I Have No Idea What I’m Doing!!!
Hello again, people. I didn’t expect to have this next post up so soon, because I literally had no idea what I would write about, but decide it might be fun for you all to follow along as I crumple into a corner and rock with anxiety over the newfound responsibility that I’ve manage to foolishly heap upon myself. That’s not to say that I’m not immensely grateful or happy about the turn my life has taken, nor am I suggesting that I have more on my plate than the average person might have. But for me, a social zombie who runs from any public or even semi-public interactions like I am being chased by the Cloverfield monster, stepping out into the light and talking about myself is daunting. That I have to do so in more than one site and in more than one way, to me, is overwhelming and confusing. In short, as the title stated, I have no idea what I’m doing.
Two months ago when I found out I was going to have one of my short stories, “Cold,” published on the website, Grey Matter, I was happy and hopeful for my writing career. A few weeks later when I found out that another short story, “Playing in Shadows” was going to be published on another website, This Dark Matter, I was even more excited. Until the editor asked for a headshot. Then I groaned, complained, gritted my teeth, told myself it would just be this one time, took a few pictures, tried to convince my wife to allow me to hire a stand-in to pretend to be me, argued that each picture had too much of my face in it to be sent, revisited my brilliant idea to hire a stand-in, and finally gave in and sent the picture, while silently praying that a digital Mack truck would demolish the 1 megabyte picture and leave its pieces strewn across the information super highway. It was a good plan, but alas, the picture arrived safely. But I consoled myself with the knowledge that I’d probably never have to do that again. Right?
Well, the next week I received an email from Jen Leigh of Fantasy Works Publishing about a manuscript I’d sent to her. She wanted to sign that book and any potential sequels. Jackpot!! Dream come true! I did some back-flips in celebration. Okay, I didn’t actually do physical, corporeal, in-this-plain-of-existence back-flips, but inside my head I was tumbling around like a hairy Mary Lou Retton.
And then I received an email from the Marketing Director of FWP and I face planted like a sack of cement-filled potatoes. They had a very detailed marketing plan that necessitated my participation in many forms of social media. This might not be hard for some, but for someone who only has a Facebook page and rarely even posts, comments or likes anything on it, I felt as if I’d been dropped into the middle of the ocean. So I was suddenly scrambling to create a Twitter account, a Google+ account, a Facebook Author Page, and a personal blog. Worse yet, I had to…(cringing)…talk about myself in each of these forums, write a bio, a description of myself, my likes—all stuff I’m sure nobody but my mother would care to read about. Then I started panicking that my mother would read them all and start posting well-meaning but ultimately embarrassing comments about how that picture reminded her of when I was a chubby little baby or about how I don’t call her enough and should come visit more often.
I know if anyone besides my mother is reading this, you probably already have a voice on some or all of these social media platforms and, to you, it’s all second nature. To me, the whole process, top to bottom, is so far removed from second nature it’s technology—specifically an alien technology requiring three-fingered alien palm prints to activate and a one-eyed alien retinal scan to navigate through. I spent all of yesterday and much of today, dumbfoundedly staring at my computer screen, trying to set up these platforms; trying to figure out why after only posting one picture on my FB Author Page, four popped up; trying to figure out what button to press to add a new post to my blog; trying to understand how Twitter even works, who to follow, when, and for how long; trying to change a color on a background; trying to pretend I didn’t have a moment where I thought I’d suddenly gotten a hundred likes on my page when I saw a button with the number one hundred on it; trying to wrap my head around who to favorite, retweet, like, and why, and what any of it even means; and trying not to sound like I’m full of myself every time I have to write a bio for one of these sites.
All in all, it’s been a crazy, sleepless, whirlwind experience that has left me bald from pulling out what little hair nature has allowed me to keep, blind from searching each webpage for an edit button, and hypertensive from worrying that I was going to make a fool of myself. And I’m loving every ungodly minute of it. Worse yet, I’m looking forward to seeing where this ride takes me.
Just more proof that I have no idea what I’m doing.