GETTING SOCIAL

Less than 5 months to go until Publication Day! I’m done with the editing, the further editing, the cover design, the cover copy, and have even received my first blurbs, wonderful words of support from some generous writer colleagues. But still so much to do…

Top of the list is bulking up my social media presence. Everyone says you have to do it. It’s not my favorite thing, but here I am, biting the bullet and pounding the virtual pavement, trying to get myself out there more. Oh, I’ve been on Facebook for years, and have gotten into the habit of checking it every day. Several times a day, truth be told, even though a part of me thinks that’s silly. But in the past, I have been quite selective in whom I decide to ‘friend’. I wanted to keep certain aspects of my life compartmentalized, and not mix my personal contacts with those from work. So I chose not to ‘friend’ my patients, or many work colleagues, or friends of friends, people with whom I had only tenuous connections.

Not anymore! I’m now ‘friending’ everyone. I’m sending out friend requests galore. I say Yes! to everyone. Well, almost everyone. There have been a few real weirdos I have avoided. But mostly, I say Sure! My Friend totals have exploded exponentially. Which feels a bit weird. My main goal is to steer folks to my Author Facebook page, to get the word out about my novel. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. Everyone says so. My publisher says so. My publicist says so. And they know best. So I’m doing it. And yes, it is thrilling to find new connections to interesting people, and even more thrilling when they make a comment on my Author Page. There are actually some people who have never met me in person who are looking forward to reading my novel, which is just amazing, wonderful.

But I worry that I’m manipulating people. And now my Facebook feed is cluttered with news about the kids and anniversaries and gardens and cooking feats of people I have never met. I get reminders about their birthdays. Am I supposed to post on everyone’s wall? I feel as if I have ventured into a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and don’t understand the etiquette.  I can hardly find my way to the posts from my ‘old friends’. I catch a glimpse of something interesting, but then it gets lost in the avalanche, and I have trouble finding it again.

Worst of all: it’s even more difficult to tear myself away and get back to real work, like writing my next novel. And I haven’t even really started on Twitter yet. But hey, I’m getting out there. Maybe I’ll bump into you along the way.