Beginning writers face the challenge of finding their voice. Finding that way of writing, that way of expressing, that is uniquely theirs.
I spent many years studying and practicing to find my voice (and I’m still working on it!).
Voice is important. There’s a reason writers are encouraged to focus on it early on, as they learn their craft, hone their skills.
There’s another, completely different kind of voice for which authors don’t get much training: the dreaded social media voice.
We all use social media one way or another in our daily lives. I love using Facebook to stay in touch with out of town friends and family. I find Twitter valuable for staying on top of breaking news or tracking trends in the publishing business (and yes, wine).
But using social media to build an audience for a mystery book? That’s been a new adventure for me. One I’ve thrown myself into whole heartedly, though perhaps with less skill than I would have liked.
Until a few months ago.
My husband and I love to travel. I use these trips to gather ideas about people, places and histories that I can use in my books. My husband takes pictures.
His passion, his creative outlet, is photography. As we travel, he captures images of people, places and things that evoke emotions, that draw you in to a foreign place… images that tell a story.
Thanks to the wonders of digital photography, we return from trips with 4,000, 5,000 even 6,000 photos. Phew! Remember the days when the cost of film and the cost of developing meant taking fewer pictures but making each one count?
So there we were, me writing up notes and ideas from our travels, my husband organizing thousands upon thousands of photos. And both of us thinking of ways to use social media to reach a new audience for my books.
Which is when we discovered Instagram.
Instagram has been a great tool for us. My husband has a blast going through all his photos and pulling out the best shots to share. I write up a little description, occasionally throw in a book cover or a quote.
We’re having fun, using our particular interests and skills.
I’m no social media expert. I’ve definitely struggled with it. But perhaps that’s because I simply hadn’t found my social media voice.