This is a post which I’ve been meaning to make for a while now. Mostly because I’m holding myself back as a blogger, writer, and wannabe published author, and I’m doing so knowingly and even…willingly. How am I holding myself back? Two words: social media.
I’ve always known the time would come that I’d have to admit this to myself. Eventually, I’d have to put in the effort to make myself more visible and engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and (heaven forbid) even Instagram. Unfortunately, that time is now.
Why do I dread social media so much? you might ask. For starters, it’s a tough thing for me to put myself, my work, and my aspirations out there for the world to see and, inevitably, to criticize. I’d call myself an ‘introvert’, I suppose, and I enjoy my privacy (says the girl laying it all out there on an internet blog).
Like many “newbie” writers, I have another job that sustains me financially that isn’t writing. There’s a lot of stigma surrounding romance writing—not that I buy into any of that—but I’d certainly rather my co-workers and boss not read my steamy romance novel. Well, at least not read it knowing that it’s mine. Everyone needs a little steamy romance in their lives, after all.
Furthermore, I have to admit that it’s kind of fun having two personas—the everyday-me, going about her day job by day, and romance-writer-me who, by night, writes a prose to bring two lovers together for that HEA (Happily Ever After). It’s a fun little secret to have, and I like having the control to share it with only a few select people in my life, if I choose to do so.
Now, I know developing a social media following is incredibly important. If I want anyone else to read my writing and pay to read my writing (even better!), I need to actually put myself and my writing out there! Readers aren’t telepathic—they don’t inherently know they want to read my romance novels. Obviously, I’m going to have to entice them into doing so.
I’m finally making this my week to focus on social media.
Here are my goals for this week: (Fortunately, I’ve already set up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram author accounts, so at least that’s one less thing to accomplish this week.)
- Choose a profile picture
- This is going to be difficult for me. I want to choose a photo that helps me to retain my anonymity and keep my two personas separate but that still tells my audience who I am. I appreciate when I can visualize a beloved author on their author website or social media accounts, but I don’t necessarily want to sacrifice my own boundaries to follow suit. I see that many authors use a picture of their novel as their profile picture. This seems to be a clever alternative which can still promote brand recognition. You are what you write, after all. Too bad I don’t yet have a published novel to work with. What about a cartoon-type avatar thingy? That’s a thought too, although, I’m not sure that’s the route I want to pursue either.
- Learn Instagram
- Yikes. I’m dreading this one the most. I’m not the most social media-savvy person, but I have a good handle on Facebook and Twitter (mostly). I have minimal experience with Instagram. I just don’t understand how someone who is not a professional photographer has so much time for taking so many perfect photos. Being that the ‘Gram is the popular social media site these days, I guess I need to find the time to learn it.
- Develop Facebook/Twitter/Instagram author accounts
- It goes without saying that I can’t just continue with blank/unpublished social media accounts. What would be the point? I need content, and I need to commit to providing content regularly. Fortunately, it seems perfectly acceptable to post similar or even the same content across each platform. Time to learn how to sync those accounts for coordinated posting!
- Set a social media schedule
- This is perhaps the most important step in my “social media journey”. If I don’t set aside specific time to contribute to these accounts each week (dare I commit to each day?), there’s no way I’ll stick to it. I haven’t determined how much time to allot yet, but once I get started I’ll hopefully have a better idea of what’s feasible.
Readers, I hope you all will join me on my social media journey (too early for a new hashtag–‘#SMJ’?). My goal is to get these accounts up and running for real, by this time next week. Stay tuned, as I’ll finally have something worthwhile to link to my WordPress blog soon.
Have any of you struggled with social media? Tell me all about it in the comments!