Grace and I at her Kprep graduation Friday. She’s working on her smile.
Like every other writer, I’m trying to establish my online platform. Blogging, tweeting, getting involved with Goodreads – anything I can to be seen and heard.
But what do I talk about to bring people to my blog?
At first, I blogged about my personal writing process and quickly learned that was pretty mundane and boring.
Then I tried talking about the hot-button topics like self-publishing and got a bit more interest but really, what do I know about self-publishing? I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’m an aspiring writer working on my second novel and the first I will try to publish. What can I talk about with any sort of knowledge other than what I’m learning? I certainly can’t claim to be an expert.
The lovely Anne-MhairiSimpson took the time to give me several pointers, the biggest of which was to write about me and to work on getting to know people. I liken it to being at a huge party and feeling like an outsider. I need to mingle. Socialize. How can I expect anyone to follow me and support my blog if they don’t know who I am?
I tweaked the ‘about me’ section so it actually says something about me and posted some of my writing. That got some nice feedback, but I still have many more hits than comments/followers. I’m not sure if that’s because people just don’t take the time to comment or because I haven’t impressed them enough to say anything.
Anne also said something that really resonated with me: I have a feeling you have spent most of your life doing what you should be doing and trying not to bring too much attention to yourself.
It’s true. I’ve always been a ‘walk the line’ sort of person, playing by the rules and not seeking attention. I’m self-conscious and don’t like to stand out in a crowd. That’s okay in real life, but online, to be seen as anyone other than just an annoying person trying to get followers, I have to shed the proverbial mask I’ve become so accostumed to wearing.
So here goes.
Who am I? Many things – a wife, a mother, daughter, friend, and writer. I’m impatient and headstrong. If I decide I want to do something, I want to do it now before I change my mind. I have a quick temper and a smart mouth, but I’m working on that. Progress is slow.
I have little patience for bigots and racists. I respect other’s opinions but I have strong ones of my own when it comes to certain issues. My husband calls me a bleeding heart liberal, and maybe that’s true. But discrimination in the name of political/religious control disgusts me.
I voted for Obama, and I’d do it again.
My guilty pleasure is pop music. I will be seeing BSBNKOTB this summer and taking my five-year-old daughter. She’s more excited than me, and the chance to have the experience with her means a lot.
I have a fascination with the macabre and death, although I also harbor a huge fear of the latter. I watch gritty real-life cop shows and read too many true crime stories about terrible people. I often think I should have gone into psychology, maybe even forensic psychology. Then again, I’m not sure I’d have the stomach when faced with the real life horror these people deal with on a daily basis. I’ll stick to watching at a distance in my comfy recliner.
I’ve battled depression/anxiety all my life, and it’s only in the last year or so I’ve given in and tried medication. The change has been amazing.
I can’t leave the house without checking (several times) to make sure everything that can cause a fire is off, even if I know I haven’t used it. Sometimes I even jump out of the car to double check. Apparently I’ve got a bit of a compulsion.
I believed in Santa Claus until I was nine. I can remember the exact moment when I found out he wasn’t real.
I started writing in a spiral notebook when I was eleven or so, a story about me and New Kids on the Block. That was in the dark ages, long before the Internet, so I didn’t know what I was doing was writing fan fiction.
I still have the notebook.
I’m sentimental, obviously.
My mom is my best friend and the possibility of losing her to diabetes related complications terrifies me.
I lost my oldest brother in a car accident in June of 2005 when I was twelve weeks pregnant. What happened in the next forty-eight hours solidified my belief in the supernatural and God.
In September 2009, I was reading a text a few blocks from our house. My right tire rolled up the side of a bridge and the car flipped, skidding across a well-traveled road and ending up facing the other way. I was hanging upside down, trapped in my seatbelt. The hardest conversation I’ve ever had was telling my mother she’d almost had to bury another child.
I’ve never texted and drove since.
Retail therapy is the best kind, and I’ve got the shoes and purses to prove it.
I believe everything happens for a reason, even if the reason makes no sense.
I have three dogs: two miniature doxie’s who never shut up and a Golden Retriever. I had to give up my cats due to allergies, and the experience was excruciating. Thankfully I found good homes for them.
I cry when I’m angry, which enrages me.
I’m a good listener and a great friend. But I won’t sugarcoat things. If you’ve screwed up, I’ll tell you.
I’m a Mac.
Her name is Gloria, short for Glorious.
It’s pop, not soda.
What about you? What are the special, quirky things that make you unique?
