Socializing 101: What I Can Sort Of, Maybe, Do.

For me, the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with since getting involved in the online writing community is socializing. I had heard about the vast sources the community extended to: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress. The list goes on. I’ve had family members involved in the process, but to actually be a part of it myself, well, it feels like I’m either an Olympic diver or doggie paddler.

The metaphor is a weird one, I admit, but it’s the most apt in my situation. I’m not the social sort. I’ve been introverted and shy since I was a child. Only in the last few years have I really embraced my introverted nature, allowing it to be a weapon I can wield as opposed to one that wields itself, leaving me spending hours trying to get a hold of it. Picture the scene with the Cornish Pixies in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Yeah, it was once that crazy in my head.

In the writing world, I can’t necessarily afford to be introverted. I have to be out there on twitter, making sure that I am networking and getting connected with other people. I have to talk about my work, what I like doing, what I’m reading, who I am. For a writer, one would think this is an incredibly easy task with all of the ideas in our heads; the characters we create are like people we talk to everyday. It’s not, at least for me. The biggest difference, all of my characters are in my head. Jumping into a sea of real people is overwhelming. It’s a process that I’m still learning about day by day.

There are some people who are naturally good at immersing themselves in the lives and interests of others. For me, it is a gradual process. On Twitter, I test out what tweets work. Are my one line Wednesdays gaining interest? Are my responses to writing chats doing a decent job at expressing who I am? Is replying to this person’s tweet a good idea? The character limit on Twitter is awfully frustrating at times, though it is a challenge worth undergoing. As a writer, a complete work involves revising, editing, chopping, and transforming it to be better. A good tweet involves connecting with your followers as well as expressing a small part of yourself in the process.

I will admit that I don’t always know what I’m doing. Like the metaphor that started off this post, I am either an Olympic diver or a doggie paddler. Some tweets I feel confident about. Others, I feel as if it may not be the best writer-esque tweet there could be. What I can say is I’m trying my best and I’m willing to learn. I’m willing to dive deeper into a community that I know I want to be a part of as I grow up and develop my career.

The past month, I’ve been throwing myself out there: meeting people, gaining a couple of interviews (while trying not to have a panic attack about what I should say), and doing live chats with other authors and bloggers. I’m grateful to be involved with a community that is bigger than I could have imagined, even if I’m barely scratching the surface of it. I’m hoping that I will be able to stay afloat.

I know, I know. I need to stop using metaphors that involve water.

In order to do that, I’m going to end this post by asking my fellow bloggers and writers, what is your experience like with social media? Feel free to leave any comments and opinions below.

Happy Networking,
Xx Megan

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Socializing 101: What I Can Sort Of, Maybe, Do.

  1. Great post! I completely understand what you mean. I am also very introverted and it has been difficult to put myself out there. Writing used to be a very secret thing for me. I’m not sure why–I just never told people I wrote. Not people I knew in real life, anyway. Now, though, as I have been submitting stories for publication and I am working on a book for self-publishing, I have been trying to get more involved and meet other writers and start telling people that I am a writer. It’s scary, but it has also been very liberating for me. I’m still getting used to the whole twitter thing, but I love talking about my writing and I look forward to meeting and interacting with more writers who share my dreams and interests.

    Like

    • You and I are in similar boats. I was terribly shy when it came to showing people my writing. One day, about four years ago, I sent an email to my brother (who also writes), and was like ‘Hi, I wrote this. What do you think?’ it was pretty terrifying, but it was a way of breaking the ice. Submitting my first short story was another ice breaker. Joining Twitter continued the trend. I feel as if it’s something you have to jump into and slowly find your way around. As an introvert, it can be difficult finding a happy medium. The benefits, once this medium is found, are definitely positive. And though I’m reaching the positive, I still have a lot to learn. I’m glad there’s someone else out there who feels the same way.

      Like

  2. Social media is scary for us introverts! I’m totally right there with you. I am blogger, not a writer, so I don’t have to deal with that added insecurity. But even so, when I started my blog, I was so afraid of people reading about my opinions. Getting the courage to put my ideas out there was a huge step for me. And once I finally manged to start my blog, it was really hard for me to try to connect with people via social media. I just had to bite the bullet eventually and dive right in. It’s still a bit nerve-wracking for me to start talking to new people on Twitter, but I haven’t had any bad experiences so far. And I’ve met some really encouraging and helpful people. 🙂 There are other introverts out there with you, and we will get through this networking thing together! (or as together as a group of introverts can be haha)

    Like

    • Yes! Us introverts must stay together and get through this one way or another (for as long as can manage haha). I can’t say I’ve had any bad experiences either. Rather, I’ve met some really cool people. It was more of the initial jumping into social media and seeing where it went. I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from. I wish you the best of luck in your blogging journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Megan, I love your post. Social media is just as challenging for me, even though I’m an opinionated extrovert. New to virtual networking, I find it puzzling to talk to an audience without knowing the mindset of my listeners. So I tread carefully, searching for my voice.

    Like

    • I think that’s your best option. The more you post, the more I believe you’ll be able to find your voice. I wish you luck in this journey 😀

      Like

  4. I know exactly how you feel! I’m a newbie at this too, and while I don’t mind being social, it’s hard to find friends out there without feeling like I’m jumping into the middle of a conversation or butting into something I’m not wanted in. I’m trying hard not to be discouraged, as everyone’s been really nice and it’s only been a short time since I started blogging, but I definitely feel like a very, very small part of the very large bookish community. Twitter has been amazing, though. It’s really easy to find people to talk to on there!

    Like

    • Yes! Jumping in can be really overwhelming, but with time I believe it’ll get better. Don’t be discouraged. It’ll work out especially with many of the welcoming people out there. I agree when you say Twitter is great for this.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s