A few months ago I decided to build up my online presence as an actual author. This was in large part a result of reading Platform, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I realized it I want to make it in the fiction market, I need to learn to market myself. After reading posts and comments from more seasoned authors, I also realized that marketing myself needed to begin BEFORE I had my book out for purchase. So I started my website, blog, and writer profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A great side effect of this is that I’m now being held accountable to people outside myself. Since I need to post on various platforms, I’ve begun to think about writing more consistently. I need to keep my audience engaged – even if I don’t have much of an audience yet.

This past week I took a deep breath and decided to ask all 511 of my bestest, dearest Facebook friends to like my author page. I went from 51 likes (more than half of which were strangers from my writing groups) to 95.

Putting myself out there is incredibly stressful, especially for an anxious introvert like me. I need to be sharing what’s going on, knowing that friends and family might be reading (*cough*andjudging*cough*).

What I’ve found has completely surprised me. I started with a few close friends following my page, but my plea for attention brought friends out of the woodwork. The way my Facebook friends have chosen to support me, even if it is with a simple “like,” is overwhelming to me.

What’s more, I’ve now found 3 friends who have messaged me and told me they write as well. I’d never have known. There are a lot of us writers out there, many of whom are hiding, just like I was. For all of you, I say: if writing is a dream or passion, take the plunge. Your friends and family will catch you. … And even if they don’t, the 60k+ writers in my favorite group will be there for you. You got this!