I am tweeting. I am hooting.
I am following. I am being followed.
I am a river… or am I a stream? I am a tribe… or, no… I’m in a bonfire. Or am I LinkedIn a chain?
I am doing all this in 140 characters or less.
I am a hashtag. Which sounds like it should be illegal. I haven’t done that since I was sixteen. That, and other indiscretions involving various types of vegetation that weren’t broccoli. Like that time we dressed like ninjas and totally raided the lawn of the municipal building for fungi… back then, I had to dress like a ninja. Now, I hashtag with impunity. (#ThatThing … try it. Amusing things will be revealed!)
I like. I am liked.
I follow. I am followed. (It kinda creeps me out. I close the curtains at night. Just in case.)
I like, therefore I am.
I am expanding my author platform. It’s rather like climbing the high diving board and curling my toes over the edge, looking down with trepidation at the murky waters below. I know I have to jump, but until I’m actually in the air, I’m just gonna clench various sphincters and freak.
I am not a social beast. I am so not.
As an anti-social creature, I have chosen a strange career. I am a teacher because I really like kids, and I really like reading, and the two fell together nicely. I can talk to a classroom of kids… often with a ridiculous accent and wicked dance moves… but I do not like social things. I get sweaty and nervous when I have to talk to people. Real people. Like, at gatherings. And the grocery store.
But I am a self-published author. There is no room for “introverted”, when one is flogging one’s wares on the internet like a tattoo artist at a nudist colony. “If you can pinch it, we can ink it.”
I wrote it… now… please love it.
It is an incredibly vulnerable place for an introvert to be. And my weiner is not big enough to hide behind.
So here I am, saying hello to hundreds of random strangers online.
“Like” me. “Follow” me.
Things I would NEVER say in real life.
In real life, they would say NO.
They would say, “Is that a … weiner dog? Under your shirt? And are you wearing… pajamas?”
The “unlike” would immediately follow.
But here, online, with my reflection staring eerily back at me from the computer screen, I blithely request friendship, support, encouragement, and… “Gee, I wonder how many people are going to follow me today?”
No one follows people who say “Gee”.
No one follows me in real life. I’m a middle aged teacher in a small town, with a weiner dog stuffed under my shirt. (Don’t worry. He likes it. It’s his #1 favorite place, closely followed by the hearth in front of the fire. No animal rights are being violated, I assure you.)
I’m not what one would call “popular”.
I have a wonderful editor who has advised me that in the world of self-publishing it is imperative to have an on-line, social networking presence. All of my research leads me to this conclusion. If I want to sell books, I have to reach the enormous masses of readers who are distracted by 3,000,000 new books a year. I have to build a platform, curl my toes, and jump off.
Into the stream. Or the bonfire.
Can you hear me?
Can’t we just meet at Tim Horton’s and have a coffee? I’ll probably end up giving you my book for free, because I don’t like taking money from friends.
But please… like me?
If you are in the same boat as me, the same stream, hooting to the same tweeters, try this site: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/
And this blog: http://theintrovertedauthor.blogspot.ca/
And this site: http://storyfinds.com/
And who knows, maybe we will meet and wave and have that coffee. Or at least hold hands while we jump.
Thanks to all the twitters and facebookers and bloggers who are following me. When we work together, the word gets out!
Buy my book on amazon: That Thing That Happened, by Libby Broadbent
Follow my twitter: @LibbyBroadbent #ThatThing
Like my facebook page: Libby Broadbent on facebook
Follow my blog: www.libbybroadbent.com
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!