In case you haven’t checked it out, Pinterest is a site where you can collect or share images. I’m not sure I quite ‘get’ Pinterest. Am I using it the way as a writer should if she wants to make her stories known?

I started out on the site like a kid in a candy store. “Oooh, that’s a pretty picture. I’ll pin that. And that. And that.” I collected a whole lot of pretty pictures and some pretty good quotes. Is that what you use Pinterest for?

I can see the use of Pinterest as a way to stimulate your imagination. Put down a net and snag the images that intrigue your subconscious. Encourage the right side of your brain to participate in the creative process. However you want to phrase it.

At the same time, it can be one of the greatest time sinks ever invented in the history of space-time continuum.

I don’t want to think of the time that I spent search for just the right face to match  my idea of a character. If you follow people, pictures that they’ve pinned will start showing up when you first open Pinterest. For example, if you want to see pictures that I’ve pinned, you could follow me. Um… not that you have too, y’know. But you could. (Note to self: work on that self-assertiveness stuff.)

You can follow just one board (one collection) that someone has put together. Then you’d only see photos in your feed that they had pinned to that one board. Or you could follow the user and see all the photos that they’ve pinned lately. Some users have widely divergent interests. I have a board that’s devoted to nothing but jewels. (I can’t help myself. Jewelry is shiny. My inner magpie says “want.”)

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The image above is from a collection of faces and places for the story that I sold to Harlequin. That’s another use of Pinterest, it can help you communicate with the art department. Whether you’re publishing traditionally or independently, you’re a writer. You’re good at wording. Artists communicate in visuals. If you can’t draw (like me), Pinterest can bridge the gap.

I’m curious if Pinterest is helpful for readers. Do you like seeing how the author pictures her characters or their setting? Or do you prefer to imagine them for yourself?

How do you use Pinterest? Or do you use it at all? Is there some other Shiny New Site that you using instead?