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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Social Media Reflection-

As a writer, I am encouraged to post on my blogs regularly within the framework of my genre. The more views and followers I obtain, the better my chance for publication. Maybe.
Today, a writer has to self-promote. Gone are the days of simply 'writing' and letting the editor do the rest, including proofreading and marketing.
For me, this detracts from the actual writing. I get caught up in posting the perfect photo to go with some piece I've written, or seeing if anyone 'likes' my posts. It borders on feeding the ego, and the craft seems to no longer be the shining star.
This got me thinking...uh-oh...
Why is it important or even meaningful to post a photo of myself, let's say, in the park on a snowy day and sharing photos to go with it?  Or the fact that I am cooking a tasty meal? Or that I am enjoying my latte this morning? (Which I just posted yesterday on FB.)
Well, for me, it's mainly for a reprieve from heavy thinking and writing, for a little fun and keeping in touch with friends/family in a lighthearted manner.
But I am also very aware that we have become a 'show and tell' cyber society. Myself being no exception.
Perhaps I am prone to this introspection because I did not grow up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as some of my younger friends. I did not have an iPhone as a teen. No text messaging. No e-mailing. No internet! I communicated with others face-to-face or on the telephone voice-to voice. (Yes, I sound like someone’s grandmother back-in-the day.) 
 Whatever writing or artistic feat I accomplished, did not need a hundred 'likes' to validate it or sway potential publishers my way. I indulged in the talents that came naturally to me. As long as I 'liked' it within my true self, then I felt good about it. It was enough.
  And even without all the followers, 'likes' and posts on social media, certain God-given gifts did not go unnoticed or unused. Somewhere, paintings I’ve done hang in a home or an office. Articles got written and read… helped a person or two…or fifty...who knows how many? It didn’t matter. The ‘calling’ was to just get it out there. Something as simple as writing a poem for a special friend or a teacher, made its mark. The world didn’t have to know about it. A soul-to-soul connection requires only that.
  Now, I am writing this reflection on my ‘author’ page, writing blog, etc. because this is the way the world works in 2015. I can go up to the mountains in seclusion and write to my heart’s content where there is no Internet coverage…no e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or even Starbucks. Live to the rhythm of Nature. Wake to the sounds of birds and go to sleep to the sounds of silence. No ever-present opportunity to check on my  posts with the hopes of drawing viewers to my blogs.
Yes, I do that.
For a time.
But if I want whatever I write in a cyber-less environment or not, to get out there, to be read by others, to benefit a heart or two, I’ll need to beat within the pulse of the movement of the times.
It’s bittersweet…for me. Maybe not for you. But our differences are beautiful, are they not?


  1. "It borders on feeding the ego, and the craft seems to no longer be the shining star." Oh my heavens, yes. I nodded in agreement as I read this.

  2. Amen! I agree!
    I don't want what I write to be overshadowed by the trivialities of 'me'. I'm willing to share what I produce, but I'm not comfortable giving away pieces of myself.
    If self promotion and continual updates of personal minutae are necessary to be a successful writer these days, I'm happy to remain in the shadows.

  3. Thanks for the affirmation, Nancy and Tess. It's risky to post opinions such as these at times, but the realization was so powerful, I just had to share it. Being a 'behind-the-scenes kind of person is why I take to writing. :)

  4. This is so good. I think it was Flannery O'Conner that said something like, "I write because I write well." She didn't say "I write because I get 5000 likes every time I put pen to paper." How many truly remarkable authors of the 19th and 20th centuries weren't popular during their time? Scores of them! And thank goodness they didn't stop writing. Thanks for this Linda…and keep on writing!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. A re-evaluation of sorts is churning in my mind.