How to Use Pinterest as A Writer

I’ve been using Pinterest for a few weeks now, and I’ve gained and (hopefully) given inspiration to others by using it.

Just in case you don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s basically a collection of “boards” (think bulletin boards) on which you pin interesting pictures and share with others.

At the moment, it’s “invite only,” but I requested access and within two days was emailed an invitation.

Since I do work in Social Media, I try to provide my clients with as many venues for them to spread their brand and engage their customers.

It’s pretty easy for designers or retailers to use Pinterest, but seeing the power of the platform, I wondered if writers could use it to connect with readers, develop characters, and share their concepts.

Thanks to an article by Tanja Theusen over at Media Tapper, I have a better idea of how the platform can be use for authors too.

The long and short of it? You can use Pinterest to create boards for the characters and settings in your novel.

For example, I already have a good idea of what Aaron looks like in my novel since I’ve described his clothing and facial features.

I could create board on Pinterest and pin several images that would make up what he looks like: a hat here, a trenchcoat and leather shoes there.

OR, I could be even more creative and pin pictures that reflect his personality or intelligence—from a photo of a stormy sea to a painting of someone laughing.

Each photo can have a small caption that describes how it relates to your character.


Notice the different pictures that make up who Derya, Tanja's character, is.

Pinterest is also a great place to find inspiration for your novel; I’ve run across some truly amazing paintings and photos on the site: some are optical illusions, others are heart wrenching snapshots of sadness or poverty.

Finally, it’s a great place to drive traffic to your blog; Pinterest has been driving quite a bit of referral traffic these last few months.  Check out this Mashable article for more.

So, why not translate a 1000 words into a picture?

I’m planning on starting a board with my characters in the near future; if you do the same, please share!


21 comments on “How to Use Pinterest as A Writer

  1. I have been wanting to ask this question for a long while; what is your novel about? (if you happened to have written a post about it blame my observational skills.)

    • Hehe, I haven’t mentioned what it’s about just yet. I’m not ready just yet to divulge what it’s about, but hopefully I can soon. Just need to get closer to finishing it. 🙂

      I will say that it involves a zombie apocalypse, but it takes a different approach to survivors than most movies/books/comics.

      Thanks for showing an interest in it though; I really appreciate it.

  2. I love Pintrest too. I do social media and have been concerned about copyright. But I guess, I need to just be very careful and wait it out. It is SO inspiring checking out boards. Thanks for the post!

    • You’re very welcome. 🙂

      Surprisingly, no one’s created much of an uproar about copyright just yet. The sites where the images are coming from are loving the traffic they get.

      You’re right though; it’s a thin line and we’ve got to be cautious.

  3. I’m too scared to use Pinterest. I’m worried it’ll turn into something else I’ll end up addicted to. I’m not sure I can make myself pick up another habit no matter how worthwhile.

    • Pinterest can be pretty addictive, so your reluctance is definitely warranted.

      I guess I don’t mind it so much since it’s visual, so it demands less of an investment from me than if it were written.

      I just see the image, get inspired, and move on.

      That is until I come back again and again. Yeah, definitely addictive.

  4. I’m thinking about starting an account/board when I do NaNoWriMo next year. Sometimes everything gets thrown into my manuscript, especially when I’m writing fast, and a lot of stuff that I hate–certain kinds of relationships, dialogue, settings, plot twists–get put in there because they’re the only thing I can think of even though I hate them and don’t enjoy writing them. If I had a board of only things that inspire me/tie into my story (I’m thinking about an ocean-side lighthouse novel for next year, so lots of ocean pictures, stormy pictures, sea creatures, and beachy architecture) it would probably help keep me focused!

    • There’s just something about having a visual representation for an abstract idea that gets me focused too, Hannah.

      And that sounds like a great idea: who knows what kind of inspiration you’ll get from seeing pictures of different lighthouses, tides, creatures, etc. Maybe you’ll get an even firmer idea of what the lighthouse looks like from something you find on Pinterest.

      Perhaps by next year Pinterest will be available to the public, so you won’t have to wait for an invite.

      If you do decide to use it, please let me know; I’d love to follow you and see how your novel develops visually. 🙂

  5. I keep hearing how good Pinterest is, but there are only so many hours in the day! Maybe I’ll get there one day. Thanks for the tips – I’ve been wondering also how a very visual media would work for authors too.

  6. Hi Mike

    Thanks for mentioning my article at Media Tapper!
    I really believe authors can leverage their creative processes via different social networks. So far Pinterest has been the one with the most potential for me yet.

    • You’re very welcome, Tanja.

      Thanks for writing it! Before running across your article, I was pretty jealous of how much fun photographers, food enthusiasts, and artists were having with the platform.

      Because of your article, I can see Pinterest’s potential for authors to help their audience visualize what they’re writing, to collaborate with their readers, and to gain inspiration from what other people are posting.

      I really appreciate you stopping by as well. 🙂

  7. Great idea! I don’t consider myself a writer, but I imagine that as you create a character, you want to convey as much information about what is in your head to the audience as you can.

  8. Great article again, Mike. HannaKarena – I like your idea of using this for NaNoWriMo. I wonder how well it could be used for Script Frenzy as well.

  9. Pingback: Sharing Is Caring! The First Page of My Novel « Mike_Reverb

  10. Pingback: Sharing Is Caring! The First Page of My Novel « Mike_Reverb

    • I would love to see what you came up with for poems!

      I’ve never been much of a poet, but I can just see a Pinterest board with images to accompany some of the more visual parts of a poem.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s