Still resting up, just as exhausted. Fever is long gone. Not feeling terribly chatty at the moment. Have deleted my Google Plus page. Had high hopes for that but Google has decided to shut it down before the end of the year ( actually August 19 of next year) following a data breach on their part. I’m also going to be opting out of twitter sometime this week. If there is one social media site that does precisely nothing to encourage or inspire creativity for me, it’s Twitter. Read several articles this evening on authors who do use social media versus those who don’t, and how they use it. It might seem counter-intuitive to exit Twitter, having already exited facebook, but I’ve my own ideas about things. Primarily the reason to have any kind of social media presence as an author is for the free advertising, you can get your book out there, and for fans to connect with their favorite authors, etc. I’m not geared for the hard-press, for the “follow” and “follow-back” just for the sake of it. Never mind the bots, there’s plenty of phony people too. I see people with 20k followers, following 21k, but their stream is just a continuous roll of whatever they’re selling, they follow you but they’ve no idea if you’ve ever posted a word. Then I see people making judgments on the number of followers someone has, saying things like they just got into a twitter flame war with someone who only has 80 followers and they should know better, which what I’m thinking is what’s the difference between having 80 genuine followers who perhaps actually care what the person they’re following has to say, and having 20k followers who all have 20k followers who don’t really care at all, they just want to get that tally up there? It’s probably not news to anyone that there’s just a lot of yuck involved in all that and I don’t dig it. (Let’s don’t even get started on all the social issues.) Some people are social networking machines, I’m not. Others manage to get to a place where those who have actually read their work speak directly to them, engaging them in actual respectful conversation, saying nice things, “Hey, I read that piece you wrote, that poem you wrote, that book you wrote, and I thought it was great, really enjoyed it”, and their fan-base grows, doing much of the advertising work for them, by word of mouth. And that’s the dream, for the work to be good enough that people are enjoying it and genuinely sharing that they are because then it begins to “sell itself”. That’s the result of a lot of hard work, and a blessing, for most who manage it.
Remember the olden days, I’m fifty now, so I remember them, remember the olden days before social media when you’d go into a bookstore and all you’d really know about the book and the author was right there in the book as it sat on the display table? Perhaps you’d get a nice author cover photo to look at and a brief author bio, along with a synopsis of the story on the back, and you’d buy the book or not based on that alone. “This looks interesting. That sounds interesting.” I think that’s more in line with how it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be about the work. I’ll be the first to tell you that I find social media to be completely distracting in a totally unproductive way, it’s also somewhat emotionally exhausting. I started thinking about what I’m getting out of my time online, be it purely my own enjoyment, inspiration, etc. I also realized that with the exception of a full two-year break from any and all of it, I’ve been on social media since sometime in 2005 or 2006, I think. Keeping what works for me, adjusting the focus, as always.
Along those lines, there’s a myriad of news items, or social topics, one could comment on, but if you’ve spent five minutes on social media then you probably know that someone already covered it. I was thinking about a poem I wrote long ago about not wanting the “red carpet” in “Hollyweird” and how “Malibu never burned” ( really, it’s in GOLD MINE) and realizing that the internet can make a person feel like everything has been said/done before. I don’t think that’s a good state of mind for a writer to be in. I could go on at length on a variety of related subjects but, that would be too much hiatus interruptus. On the off-chance that anyone notices I’ve deleted my account on Twitter, well, I wanted to post something here about what’s up with that. I am still quite tired, though otherwise happy, thankful, and feeling blessed. So I shall now return to my efforts at relaxation and rejuvenation.
Have a wonderful holiday all!