Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Overcome Your Fear of the Blogosphere by Zoe McCarthy

Is the following how you react when you hear: “You must build a platform to increase the likelihood you will ...”

What’s a platform? How can I, a person resistant to social media, break in and raise my public image? Do I want to stand out? Why can’t I write good novels that publishers propel into the market place without all the fanfare? My name in small print is fine. Who has time to plug into social networks and write blogs, anyway? What do I have to say to people? (Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
I think that’s fear speaking of the new and unfamiliar. It was for me. Step through my journey with me and maybe your anxiety will dissipate.

Preliminary work:

1.      I determined to do it.
For me, keeping in contact with God gives me courage and perseverance. God is bigger than unfamiliar words, codes, and confusing how-tos. He’s stronger than obstacles. When He calls me to do something new, He always does his part when I do mine.
2.      I attended social media workshops.
Author Stacy Hawkins Adams explained platforms in our writers’ group. Later, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference and scheduled social media workshops. From author Gina Holmes’s class, I learned writers must start building their platforms well before they’re published. In Edie Melson’s workshop, she stepped us through creating a blog. Creating a blog still seemed scary but not foreign.
3.      I read books and subscribed to social media blogs.
Platform by Michael Hyatt and Selling Your Book Like Wildfire by Rob Eagar chiseled off more of my fear. Through subscribing to blogs, such as Copyblogger, Jeff Goins, Writer, and Author Media, blogging tips and processes became familiar. Familiar calmed me.
4.      I perused others’ blogs.
I noted their similarities and differences, what I liked and what I didn’t.
5.      I determined what type of blog fit me. Hyatt’s Platform listed three basic types of blogs: “web journals,” single-theme sites, and those focusing on a theme with occasional deviations. The latter two appealed to me.
6.      I mind-mapped what I could share and sustain over time. After petitioning God and brainstorming, I realized I needed to choose from my passions: creativity, the Bible, and writing. My mind map showed I had many life experiences using my creativity to engage people. I could help others do the same in their workplace, home, and volunteer activities. Creative in Everything was born.

Taking the plunge:

7.      I chose a service.As a novice, I’ve started with a web-hosted site. I chose WordPress because most of my research materials mentioned it.
8.      I muddled through the setup.Creative in Everything is a work in progress. Thepreciousgem I’ve learned is: Quit freaking out over the many obstacles. Stop, pray, and persevere.God will work ways around hindrances. Now, I view roadblocks as challenges. I’mcurious to see what God’s going to do.
9.      I wrote the best post Icould, took a deep breath, and hit publish. My marketing strategy in a book proposal promised I’d have a blog by 10/1/2012. That deadline prevented me from endlessly pursuing perfection.
10. I emailed a paragraph introducingmy blog to family, friends, Facebook, and Twitter.I includedCreative in Everything’s benefits to readers and my every-Thursday schedule, which I’vehonored. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with people.


11. I receive encouraging testimonies. Everytime someone comments or emails me how a post has helped them, I praise God for guiding me on my blogging journey.

What tips could you add to help others overcome blogging fears?

Through Creative in Everything, Zoe M. McCarthyenjoys helping others find imaginative ways to engage people in their daily responsibilities. Zoe’s depended on her creative juices to grab the attention of corporate colleagues,middle school students, Sunday school and Bible Study Fellowship preschoolers, and male prisoners.She’s a retired actuary turned full-time writer. Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, she spins contemporary Christian romances and short stories with splashes of humor. A self-publisher of two books of contemporary Christian short stories, she’salso published stories with Christian Fiction Online Magazine.Zoe and her husband live in mountainous Southwestern Virginia. They’ve raised two sons and enjoy playing with their five grandchildren. Creatively, of course.

Creative in Everything:

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