Social Media & Being an Author

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I was on a (much needed) vacation to California! The need for vacations to take a step back from your work is a topic for an entirely different post, but I can sum it up to this: sometimes it’s necessary to not think about your novel, to escape and have new experiences which will influence your writing, and to be in a more sublime environment so when an agent rejection pops up in your email, you take it in stride and order another wine sample! 😉

Today, I wanted to focus on a subject that has been giving me major headaches–the dichotomy between being an artist and thus trying to be a free spirit while at the same time being cognizant of the pressing need to create an online presence. This need for a writer’s platform necessitates the use of social media. Writers, as a rule, hate social media. We would rather be writing! However, our ultimate goal is to be read, and to be read and gain notice in today’s world means hashtagging and blogging our way to fame. Hopefully that prospect turns everyone’s stomachs as much as it does mine. It is a very imposing goal; in the millions of individuals out there on the internet, how do you make a difference?

It’s a question I, unfortunately, cannot answer in this post. But I do welcome good suggestions! The first step for me is simply, getting out there. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was literally: “Tweet less.” Obviously, that is not going to fly. I have been trying to force myself to tweet more lately, and have gone to excessive use of hashtags. Today, I activated a Facebook account (under much mental stress), and a LinkedIn page. I am looking into #QueryKombat, which appears to be a great way to get some exposure as well as potentially awesome contacts with agents and editors! The Internet is a crazy, intimidating place, but I hope to do my research and find some success in it.

I want to get the word out soon because I am going to be doing something very exciting here on the blog. I am going to be posting sample chapters of Capacitance! I want the novel to get exposure and hopefully build momentum. Stay tuned on chapter one coming soon!

With that being said, follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@elisemarie52), and Facebook (Elise Hardenburger)! And comment below with any tips how you got your online following started. 🙂

Optimism

To continue the past couple day’s unintentionally alliterative title choices, today I am focusing on another “O” word: optimism. I will admit, this is not a concept I have been overwhelmed with this week–researching agents whose tone comes off as intimidating at best and reading blog posts of authors lost in a post-query depression makes optimism about the whole process a little hard to swallow.

However, maybe because it’s Friday and the living is a little easier with the weekend coming up, I am feeling the optimism today. I’m sure I will smirk derisively at this post in future moments, but for now I think after the rush of panic, dread and general anxiety of earlier this week I have finally come to terms with things. There are going to be rejections, there are going to be cold silences, but I also believe there will, one day, be acceptance. I am just starting out as a writer, and instead of bemoaning the dismissive attitudes of some agents or despairing that my work will never get published, I want to sit back and enjoy the ride! 2015 is a year of firsts for me–first novel finished, first writing conference coming up next week–and I want to enjoy that, and come into my own as an author.

Ultimately when–months down the road–I come back to this post, I don’t want to scoff at my naive, wide-eyed idealism, but instead be reminded of my confidence as a writer, and keep enjoying the journey.