Sleepers Begone!

 

Dogs

I bit the bullet today and deleted my Google+ account. It was a sleeper anyway — a place I rarely visited. My blog posts from here were set to automatically show up there as well as on Facebook, but when I chose where to spend my social media time, apart from here, Facebook usually won out, despite some of its features that annoy me.

Every time I checked my Gmail messages I would find some ‘interesting’ yet unknown-to-me man had added me to his Google+ circle. Today it was another military guy supposedly from Iraq. I’m supportive of our military, but don’t appreciate stalkers of any ilk.

Sleeping accounts are risky. Without monitoring, I don’t remember to change passwords, and that’s a security hazard. I don’t see inappropriate comments and spam. It truly is a situation where, excuse the cliche, one shouldn’t ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. Right! So, after considering its lack of usefulness to me, and without a twinge of guilt, I deleted the account.

I spend most of my online time here. Second on the list is Facebook, because that’s where most of my online friends hang out. A distant third is Twitter. I don’t find Twitter conversations particularly satisfying, but I do check my account regularly, albeit not often, because I believe visibility there is a useful tool for writers. But I no longer have to worry about who’s tiptoeing around me on Google+.

No more sleeping dogs! C’mon, guys! On your feet! It’s time for some activity. Let’s go for a walk.

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Where do you spend the majority of your online time? Do you ‘post and run’, or do you stick around for meaningful conversations? How useful is social media to you?

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Twitter and the #amwriting hashtag

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Twitter is a concise form of online communication… “bursts of information called tweets, each 140 characters in length.” The Twitter hashtag, #amwriting, is an abbreviation of ‘I am writing’ and is intended to encourage an ongoing conversation within the writing community. To reach the intended audience each tweet needs to include the #amwriting hashtag, so the rest of your message is limited to the remaining 130 characters.

It’s remarkable how inventive people can be in expressing themselves in 130 or less characters. I won’t identify the sources, but here are a few recent tweets that made me smile:

I should be #amwriting. That was in my plan for the night. But then I picked a book from my TBR shelf and I CAN’T PUT IT DOWN. *shakes fist*

I haz tea, blankie, theme from Goblet of Fire, and a quiet house. #amwriting #amtryingtostayofftwitterbutfailing

The weight of words isn’t fixed. 3000 words can be like nothing and then 800 words can feel like dragging an elephant uphill. #amwriting

Typo of the day (so far): She wrong out her hair. #amwriting or attempting to anyway.

All this makes me wonder how creative YOU can be with #amwriting and 130 characters or less. C’mon, give it a shot. Share a tweet about your current work in progress, the actions of a character, or a writing dilemma. I’ll even start:

My characters are eavesdropping here without me. It’s after 1 a.m. and I’ve gone to bed. #amwriting not.

Okay, so it’s not very creative. That’s because I really am ready for bed. I get silly when I’m tired.

~

(You’ll find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/caroljgarvin.)


Writing Insecurities

 

On Twitter last night I read DD Shari Green’s tweet, “964 words. Some of them don’t suck.

Then on the Writer Unboxed blog I encountered Debbie Ohi’s delightful cartoon…

The cartoon evoked so many comments along the line of, “You must be living in my head!” and “Have you been spying on me?” that a thought stood up and began waving its arms at me… the thought that at some point most writers must feel insecure about their writing.

I know I do. I think I’m a reasonably decent writer, but when I read my work-in-progress I know without a doubt that it’s gosh awful. After I revise, rework, rewrite until my eyes cross, it’s only marginally better, and I despair of ever creating a novel worth reading.

Then along comes a compliment from an unlikely source, and hope stirs a tender sprout that begins to work its way out of my shriveled core. Uncertain. Seeking the light of acceptance, but squinting, just in case it’s looking in the wrong direction. Maybe… just maybe… my story doesn’t completely suck.

That’s the stage I’m at now. How about you? Do writing insecurities ever get you down?

Update: There is also a good post on this topic at K.M. Weiland’s blog: “10 Steps for Working Past the ‘This Stinks’ Blues“.

#amwriting and #nanowrimo

There’s a lot being said about social networking these days – some of it good, and some not so much. I crept into the blogging world a couple years ago to initiate my internet visibility, and since then have discovered many wonderful online friends.

