Okay, so encouraged by many people who have liked my blogs or FB page, I went on twitter. That led to much advice about promoting books from other authors. That led to searches on the web for placement, advertising, google buttons, tag switches, reader tracking, https, .orgs, zfiles, QRSTs and WTFs, so that now, I have pretzel brain. Oh yes, that malleable organ has been rolled out, stretched and put through a complete twist and flip. If you’ve ever made a pretzel, or watched one being made, say at the mall, you know that they take this long, thin, piece of dough and twist it and flip it. That’s my brain on the internet. All that’s left is to drop it in hot oil and add salt. And, of course, some people like mustard.
And here’s the thing. I like the social media for the social aspect of it. I love exchanging ideas with other authors, getting and giving encouragement to and from people I don’t even know, but many of whom are smart and funny and obviously good people. But I HATE promoting myself. I always have, it just feels like, “Look at me, see how great I am?” I was never comfortable with that aspect of being an actor. I just want to connect with people on a real level. And, while it’s great to have people like your work, it’s weird when that unhealthy level of ‘fan’ comes into play. I still get letters and contacts from people who think I’m whatever character they liked in a movie or show, or don’t realize that I’m a fifty-two year old mom, not the sexpot bitch in “Laker Girls.” I’m just Shari, a vastly imperfect being doing my best to put something fun to read or watch out there.
I know some people live for this. Some of them get so caught up in what they are putting out about themselves that they get addicted to it and have to try to create more. My word for that? Yucky. I learned early in my life that to put your value in what other people think of you leads to deep unhappiness. If you present only what you want people to see about you, then you can’t be upset when you find that nobody knows you. It’s a lonely place.
Fortunately, the fame thing doesn’t happen so much as a writer. People understand that your work is what they like, they don’t confuse you and the character you are writing they way do with the character an actor is portraying. The main reason I shifted from acting to writing was my girls. I knew I couldn’t be here for them if I was always off on location, or dragging them around on shoots. The second reason was that I’m more comfortable working as a writer. Some people think it’s lonely, but with all these characters in my head, I have to shut the club down at midnight!
Remember when people had publicists? Someone else to do all the bragging? I just can’t bring myself to retweet every nice thing someone says about me. It feels…false. I know, I know, I have to promote my own books, no one else will do it, blah blah, I get it. So now I have reluctance mixed with technology based on number codes and links and tags and blogs and social media, and so I’m gritting my teeth, appreciating the social interactions and the only other thing I can say is…
pass the mustard.