the Challenge

A few weeks ago Sherry Issac wrote on Romance and Beyond about doing things that scare her. She challenged us to do something daily that scared us. What scares me? Self promotion. Me. The girl who was afraid to raise her hand in school, even when it became obvious no one else knew the answer. The girl who didn’t want to let anyone see who she was inside. I have to now knock on doors and say “Look at me!”. I don’t think so.

But authors now have a terrific opportunity. The new way to self-promote is to do everything on the internet. With Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and websites authors who are afraid to stand up and speak in public are able to promote from their living rooms. No one actually sees you. No one can judge.

When I first signed up for my page, I was scared. Almost too scared to sign up. But I pushed past that fear. I picked a .com and I picked a template. Every tiny step made the next one easier. From there it was a landslide.

I now have my own site and I manage it myself. Okay, its a site and I use templates. But I still do it myself. Me. The person who had to struggle with Word and still is unfamiliar with Excel. I blog, I tweet and I’m on Facebook. And this week I’m starting a class on online author promotion (there’s still room!) with Carolyn Cooper. In less than a year I have climbed a mountain of social media challenges.

With  social media there is something new to challenge myself with everyday. I swear that at some point buttons for Facebook and Twitter will happen. I have tried three times now to put them on the page, but fourth time’s a charm. Right? For those of us who are electronically challenged it can be a struggle. Everything is new and different. The terms are strange, and then there is all the social faux pas we can stumble and trip over. An introvert’s nightmare.

But despite what you hear, many people are forgiving. They were new once too. And as for making mistakes on your site. It is almost all reversible. If you really need help, maybe your challenge step is finding a skilled person to help you with your site. There are terrific sites out there, that do far more than my simple one, and terrific talented people to start you on your climb.

So take that first step and jump with me. Or take the next step you are afraid of. If you need a class, take one. Find that experience person to help. Don’t put it off with excuses. Your book isn’t finished? So what. Learning all this takes time and by the time your book is finished, you will be an internet expert. Ready, set, JUMP!







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20 responses to “the Challenge

  1. You make some great points, Jessica, and congratulations on coming so far in one year. I heard recently, but I’ve forgotten where, that when you don’t take risks for fear of failing or whatever your fear is, then you’ve stopped living. So, Jessica, you are living!!! And living your dream.

    I’m with you on the technical challenges and also just put together a wordpress site. Apparently there is a WordPress for Dummies book that I will definitely be purchasing.

    Social media definitely makes it easier for us to sell ourselves, and I’m with you, self promotion is not my strong suit either, but when writers like you share your trials and triumphs, I feel motivated to follow suit! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Sharon,
      One of the real benefits to all of this is the great new people I’ve “met” on social media. I get to see who they are through their blogs and tweets and pages and they get to meet me. What an amazing world it is!

    • I think the class I’m taking will help on wordpress, but I think (like Mallory) she is using, and I have .com . I now have to decide how big a techno geek I am. And I never thought that would happen! But I guess this is all part of living the dream!


  2. I really enjoy the social networking aspect and, of course, I love working on my website. It’s a compulsion, really. 😉 Connecting with other writers has meant so much to me!

  3. Interesting that you’re writing about social media and I’m so into that just now. Especially after my April conference in Vancouver. Writing is not nearly so lonely when you can find people doing what you’re doing. And succeeding!
    Here’s to the journey, Jessica.

  4. Jessie —

    I’m so proud of you! You’re doing more than overcoming your fears. You’re getting dressed up and taking your fears dancing!

    I bet you’ll keep learning–and keep dancing with your fears–until you dance your way to publication and best seller lists. 🙂

    All smiles…………..Margie

    • Thanks Margie. Great to see you here! My internet adventure really started up at the Deep Immersion class at your house. What a life-changing event for me as an author!


  5. You go, Jessie! This was quite a courageous post, and you are making great big social networking/marketing strides. I’m especially impressed that you man (woman) your blog yourself–I had to bribe one of my friends who designs websites to do it for me. All I can do is write posts and insert pictures.

    • Thanks Colette,
      It sounds impressive, but I am stumbling through it. I have been working on adding those facebook and twitter buttons and I still don’t have them. But I will. Right now inserting pictures is about as exciting as I get!

  6. Hi Jessica,

    I feel your fear. Twitter and FB have been on my list a long time, and keep sliding down the list. Is it coincidence, or creative procrastination?

    You are reaching out. Others reach back. Look at all your comments. It’s working! Way to go!

    • Thanks Sherry,
      Look what you started!! Okay, it was everyone at WooHooU, but seeing how far ahead you and Joan and Babs were made me realize I had better get cracking! FB is easy, not much to do on it. Twitter is easy too and if you start either one, let me know and I’ll help you get the ball rolling!


  7. Good for you! I usually just take a deep breath and plunge in. We are all human and we all make goofs and faux pas from time to time. We just never know when it will be our turn.

    • Thanks Carol,
      I’m getting better at just diving in, I tend to be a worrywart. Will it be too cold, or what is under the water anyway? But I’m diving in and I’m learning a bunch of things I never though I would. All about the mysterious world of demographics and what lurks beneath the surface of romance readers. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Brave New Adventures in Awareness « JessicaAspenWrites

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