Don't use social media sites.

The worst places for writers to be are those where significant interaction with readers takes place. That means garbage piles like Facebook, X, and Instagram, mainly, but can extend to other sites and services around the internet. For example, a site called Goodreads is a nightmare a writer should never voluntarily enter. Just don’t.

The reason writers go to these places is to elicit praise from readers. They might not admit this, but it’s true. They want people to xeet or toot at them about how magnificent they are and then go about the rest of their writing day energized by the power of approval.

The problem is that any writer who attaches their self-esteem to others’ actions asks for trouble. True confidence comes from within and is bolstered by genuine success. People can tell you all day long that you’re the second coming of Ernest Hemingway, but unless you’re in contention for a Nobel, that’s probably empty praise.

Worse, if writers are so needy that they require this kind of affirmation, they’re probably fragile enough that the opposite will destroy them. And since the internet is full of mouth-breathing a-holes who can only get hard if they’re tearing others down, it’s dangerous to let yourself depend on the goodwill of strangers if you’re the sensitive type.

There are options for this. Blogging is one. Microblogging is another. But stay clear of those wretched hives of scum and villainy.