I'm not Ashton Kutcher. Or a Kardashian. I was never the kid who played class clown. Had no desire to draw all the attention my way. I'm a quieter being, who prefers talking about big topics with small groups of people to small talk with big groups. So when my debut was about to come out and everyone said I needed to use social media to get the word out, I was a little freaked out. I couldn't imagine standing on my little twitter hilltop shouting out into the wide world of twitterdom, "Hey out there! Look at me! I wrote a book!" The thought gave me hives.
But what I learned over time is that you gotta do it your own way. If you're into all sorts of pop culture and TV shows or even politics, you've got plenty of material to get conversations going and that's great. But I've also found that there are other people out there who prefer to talk about the things I like to talk about -- the struggles of the creative life, the real life angst of the teens for whom we write, offering support when a fellow writer is having a freak out or when another is sharing good news.
I think my fear was that I suddenly had to be entertaining all the time. But what I found is that if I'm just willing to reach out and share a bit of myself, it works just as well for making connections and keeping myself available to readers and to networking opportunities. It's so easy to lose ourselves in the big, complex world of publishing. And I think it's okay to decide to not get so pulled apart trying to do and be everything that we have nothing left. I think it's okay to take a breath and remember who we are and let the marketing spring from there.