Tag Archives: blogging

Gone too long

I came back from AwesomeCon with many observations and ideas, and I’ll be posting them daily this last week of June.
The last two weeks went to family, for good planned reasons and a couple of bad unplanned ones. Sometimes you have to ride out the wave.
Even in the best of times (a Cure concert!), writers think about writing and about not writing, so I am eager to come to grips with the site this week. My daily question – Is it time to give up on WordPress for actual blogging of short essays, and post them instead on medium? It seems to be where people are going for article-length reads.
That said, I met a lot of people here on WordPress through its magical sharing of tags, and some other writers’ “whatever” approach to their blogs also works well enough for them. Nice to have one fewer login in my life.
 
 
 

Performance anxiety (Facebook edition)

If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise. — William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”
I noted recently that writing has become a performing art, one where we writers all have to be promotional and public. I’ve been mulling that over in regards to social media. Specifically, Facebook.
I made my first business career developing the consumer side of what we once called “cyberspace,” but I was quite late to Facebook. Most close friends who wanted to keep up with my personal life soon wised up and Friended my wife. My main reservation was Facebook’s awesome store of personal data (even now, my Facebook account is still under a different computer login than my work or personal logins), but it seemed harmless enough — shared humor, family updates and the occasional expression of political dudgeon by people whose politics I knew well.
When I signed up for the Superstars Writing Seminars, I joined their very active private Facebook group for news and updates on the seminar, and by extension, on the writers’ individual careers. To my great surprise, a lot of those people Friended me on Facebook — most before ever meeting me, and the rest after a very limited interaction (though you learn a lot playing Cards Against Humanity, and none of it good.)
I was bemused. Why on earth would these people want to Friend me? Did they care about my son’s new style of dancing to 80’s pop? Would they be as thrilled by the new retaining wall we’re getting as I am?
My folly was in not recognizing that Facebook has become a public space to the exact degree that one is a public person — and performing artists are public people, and writers now performers. This for me makes Facebook an increasingly staged and risky place. In Soho where she lives, a major fashion model can go shopping without makeup and in sweatpants — but when that same model hits the stores at Mall of America, she is not shopping. She is making an appearance, as rehearsed and planned and calculated as any Oscar Wilde bon-mot.
Thing is, I have plenty of friends, and extended family, for whom Facebook is not that space, and whose socializing there is more honest, more mundane, and in some ways more substantive. If I actually become a successful writer, commenting to me on a Facebook post will be the equivalent of meeting your friend for coffee when your friend is on a reality-TV show and has a camera following everywhere. Little-f-friends, are you ready for that? Am I? Continue reading

Making a busy life into a busy blog

The blog has been stale although I have been busy.
In posts across the web, that “although” is a “because” — you know you’ve read it, here and a thousand other blogs. Which is a problem. It’s one thing to know silent business is a missed opportunity to self-promote, another to make it an aspect of writing and not an intrusion. With Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife, I am learning how to change that.
I am late to Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent fiction, but when the esteemed Paulo Bacigalupi mentioned VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, & Acceptance) on three separate panels at CapClave, I took it for advice — and I loved Annihilation. (The others wait for Xmastime.)
But, in the dealer’s room at World Fantasy Convention, after VanderMeer signed my copy of Annihilation, I passed a table that had his book Booklife. Just the title made my heart both sink and rise. A booklife? What’s that? I want one. I really do. Continue reading

My need to invent (shout out to Bottled Worder)

I had a very hard week last week in my family life — mid-40s fertility has highs and also lows, and let us leave it at that — and I was not taking it well. I tried to write about it but I couldn’t. Not from any objection to over-sharing with the relative strangers who follow me (I read Ellison in my youth, and then Genet; I can over-share in my sleep) nor from any special reverence for the sacred bummer of all things involved with making new life.
I am simply foundering on the effort to be self-centered.
Continue reading