Stacy, I love everything about this post. You ARE more than just another aspiring author, in truth we all are, but its realizing it for ourselves that makes the difference. Heck, you already have one book written? You ARE an author. Congrats on your progress so far! I love your honestly. You have some amazing life experiences which I'm sure influence your writing. I think it's brave you're trying meds for depression/anxiety and I'm glad it's helping. I'm on meds too and the only shame involved would be not putting yourself first. Saying things like that outloud (or online) really defuses its power and gives it back to you.I can't wait to follow the rest of your journey!
This is cool! I love getting to know you better. :)-Ellie
Great post and nice to meet the real you. It is hard to give up that much about you in such a public place and I applaud your honesty.It sounds like you and I are very similar, especially with your roles in life, your opinions, and just a bit of the compulsion too. I look forward to a long literary friendship!I also have a fascination with crime, murder, and mayhem. My previous career was an intelligence analyst at police departments where I lived. I focused on sexual assault, homicide, and gangs. I loved to get up and go to work every day. Not surprising that the adult fiction I write now seems to always have a criminal angle. Even when I start out another way.I recently read some posts from Jane Friedman about getting yourself out there. It was an informative post. I definitely recommend checking it out. I don't have the link at the moment but you can find her on Writers Digest. She is featured there.
This is a terrific post! You are an indeed a unique individual, and yet now I know we also have a freakish amount in common. From your macabre sensibilities, to your politics, to your taste in computers, and yes, I even worked in advertising as well. lol Thanks for sharing all these details. It's a difficult and brave thing to do. Well done.
SaraThank you so much! I debated about deleting this after I posted because I worried it sounded too self-involved. I wish I'd tried the meds years ago. I don't have the kind of depression where I sink into bad episodes, etc., just more of worry/anxiety and ups and downs. Meds have helped.EllieThanks for your comment. I look forward to getting to know you as well.HalliThank you! Again, I was worried people would think of it as an attention thing, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Awesome that you've got the crime fascination as well. Your previous career sounds interesting and grueling. Would be a tough job to keep up with.Thanks for the heads up on Jane Friedman. I'll check for them.MadameAgain, thank you. So glad you liked it, and always happy to find things in common with other writers.
Hi Stacy,I found your blog through WDC – it's wonderful to meet you! This is such an amazing post, and a very brave one too. You are, indeed, more than just an aspiring author!I look forward to reading moreA x
AntimonyThanks so much! It's wonderful to meet you as well. I really appreciate the feedback and compliments!
Ooo, agreed. Very honest and open and I am so glad you did that because now it's like I actually know you even though I don't. 😛 I got happy at the parts where we are very alike (psychology, retail, notebooks, double-checking etc. lol) and I felt sad when I read your life's hardships. I am so sorry about your brother! And I am very glad you talked to Anne too, because even though I do not know her personally, I have been reading her blog posts and I can tell she is someone who knows what she's doing and knows where she's going. And she's right of course. I have also wondered what I have to contribute because I am too an aspiring writer.But you know what, I just decided to jump in the deep and hope I'd stay on the surface and not drown. Basically, I play to my strengths, and the only one I have is being -somewhat- funny and entertaining. Somewhat. I'm sure you have some quality that makes you endearing to people as well, we all have many of those.As for comments, I've noticed the same trend. Lots of hits, too few followers and even less comments, but I am happy with the one who stay with me and I feel as though they are my friends. I think in order to have more followers you just nee to make more friends, which of course would be hard with a full-time job for example…Anyway, thanks for this post! I'll be keeping an eye on you on Twitter. I'm @lympha13 there. Will be RT'ing this too. Well done! 🙂
LynThank you so much for your sweet post! I finally decided I needed to show who I am, and I'm glad I did.LOL on our similarities – it makes life so much easier to know there are people out there who get our quirks.Yes, Anne has been great, and you're right, she definitely know what she's doing. She's very impressive.I think you're doing exactly the right thing. All we can do is be ourselves and be friendly, treat others as we'd like to be treated. And you're right – we should be grateful for each and every follower, and they are friends of a sort. The Internet is an amazing place.Thank you so much for the support and RT:)
Stacy, I feel like we've just chatted over the backyard fence! Thanks so much for telling us more about yourself, although I'm not that brave yet. You may enjoy my memoir blog (www.thesociopathswife.wordpress.com) and my 2 linked others once I've put some posts out on the sites. They have crime and drama – including bigamy. I'm just staring out though, so it may take some time. I look forward to reading your posts in the future.
Sociopathswife (love the name!)You're welcome! I will definitely check out your blog. You should keep putting yourself out there – it's liberating in a way. Love all things crime and drama:)
Yes! It's pop not soda!!! That shouldn't be what I focus on, but it's nice to get to know you. I too struggle with depression and anxiety, and used to love NKOTB. 🙂