Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blog Chain: Are You a Social Networker?

Hey everyone!

I'm still on hiatus, but I'm going to go ahead and start a round of the blog chain. I've been really busy lately and the next couple of months are going to be busier still. I've had a lot to think about since my book sale, one of those things being my platform as an author. So for this round of the blog chain I'm wondering:

Are you a good social networker? What aspect of platform building do you focus on the most? Which aspects freak you out?

I'm incredibly introverted. One on one, I think I do pretty well. My personality comes out with my close friends. But put me in a group and I sort of freeze up. I'm shy. I don't talk a lot. I often find myself hanging out in the fringe where no one will notice me. But with my book releasing this year, my agent and editor have advised me to work on building my platform. Get out into the authorly world. Make some friends, some connections. Put my name out there.

I'm not a very consistent blogger. Mainly because I wonder, what do I have to offer that someone hasn't already covered? I don't tweet very much. I can't ever think of anything witty to say in 140 characters or less. Facebook? Yeah, I post a status update every once in a while. I have a Tumblr account that I've never used and though I read a TON of blogs, I comment on very few.

I think social networking is hard for me because I'm very self-conscious. I'm always worried about what people might think of me. That I'll be snubbed by the cool kids and outed for the socially awkward person I've always thought myself to be. Fear more than anything keeps me from reaching out to other authors, no matter how much I want to join in. One of my friends and CP's said something pretty profound to me yesterday. I think it might be a quote from someone or somewhere, she's good for deep thoughts like that.

"It's none of your business what other people think of you."

Sounds sort of harsh at first. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. It isn't any of my business. I can only be me. I can't please everyone. I can't always be witty or charming or outgoing. I can only put my thoughts out there and it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks about it as long as I'm happy with it. I shouldn't be afraid to dive in to the deep end of the social networking pool. I can always tread water for a while until I'm really ready to swim.

I don't focus on one social networking aspect more than any other. Frankly, they all scare the holy living crap out of me. But I figure if I do a little here, and a little there, sooner or later I'll find a rhythm that works and I won't worry so much about what everyone thinks. I can only be myself. And that's good enough.

Be sure to check out Margie's post after mine!


Anonymous said...

I tweet the most, then blogging, then facebook. That's the extent of my "platform."

Mostly because I do feel like the class outcast, nose pressed to the glass watching everyone else party and enjoy themselves. (Be it in Twitter conversations, blog audience/comments, people with crit partners/groups, beta readers, alpha readers.)

Amanda said...

@Anonymous: maybe we can press our noses to the glass together. ;)I totally know how you feel!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

The whole social networking thing freaked me out at first. Now I enjoy it, and am glad I started it when I did. My friend landed a major book deal and is now scrambling to start social networking. It's definitely easier to do before you land an agent and book deal. The expectations aren't as great and you have time to build the network.

But even at you stage, Amanda, it's not too late--unless your book is due out next week. ;)

(ps. and it's not as hard as it sounds, even if your introverted like us)

Eric said...

Great post, Amanda. I can completely understand how you feel. I also completely agree with your friend's quote though. That's an awesome way to look at things. Enjoy the rest of your hiatus and don't forget about us :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Absolutely fantastic post! It truly isn't our business what others think!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Good topic. I agree that you have to be yourself no matter what others think of you.

Melis said...

I was once also really introverted. If more than three people at a table of conversation were listening to what I had to say, I freaked out and could barely finish sentences.
I've met some great friends in the past few years though who have helped me to become more confident and open with people. I'm much better at meeting people and making friends, but I still feel overwhelmed sometimes.
And I've also realized that I still base so much of my extroverted nature on what people might think of me, like by sometimes censoring what I would say, or saying things I don't necessarily mean, and wanting to please everyone.
A scene from the pilot of the tv comedy Community really got to me. One jock character asks if he should stop wearing his letter jacket from high school now that he goes to community college because, as he says, "People have been climbing me about this jacket since I got here. But if I take it off to make them happy, that just makes me weak, right?"
His friend replies, "Listen, it doesn't matter. You lose the jacket to please them, you keep it to piss them off -- either way, it's about them. That's what's weak."
It's all about being yourself and finding the people who like that person, not making yourself into someone certain people will like.

Don't mean to be preachy, just thought I'd share ;)

Anonymous said...

Lovely post! I'm an introvert too and would very much prefer to NOT be the center of attention, LOL!

Congrats to your success!!!

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Great post. This is going to be a tough one to answer.

Sarah Bromley said...

I think part of why I'm okay with Twitter is that it has an illusion of a conversation with just a handful of people while still able to be viewed by the public--just be mindful of what you say, I suppose. I get intimated when trying to think of how to reach a wide audience, how to promote my work to reach more people.

But I also think people worry too much about making the right impression. Just be yourself and everything else will fall into place.

Kat Harris said...

Spend about 10 minutes on the Internet and you'll quickly realize that you can't please everyone, everyone has an opinion, and everyone is willing to offer that opinion whether or not it's valid.

You're absolutely right. You can't please everyone. The more you try, the crazier your life will become. Be yourself. Be comfortable with yourself. To heck with everything else.

Great post!