I wasn’t going to do it.
After all, I’m a teacher who writes, not a professional writer with a huge audience.
But as I look to my distant future, the one that includes kids out of the house (GULP!) and eventual retirement, I know that I want writing to be a part of that. Twenty years ago I never would have imagined that I would want to realistically write a book someday; now that I’ve moved into my 40s, it has become my life goal. When I was a kid I loved writing but never considered myself a writer. I wrote stories and plays and journals and letters to friends from long distances. I wrote all the time. But to be a writer I believed I had to have an audience and I didn’t, unless one counted my unfortunate teachers.
Graduate school changed that belief. I learned that I was a writer. I had always been a writer. I was just writing for an audience of one. I discovered that I wanted to write for a bigger audience and that I had things to say, perhaps too many things to say. When I started writing my first blog, Frazzled Reflections, I was trying to make sense of a challenging time in our lives. I wasn’t trying to start a writing career. I was just finding a public outlet to share about our lives as I juggled a toddler, baby, grad school, a new job, and a house that was in constant need of repair.
When we moved to Texas and I started this blog, I started to feel the shift. I wanted to write more and I wanted to do more with that writing. Getting the chance to write for THRED opened me up to a whole new world of possibility. When that ended I didn’t want the writing to end, which started a 2019 of writing at least once a week.
I discovered Instagram and started actually using Twitter, learning to fully appreciate both for the different worlds and audiences they opened me up to. While I appreciate Facebook for allowing me to keep in contact with family and friends from across the years and places, I really hated using my personal page for self-promotion. I didn’t want to feel like I was begging my close and distant friends and family to pay attention to me. I wanted to be able to use it for what I originally used Facebook for: maintaining relationships.
I thought about how to expand my audience and read advice that pushed for bigger email lists. It sounded like a good idea, except I was in the middle of a massive email purge. Did I really want to ask other people to add more clutter to their email boxes? If I prefer to follow people on Twitter and Facebook to get their updates, isn’t it possible that others feel the same way?
So I did it. I finally started my own personal writer page on Facebook. I’ve discovered that the addition of a page from my own personal account wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I’m finding analytics that I never would have been given on my personal page. I can now schedule my posts to go straight from WordPress to Facebook. I can easily share the occasional posts from outside of my personal blog. I can share additional pictures of my travel and experiences with a more public audience (while also leaving my kiddos out of it). And most importantly, I can go back to the business of being relational with friends, family, and former students and simply writing for those who want to read my writing.
So feel free to follow, invite a friend who might be interested in my writing to follow the page, or just keep getting my posts in your inbox. Regardless, thank you for joining me as I explore the unexpected in my life.