quick piece of unscruppulous self-promotion – how did you like that book of mine you bought?

      • Jagi

        Hey, sorry it took me time to get back to you. We are changing computers and I can’t get to my mail properly.

        I have not had a chance to read it yet, Stuart…I have not had a chance to read anything that was not for work since I got it. But I hope to have a look at it soon!

      • Hi Jagi. That’s ok, whenever you get the chance.

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