Writing and the social media maelstrom

Almost thought about subtitling this blog post either “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” or “The Scream.” Because that’s about how I feel when it comes to social media, especially as an unpublished fiction author.

Oh, I know, I know: it’s important to get that social media platform up and running, even before finding an agent and getting a publishing contract. Because, after all, that’s one of the things agents probably look at when they’re considering your query letter and manuscript – whether you’re social media-savvy or not.

But gosh, where to start? And how to keep going? Facebook author pages, blogs… all are great, but they need constant care and feeding to keep them going. Oh, and don’t forget about Twitter or, for that matter, Goodreads. Because readers and potential fans are there, too. Not to mention newsletters, because a lot of folks prefer to get their information in their e-mail in-boxes!

Yikes.

Where to begin? Okay, for starters, I do have this blog (but haven’t posted in a good long while). And a Facebook author page (better at posting there, though not by much). And a Goodreads author page (where at least I post what books I’m reading). Technically I’m also on Twitter, which still mystifies me, to be honest, when it comes to knowing what to tweet.

Fortunately, I have two fabulous critique group partners, and the three of us have pledged to tackle – and I mean, really tackle – social media this year. As in we absolutely, positively will tweet and post on our blogs and do more with Facebook author pages. And will do our level best to become smarter at social media in general. And will hold each other accountable as the year progresses.

I know we will be able to do this because those two fabulous partners are so wonderful at critiquing and offering insights into plots and characters and being supportive and encouraging. Together, we cannot fail at this. I know it, I can feel it.

I know this post probably teeters a bit on the near edge of whiny. Perhaps that’s because as an introvert, plunging into social media means ripping away that last vestige of a protective shield and exposing one’s goals and ambitions and dreams to anyone and everyone.

What if I fail? Won’t that be painful?

Well, sure. But I won’t be the first. Or the last.

And if it works, won’t it be worth it?

Maybe that’s what being an author is all about.

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