Friday, December 9, 2016

Ch-ch-changes Ahead

Who needs a break? Show of hands. I had to drop mine back down to the keys so I could finish typing. Also, I would like to point out that I looked up pictures for “changes” to accompany my post and this is what popped up:

Interpret as you will.

There were also pics of people changing light bulbs. If you want me to add one of those, just let me know and I can make that happen for you. For the record, I use CanStockPhoto and there is never a shortage of material. But that’s not what this blog post is about.

I stepped away from the nation of Facebook for a little bit and it was one of the very best things I have done for myself lately. I’m an indie author, which means I’m also a small business owner. That was never, ever, ever, ever, on my radar. For almost three years now I’ve had to figure out how to promote my books and get myself out there because…I’m it. There isn’t a marketing department or big publishing company behind me to help with anything. Unless you count these guys:

 I enrolled in webinars and conference calls to help get a better idea of what on earth I should be doing. I came across some helpful people and ideas, and some who weren’t so helpful. For the most part, there’s a similar business model that they abide by to help businesses gain more exposure. It involves posting on Facebook just about every hour, or at the very least, a certain amount of times per day. There are also specific types of posts to post at those various times. Post, post, post. Honestly this does work if you’re willing to follow that model…and if you have enough time to devote to putting together content for every. single. post. There are people whose sole responsibility is to manage social media presence. I tried asking one of the squirrels to take care of that for me, but every potential post revolved around acorns or tips for evading mockingbird attacks. Interesting if you’re a squirrel, but for a human? Not so much.

It certainly doesn’t help matters that I’m a socially awkward introvert. I don’t say this in a disparaging way, but one of acceptance. I understand that if you initiate a conversation with me before I’m ready, I won’t have complete control of what pops out of my mouth. I also have problems not doling out inadvertent fist bumps.

All of that to say…I struggle with engaging an audience. It’s not at all that I don’t want to hear from you, it’s that I honestly don’t know how to get the ball rolling on conversations because it is so far outside my comfort zone. I drew a diagram in case you need a visual:

What it all came down to was focusing more on the business/marketing/social media side of things than actually engaging in the creative process. Most days I just ended up feeling frustrated with my meager accomplishments and pitiful attempts at writing something worth reading. When I realized that Facebook was sapping my creative drive, I knew a break was needed.

So what happened when I stepped away from the screen and business side of things? I felt the pressure dissipate and got back to creating again. It’s been wonderful. I’m not saying Facebook is bad or something I won’t use. It’s too convenient for building a community. I am saying that some of us have more difficulties than others with the whole concept of social media and putting ourselves out there. Sometimes we just need a minute to regroup.

To sum things up, I’m still stepping away a little longer. I’m also writing, rebuilding, and trying new avenues to tell stories. I'll have some exciting news to share soon!