Find a potential fan, friend, and patron (one of each) and reach out to them. Today. Don’t ask for anything but this person’s time. Don’t say no for them or apologize. Just ask. Make it an invitation to coffee (if a local connection) or to Skype. Do it and do it now before you lose the desire.
Then tell us how it went."
I am finding that sometimes these challenges are difficult for me, not because they are outside of the norm for me but because they are things I am already doing. I already make an effort to connect with others through Twitter, Facebook, within my community and in other ways. I have "fans" (although Facebook has now changed those to "likes." I have friends who share their thoughts with me and spend time with me, who listen to me and who I listen to. I also have friends who are not only successful authors, but generous authors willing to help with beta reading, with advice and just generally with their time. (Does that qualify them as patrons, since Jeff Goins described patrons as "These people — leaders and influencers in your industry — will help you grow your platform and get your message heard.")
I am a member of two groups of writers on Triberr; most of my colleagues on Triberr are published authors. All of them are willing to help out with growing my platform and getting my message heard; that's kind of what Triberr is all about. Through those groups, my on-line reach has expanded by tens of thousands of people.
I've even reached out to writers in my locality by starting a Facebook group for writers in my county. It started by an idea formed when I became a minicipal liaison for my region on NaNoWriMo. Since then, my co-ML started a critique group for those of us in our region, and we meet once a month.
So I can safely say that I am already doing this challenge, and I don't feel the need to go do it extra just for the challenge. Seriously, I think I do pretty well at getting myself known, at socializing and meeting the right people. I find it easy as people, both on-line and off-line, are usually easy to like and more than helpful to a friend. I naturally help my friends out too, sometimes taking on more than I should, because I care about them. It's a mutual exchange and it works.
I find this whole concept of "connecting" to be a fairly simple and natural thing to do. The biggest challenge, for me, is to complete my books and get them published. I still haven't decided whether the traditional publishing method appeals to me or the indie publishing route appeals more to me. I guess (and hope) I'll figure it out by the time I have completed my manuscripts.