Swoon Author Cindy Anstey: Finding a Voice in Social Media – Getting Friendly
A post in which Cindy Anstey discusses the trials and tribulations of a shy personality finding a way to connect with her readers
If you were to meet me in person, you might mistake me for an extrovert; I am chatty and laugh easily. I have learned to hide my natural shyness to the point that it no longer holds me back—but it has taken years and a conscious effort to do so. You would think, and I did think, that this acquired skill could be applied to social media.
When I uploaded what would be Love, Lies and Spies to the Swoon Reads website, I was not yet on Facebook or Twitter (horrors). Worse still, I didn’t want to be. My daughter convinced me to give it a try and taught me the basics. My first efforts were stilted… to say the least.
I had no idea what to say. Why would anyone be interested in what was going on in my life? So instead I talked about facts that I had learned through my research, defined cool 19th century words, and generally exposed very little of my (somewhat quirky) personality. As you can imagine, I had few followers beyond my tried and true friends.
Fortunately, that lack of response from the "greater world" helped. As soon as I had a sense that no one was listening, I relaxed and started to have fun. I included anecdotes about Chester (for those who don’t know—Chester is my chocolate labrador who personifies the word cute… in my mind anyway), threw in a few pictures, and made silly observations about the day.
And then one day, a stranger commented. Could have knocked me over with a feather! I replied… and so it began. It was a slow growth and still is, which suits me just fine. Keeping up with the conversations bouncing around social media is a post unto itself. But I no longer agonize over what to say; I enjoy the connections.
Twitter and Facebook have given me the opportunity to get to know fellow writers, thank reviewers, talk to readers and people in general—an opportunity that would not exist otherwise. Social media isn’t nearly as daunting as I thought it would be. So now if you catch me on Twitter or Facebook, you might mistake me for an extrovert; I am chatty and laugh easily (LOL); my natural shyness no longer holds me back.