Then I was coaxed into the world of Facebook, mostly to keep in touch with family and close friends, although now writing connections are also among my ‘friends’ there.

During the recent SiWC conference, everywhere I looked people were texting and tweeting, and meeting and greeting ‘peeps’ they knew from online but had never met in person. Tweet-ups happened all weekend long and by the time I returned home, I found myself venturing into Twitter territory, too, just to stay in touch with my new conference friends.

During this month of frenzied NaNoWriMo writing, I’m spending a lot of time squirreled away by myself, and yet I’m not alone.  As I work on my computer there’s a whole community of similarly occupied people out there. And occasionally I take a break to check in. The bits of encouragement tacked on at the end of this post were snippets from Twitter that came in during just one brief period. When I need inspiration or motivation there’s always someone ready to provide it. Now that definitely is something positive to say about social networking!

Question for you: What social networking opportunities do you take part in? Have they been mostly positive experiences for you, or have they had some negative aspects?

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  • Managed to write 3600 words for #NaNoWriMo today. Pretty happy w/that. Puts my total @ 6925. Not bad for 4 days work – I think. #amwriting
  • I didn’t quite hit 2K but I did write 1775 words. That makes 3902 so far today. 5K here I come. #amwriting #NaNoWriMo
  • ooohh keep it up #vancowrimo We are presently #18 for highest overall word count. #2 in Canada behind Toronto by 500K words.
  • After spending most of the day preparing to move tomorrow, I #amwriting for a bit before bed.
  • I’m going to finish chapter 3 tonight. #amwriting
  • I’m back and feeling better. My head still hurts but not as bad. Time for #nanowrimo I #amwriting again! Woooo! :3
  • Didn’t realize I broke 10K on my WIP. Up to 11,875. That gives me a little more #amwriting motivation for tonight…
  • 3067 words! Goal for the day met, spanked and sent on its way. Yes, I’m still writing. #amwriting #nanowrimo
  • Today is over in 30 min so word count for today is 3290 #nanowrimo #amwriting I shall write on, for tomorrow…
  • I think I just wrote at least 1000 words of new stuff. Shows what I can do when focused. Wrote most of it on the kitchen bench. #amwriting
  • When a Wrimo reaches quota, an angel gets her wings. Or something like that. 10261/50k #nanowrimo #amwriting
  • #amwriting Getting TONS done tonight. Not sure where the inspiration is coming from, but I’m not going to ask questions.
  • 15k. Still going! #NaNoWriMo #amwriting
  • Nudging 12,000 words but some o’ them ain’t pretty! How y’all going? #NaNo #amwriting #shutupandwrite.
  • Awesome job!! RT @Xxxxxy: 8,161 words today — personal best. 31,163 words total. #nano #amwriting #amgoingtobed
  • @Xyyyz Glad you reminded me. Guess the only rule for #Nano is to keep writing even when the muse is silent. #amwriting

~

Writing Delay Tactics Revisited

Yesterday Rachelle Gardner gave her readers an opportunity to share how they use (or don’t use) social media such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and how they cope with the resulting time drain. Responses ran from those who interact via blogging but see anything else as a waste of time, to those who utilize every possible opportunity for social networking.

The question keeps rearing up: as a writer, how do you make the best use of your time?

Then again, what do you do if you find yourself in that writer’s quicksand where you aren’t making any use of your time? Inspiration is just beyond reach and every little thing is a distraction that keeps your fingers off the keys and your brain focusing on non-writing essentials.

It’s only a Diet Coke, folks. Honestly, it’ll only take me a minute and I’ll be back at my desk. Oh, wait. I forgot. There aren’t any in the fridge. I drank the last one this morning. Drat. Now I’ll have to make a quick trip to the store. Oh, and while I’m out I might as well drop off these library books… and I should take along this fabric sample and look for new drapery material… and… What? Delay tactics? Of course not! They’re all things that I’ve been meaning to do; things I have to get done. I’m not avoiding my writing. I want to write. I just have to be in the right frame of mind to do it. Once I take care of all these distractions I’ll be able to concentrate again. No problem. Really.

Sound familiar? What about you? How do you cope when the essentials of life lure you away from your writing? How do you balance your everyday life with your writing life or is it even possible to separate them?