The Starship Enterprise and a Break from Social Media

Yesterday I posted this to Facebook / tweeted this to Twitter:

So…I decided a few days ago that I need a social media break. It’s starting at midnight, it covers Twitter and Facebook, and it will likely last a week.

notweetingI need this for several reasons, the main one being that I desperately need to finish my work-in-progress, the much-neglected Elevator People. Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting, sharing, horizon-expanding, giving, receiving…but it is also a fantabulous time-suck. I need to see if spending my social-media time on my novel instead will help me finally finish the darn thing.

Furthermore, Twitter and FB have been the sources of a lot of OUTRAGE over various and sundry of late. And I’ve let myself join in on it. Yes, there are many things that SHOULD engender outrage. Injustice and cruelty, illogic and conspiracy. Incomprehensible chaos…. I don’t want to hide from it all, because I recognize the importance of participating in the story of the world, even if that story is sad and gruesome and despicable (usually the sparks of the outrage). Social media is part of living in the future, and I want to be part of that.

But.

All the outrage is contagious. All the outrage is addictive. All the outrage, and I throw myself into it, and my blood pressure rises, and my spirits sink, and I can’t get away from all the pleading voices that clamor for my attention. I can’t think my own thoughts, I can’t feel my own feelings beyond the MUST REACT TO CONVICTIONS AND SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET!

nofacebookingI need to think, need to breathe. I need to be in my own head and heart and in the my-life that I can touch with my fingers and smell and taste. I need to rediscover what it’s like to hear see read feel imagine something and not immediately reach out and tell the worlds about it. I need space…the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise…. #kidding #notreallykidding

I need to live my life without status updates and hashtags for a while.

So I’m taking a break. I’ll miss y’all. I’ll have withdrawal symptoms, and I’ll wonder what I’m s’posed to do with myself.

Maybe I’ll blog. ; )

Maybe I’ll finish my book. Maybe I’ll write poetry. Maybe I’ll have apostrophes. I mean, epiphanies.

But whatever happens, I know for certain it will be good.

I’ll leave you with one final thought, and then I’m going dark. I’ll see y’all on the other side.

INVISIBLE ZOMBIE SPIDERS. FBthumbsup

Sweet dreams!

When Blogging Give You Laryngitis

Will the real Courtney PLEASE make some noise?

Or: A Blogging Voice Is Hard to Come By

If you’ve tweeted with me recently…

…or if you’ve read comments I’ve left on others’ blogs…

…or if you’ve paid close attention to my blog posts over the last month or so,

…you know that I’ve been worrying about my vision and my voice.

When I started this blog, I had a vision for it: I knew I wanted it to be my platform for launching my novels, and I knew I wanted it to be an encouraging, inspiring place to talk about writing.

What I didn’t know was just how to translate that vision into reality.

I still don’t know. I can’t give you a “5 How-Tos for Turning Your Blogging Vision into Reality.” That, however, would make a cramazing blog post, and if you write it, tell me. I will link back to you.

Anyway, I’m still figuring out the how-tos. Judy Dunn (of catseyewriter.com) and I have had several conversations about blogs as labs.

Blogs Are Big, Friendly Dogs

I mean, no: Blogs aren’t big, friendly dogs who lick your face and make big, sad eyes at you. Blogs are laboratories, in which you can experiment with the crazed enthusiasm of a ten-year-old with her first chemistry set.

Mix things! Pour things into each other and see what happens! Sometimes you’ll get gunk, and you’ll get in trouble because you made the house smell like rotten eggs an hour before the neighbors come over for coffee and ice cream. (I might or might not be waxing nostalgically anecdotal here.)

Sometimes, though, you’ll pestle and mortar a few elements into your blog that create a spectacular bang. And that’s when it turns glorious.

So, that’s the blog-as-lab concept. It’s all fun and games, ’til someone gets a thumb burnt off. I’m learning not to be scared to try new stuff (see my recent first video blogs).

When The Dogs Worry Me

The operative word of the previous sentence is “learning.” As I hinted above, I still get nervous about my blog’s vision and voice. If my vision is the theory, then my voice is the practice. And I’m not talking about how my voice sounds in my videos (even though I personally don’t get the greatest thrill out of listening to that, lemme tell ya).

No, what I’m talking about are these questions:

When I write my blog posts, am I being genuine? Am I being sincere?

If I’m not being genuine and sincere, do I at least sound genuine and sincere?

Am I being myself?

How much am I holding back because I’m too freakin’ scared of getting rejected for whatever bizarre reason my subconscious chooses to drum up this time?

I know I’m connecting with readers — but how much more would I be connecting if I weren’t holding back?

Am I truly so terrified of making myself vulnerable?

Three weeks ago, my first novel came out. One would think that means I’m not afraid of being vulnerable. Sharing a novel with the world is a pretty soul-baring thing to do.

But still.

I blog. And I feel myself holding back.

Is it fear?

Or is it pride?

Does part of me still think I have to pretend I’ve got it all together? After all this time and after getting knocked off my self-gifted pedestal again and again, does part of me still believe I’ve gotta show the world some perfect example?

Am I too full of myself to share my true self with you?

In Every Job That Must Be Done…

I found a fun thing this week. Somebody tweeted it, and sadly I cannot remember who it was. But you can find said fun thing here:

Tweet Topic Explorer.

At the bottom of the Tweet Topic Explorer screen, you can type in any Twitter ID, and the system will generate a picture of all these nifty circles of different sizes and colors. Whichever words that Twitter ID tweets the most, those will be in larger circles. And they’re grouped together by color, showing which words appear together in most tweets.

If you click through that link above, you’ll see that I did this with my own Twitter ID. I also did it with several of yours. But I ain’t tellin’. ; )

And as soon as I saw what the Tweet Topic Explorer generated for me, I felt like a burden had dropped off my shoulders.

Sample of Tweet Topics for courtcan

There, my dear inklings, tweetlings, and darlings, is my vision for my blog. Why did the burden drop off my shoulders? Because what I tweet about, I’m blogging about. And if most of my tweets include those words you see up there, that means I’m tweeting and blogging about all the things that are part of my vision.

love
novel
book
color
coffee
read
tim — which is actually “time,” if you must know. ; )

Things I’m thinking as a writer. Things I care about as a writer. Things that keep me going as a writer. Not to mention the people. (Tweetlings, follow those IDs you see in my Tweet Topic cloud thingy. They’re pretty cramazing folks.)

All of these are part of my vision. ‘Twould seem I’m sharing more of that vision than I thought I was.

And as for my worries about my voice…well, if my mind weren’t sitting back and letting my fingers do the talking for this post, I probably wouldn’t have talked about slobber-happy retrievers and crazed ten-year-olds with chemistry sets.

Here’s to fun little hints that let me know I’m “doing it right.” (You know who you are.)

Here’s to keeping it real, and here’s to sharing more and more and more.

_______________________________

Speak up, y’all. What are the vision/voice concerns that keep you up at night?

Is your struggle with fear? With pride? With something else?

What keeps you from making yourself vulnerable?

What are the obstacles keeping you from your audience?

What’s the one obstacle you can pulverize right now?

Tweetlings, do the Tweet Topic thing — what surprises you about your results?