I have a confession to make.
I’m socially awkward.
At a function with a lot of people, I’m the woman standing against the wall, hoping no one notices me. Someone always does, but every single time, I stand there, wishing I could find somewhere to hide. I really wish I had started reading The Bloggess years ago, because then I would have known about hiding in the bathroom during large social functions. I’m kind of sad that I never figured that one out on my own.
However, sit me down in front of a computer and plug me into Twitter or Facebook, and I become a whole different kind of beast. I can have conversations and post links or funny pictures. I make self-deprecating jokes and retweet the great stuff that other people post. What I can’t do in person, I do quite well from the safety of my desk chair, while sitting online.
I’m dating myself here, but I first learned to be social online in America Online chat rooms. I first heard about chat rooms from a friend, and the first time I got online I was nervous. I lurked for several days before I finally said anything. In the several years since then, I have used social media to make friends, celebrate births, mourn deaths, and share milestones. I met my husband in an AOL chat room, and we’ve been together for fifteen years.
But not everyone finds social media to be that easy. Because I’m socially awkward in public, I really get that. I watch people walk around a room, greeting friends and eagerly meeting new people, wondering how they manage. People wonder the same thing about me when they see me on social media. Believe me when I say, that it’s taken me years to get to this point.
Authors, in general, are a bit solitary. After all, we sit alone and type for the majority of our day. If we have day jobs that make it so we can’t sit alone and type, we spend our drive home wishing the traffic would move faster so we can get home and sit alone and type. It’s what authors do. For some authors, the thought of being social makes them feel like a fish out of water.
To help make that easier, I’m going to spend the next several weeks talking about Social Media for Authors. In that series, I’ll include tips and hints for making social media work for you, instead of you feeling like it’s a chore. To make sure that you get these posts, you’ll want to follow the Writing Wenches on Twitter! And if you’re an author and you’re not on Twitter, you definitely should be. There are some great supportive communities there, and we’ll talk more about them in our next Social Media for Authors post!
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/tortured_artist_squee/550942485/”>D.Munoz-Santos</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>