Anti Social Networking

Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs seem to be all the rage in the literary world. From what I’ve seen and heard from other writers, most agents and editors would prefer their authors have an online presence in order to interact with their fans and promote their books.

As a reader, I love this. I love being able to interact with authors and see into their minds as they’re creating their works. I love being able to chat with them about books or the writing process or even just our shared love of movies or TV shows or gardening.

However, as a writer, this trend is troublesome for me. I’m not a naturally gregarious person and I never know what to say. Especially to a group of random strangers. Who really cares that I spent all day several weeks ago excavating a beautiful brick pathway in my yard? Or that I had a disturbing dream the other night which left me completely shaken the next day? Or that I’m a complete Project Runway fanatic and am in platonic love with Tim Gunn? It’s incredibly difficult for me to come up with things to say that I think people will be interested in. Especially with the 140 character limit on Twitter.

And yet, on the flip side, keeping up with my blog is even worse. What do you mean I have to come up with a substantial, informative yet still entertaining post? Who am I to be sounding off about anything? Surely there are other more intelligent/verbose/better informed people out there who’ve already said what I want to say with more class and wit. Why would anyone want to read my disjointed ramblings? Even coming up with the previously bi-weekly and now monthly posts for here is occasionally a chore because the other posters seem to have lived and are living such amazing and inspiring lives and mine seems tame and boring by comparison.

I guess the answer to my dilemma is to pretend like I think I’m interesting and insightful until I start to believe it and become more comfortable putting myself out there. Even when I don’t think anyone is listening or caring. As my best friend is fond of saying – Wear the Mask until the Mask becomes Truth.

Ana

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3 responses to “Anti Social Networking

  1. I understand your pain! I cope with FB OK, but never know what to say on Twitter. I look on in envy at some flowing conversations, and by the time I think of something interesting to say, the time zone difference kicks in and the Tweeters all go to bed!

  2. {{{hugs}}} I completely understand. I think I approach blogging with a different slant, that may make it easier for you. My blog started 7 years ago–when I was writing my first novel, but well before I thought anyone might want to actually read anything I’d written. Not my novel, not my blogposts. I started blogging more as an extension of my journal writing.

    I’ve managed to write consistently, 2-3 times a week for over 7 years precisely because I don’t expect anyone to read my posts. LOL. I think I’m naturally introspective, so musing about my life, my writing, and random observations comes easily. When I look back on the more than 1000 blogposts I’ve written, I think they pretty much capture my ‘voice’ and create at least the impression of my ‘brand’ without having any conscious intention of creating one.

    So, the short version–just ramble on. Be yourself. Don’t worry about readership. *You* will shine through your writing.

  3. First of all, Ana, I enjoyed reading this rambling. Someone else out there is as well. Be sure of that. We all look to others’ thoughts and experiences, however mundane, to validate our own experiences.

    Also, LJ is right when she advises regular blogging. (And I, like you, am guilty of wondering what I have to impart to the world.) Practicing blogging, like writing daily, sharpens our work.

    Finally, my dear fellow blogger, don’t disparage yourself. In the words of Marianne Williamson, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Something I work hard to keep in mind.

    I look forward to reading your first post, even if it is about creating a garden path. 🙂

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