Sunday, September 14, 2014

You can write a book, but can’t write a tweet or post? What are you telling readers?

You have imagination but lack personality?

You're an introvert?


Rachel Thompson happens to be one of my personal heroes. She's an amazing writer, making her a standout author, and she happens to be a tremendously wonderful person to boot. I couldn't possibly tell you all the nice things I have to say about her in this post alone... it would be extremely long, and at the end you'd think I was little more than a squealing fan boy. Which I must admit, I am. However, dear Rachel posted this to a social media account and for a moment when I read it... it stung.

I am all too familiar with the "Buy this!", "Click here", and "Give your Time/Attention/Money" posts that fill up my newsfeeds. I don't like them. I often simply ignore them, and in some cases I even block them. However, it leaves me (and I don't think I'm alone here) in an awkward spot. I write. I have books I'd like to tell people about. I absolutely suck at social media. So... yeah.

Here's how it works for me:

This is MS Word. 

It is a blank document. I see it as a challenge. I see this blank page and I can't wait to fill it, and countless others after it, with the stories... the words and the voices that are in me clawing to get out. What does that make me? A writer? An Author? Crazy?

I tend to think, from time to time, that I am all of those (and a few more I won't list).

I've told stories in person and on paper since I was a very small child. I have an over active imagination... or, you know, demons possessing my brain... whatever... I have these huge (sometimes) sweeping story arcs, and deep and twisted characters, as well as messages and emotions that I feel I absolutely must share.

I don't really have a lot of say in the matter. I could choose to not write (or type) them... but then I'm sure I would go quite mad.

With that said, it should be obvious that I am a creature of words... of language... of communication. Right? Well... only in the right circumstance. When is a blank text box with a blinking cursor scary?

This is Twitter.

It is a blank document. It can only contain 140 characters. I see it as I once saw the school yard bully when I was five years old. It is intimidating. The limited words I put here directly engage other people. What If I type the wrong thing? What if there's a typo? What if I sound stupid?

This isn't a story I'm telling... it's a conversation I'm starting. A conversation with people I may know, I may not know well, or I may not know at all.

I was never the guy at the party to randomly chat people up (unless I was several rum and cokes in) and this is even bigger... it's global.The anxiety it creates is enormous. But guess what? If I don't participate in it... then I have no hope of building a readership. I have no hope of getting my stories, the ones I so much love to tell, out to anyone. We live in a world now that requires such networking to be successful. So... I bite my lip... I type... and I hit the "Tweet" button, or the "Post" button on Facebook, or the "Publish" button on my blog.

It scares the ever-living hell out of me. But I do it. Because I must. Perhaps there will come a day when social media will be a joy... but I haven't the foggiest notion of when or how that will come to be. (I'll gladly welcome your thoughts on the matter though.)

The point of this post, though, now that I've come to it, is this:

If you have a book... or books... or a film... or a business, or art, or photography, or anything else in the world that you create and want to share with the world. Just do it.


Just put it out there however you can.

Even something as simple as this:

Bite your lip and power through. If I can do it then anyone, and I do mean anyone, can do it. It may not be easy, but you can... and you must. You owe it to your creations... you owe it to the world that will admire or enjoy them.

It doesn't matter what your art... your creation... your something to share actually is... you may not feel good sharing it... it may be difficult... it may even make you feel sick to your stomach or make your skin crawl (it has for me a few times)... but you still have to. (Maybe just not every ten minutes or with the "Buy this!", "Click here", and "Give your Time/Attention/Money" stuff involved.)

How else will the world find out? How will they know what you have to share... unless you share it?

That's my .02 on the matter. Your Mileage may vary.


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