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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

I told Instagram I was writing a book

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

See, here's the thing: I've been too scared to announce my project on social media. Why? Because, what if people will laugh at me? What if they won't take me seriously? What if they start talking shit behind my back, thinking I'm a lunatic who thinks too highly of herself?

The self-doubt was real! And then I took a step back.

See, I knew, that as an aspiring author (who was striving for trad publishing, but was keeping the idea of indie publishing, and even hybrid, open) I needed to establish myself as an author online. That's why I started this website after all. I wanted my cornerstones established and developed before I tried to publish. I didn't know how much this mattered for trad publishing, but I knew some agents and publishers might value a following as it suggested higher sales. And I knew, that if I went down the indie path, I definitely needed a following, because no one would market my book for me.

So I wanted to make it clear, especially on Instagram as this is my main platform, that I was writing a book. I was pondering about starting a new account and how to share that and I just started overthinking things so much, that I just decided to use my normal account (it's not private) and simply make it clear that I was an author and post about that.All my model builder friends from my degree was posting their model projects and art on their normal accounts after all!

I decided using my normal account would be easier as I already had about 350 followers. That's easier than starting from scratch. Or at least, that's what I kept telling myself. And also, I didn't see the point hiding this project from my friends anymore. Even if that following included people from my teens that I hadn't seen for years. If I couldn't tell the people I knew that I was writing a book, could I really tell the world?

I didn't quite know how to announce it though. But then I saw a post by @brandigann.telleroftales and thought, maybe this is what I need to do. I needed to spell it out, literally.

So I did. And guess what? It was the best thing I could've ever done. I've never had as many likes as that picture received. 75 likes. Now, I know that's NOT a lot. But it was for me at the time. With my 350 followers my most liked picture had 62 likes. Not that we're counting likes, but this was actually quite cool. And I had 36 comments, 20 of which were from people, and not just my responses to them. And six of those were from other authors on Instagram who had found me through the hashtags I'd used (I never used to use hashtags, but I finally gave into it). I also got seven new followers! So you see, this was actually kinda a huge for me.

And all the comments were positive and encouraging. People were excited and happy for me. No rude comments at all. I don't know what I was so worried about.

Now, a lot of my old class mates from my teens didn't 'like' it. Maybe they don't even follow me. I haven't checked, even though I follow them. Maybe I'm just not on their radar. Maybe they don't double tap that often at all. Or maybe they never scroll Instagram. Maybe they do think degrading thoughts to themselves and laugh behind my back. So what?!

I announced my WIP on Instagram and literally nothing bad came of it. If anything, only good things did. I'm proud of myself. I'm excited. And my self-esteem is much higher. The #writerscommunity and #bookstagram are so supportive of writers. They're there for you!

I will post more about my WIP on Instagram. I won't just post about it, but I am an author and I will market my book before it's even in the publishing stage. Soon enough I will announce this website on there as well and the upcoming newsletter and I will not be afraid of making a fool of myself. Upwards and onwards!

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