Tumblr. That strange little social media website that’s been lurking in the background for years. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube, it’s never really in the headlines, and just when you wonder if it’s even still around, you’ll hear somebody mention it. It’s like it can never die.
You hear rumors about this place, about the wacky support staff, ridiculous new ideas for the app/website, and of course, you see all of the most famous and funny Tumblr posts in screenshots around the web. But what exactly is Tumblr? Is it just a place for the crazy people to hang out? Maybe! But I also think there’s an authenticity to Tumblr that you can’t really get on other social media sites. It’s mainly a place to just let loose and have fun, but, unbeknownst to many, it’s also a great writing resource!
I joined Tumblr back in 2014. I’d just moved a couple hours away from home to start my freshman year at college, and I was smack-dab in the middle of my rabid Doctor Who phase—a phase which has not yet ended. While I found lots of great friends pretty quickly, none of them were what I would call “fangirls,” and I was eager to talk to others about all of my favorite shows and books. So entered Tumblr. My best friend from high school had had one for a little while, but I’d waited because I was afraid I’d spend too much time on it. I was right—and this was before they had the handy app limit thing, so there I was, looking through Tumblr for hours on end.
I was eventually able to curb my Tumblr addiction, but I still found that it was the only social media site I really liked. I mean, I made one of my best friends through Tumblr, and we’re still friends today, even though they live across the world from me! That rarely happens anywhere else.
Recently, I’ve started bulking up my online presence to promote my writing, which means I had to do a lot of thinking about social media. One of the things I considered was Tumblr. I had a fan blog, so why not a writer’s blog, too? A nice thing about Tumblr is that you can create multiple side blogs, which means you use one login to access all of them. While a side blog doesn’t have as many capabilities as a main blog, I figured that I didn’t really need anything super fancy for my writing blog, so I went ahead and made the blog “honestreviews.” I decided to mainly use it for—you guessed it—reviews, leaving my author’s blog to focus on short stories and other things.
I will say that the writing community on Tumblr (also called writblr/writeblr/writerblr) is small, and I still haven’t quite cracked how to break into it yet—it’s not as simple as posting a writer’s lift on Twitter! But the main things I’ve taken away from my brief time as a writer on Tumblr are the posts upon posts of fantastic advice and prompts. You can get endless ideas from this place! If you’re looking for something to spark your imagination, a search of a few seconds on Tumblr is bound to yield something that gets you going.
In my experience, unless you make a genius viral post, it takes a long time to build up followers on Tumblr; but the thing is, that isn’t really the point, which is why your follower count isn’t even publicly displayed. The point is to have fun doing what you love! Tumblr is a great place to throw out some experimental writing and test the waters to see how it goes. No one will judge you, and you may be able to get some good feedback. I’ve also found it really useful to use as an archive for writing resources because of the tagging system.
And apart from the writing side of Tumblr, it’s also the best place to interact with fandoms! I still enjoy talking to Doctor Who fans from far and wide; actually, my main blog on Tumblr is the only social media site that I use for fun rather than business/writing. The unique sense of humor and the welcoming community make it the only place where I’ve felt like I can really be myself.
All in all, Tumblr is a really unique social media platform. It may not be for everyone, but if you take a moment to look, you’ll find some great resources, interesting people, and a place where you can pretty much post anything you want, even if it’s the most out-there thing you’ve ever written. It’s not the best platform to build a following for your writing, but it sure is the best place to find new ideas and have fun!
This blog is dedicated to sharing the knowledge and wisdom of the brilliant men and women inside the Indie Space, which is, in my humble opinion, the very best indie author community on the internet.
If you’d like to be a part of this community, you can check it out right HERE. There’s an exclusive deal going on this month (August 2021) that I think you won’t want to miss! And we’re gearing up to start working on our Sci-Fi Detective anthology too, so don’t miss it! Come on in and grow!