My Weird Way of Doing Facebook and Twitter Business

I have a weird way of doing Facebook and Twitter. I am sure there are many out there who are devoted readers of both. After all, if you are following somebody it SHOULD be for a reason, like you enjoy their art or comments or inspirations. That is why I follow bloggers and tweeters.

Having TIME to read all the posts, however, is daunting.

My look-at-twitter-time is usually lunchtime, when I get home from work, and before I go to bed. My look-at-Facebook-time is usually at lunchtime or when I get home from work before I start writing. I must limit myself to those time or else I’ll never get anything else done — housework, writing, and all.

That’s why my method of reading posts makes me chuckle.

Instead of flipping through page after page after page after page (you get it) of tweets or blogs I often just go to a person’s name and read everything they’ve done recently. Even long ago, if I’m on a roll.

That’s why I’m certain those I follow are surprised with a comment months later. Like “Where has that chick been?” But I have found that you get a better feel for that person when you read a number of their posts in a row.

Many of us are pretty predictable with our postings, but now and then we throw something in that seems to have nothing to do with our persona. But it does — more than you realize. Someone who writes serious material all the time can surprise you with an attempt at humor. Inspirationalists who always quote someone else catches you when they quote themselves.

To me, social media is a monster that’s out of control. Too much credit is given to online stories with no face or accountability to go with them. Sometimes we just have to dig our heels in and say enough is enough. To say I like you and what you write, and I will come and visit you whenever I can, but don’t be mad at me if I miss some posts.

I used to want dozens of likes and dozens of retweets. But Earth to Claudia came pretty quickly, though. Check out these statistics.

Total number of registered Twitter users — 695,750,00
Total number of active Twitter users — 342,000,000
Average number of tweets per day — 58 million
Number of active Twitter users every month — 115 million
Number of days it takes for 1 billion tweets — 5 days
Number of tweets that happen every second — 9,100

Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/

Total number of Facebook users — 1.94 billion
Total number of mobile Facebook users — 1.74 billion
Total number of likes and shares — 10 million daily
Number of new profiles created — 5 per second
Total photo uploads to Facebook — 300 million per day
Comments posted — 510,000 every 60 seconds
Status updated — 293,000 every 60 seconds
Photos uploaded — 136,000 every 60 seconds

https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

So come on. How many people do you think will read your posts? How many will retweet your tweets? Find a formula of reading and writing that works for you and forget the numbers. I myself like trolling down my lists of whom I follow and picking a name and reading a bunch of their posts. I like commenting on them, too, so they know someone’s passed by. Makes them feel good — and makes me feel good, too.

And isn’t that what writing’s all about?

 

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Sharing Is The Best Kind of Blogging

Every now and then karma comes back and makes me feel great.

Karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Sometimes we hope karma comes back and kicks butt to the meanies of the world. Other times we hope that because we’ve been good or loving that we can win the lottery.

Sometimes something I’ve blogged circles around and shines sunshine back in my face. Last December my Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog showcased Collin van der Sluijs , a muralist painter from the Netherlands. A few months later there was a comment from the website Life in Maastricht who asked if they could use info from my blog to showcase Collin, as he was from Maastricht too.  Their  website has been part of the Netherlands social media communities since June 2015, covering news and stories about one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. Of course I said yes.

They later stated, “…contacted Collin and he’s happy to participate, thank you for your post, otherwise I wouldn’t have found him.”

So imagine. I got to learn about a town named Maastricht in a country half way around the world, and helped their website find and highlight a homeboy. To me, that’s karma.

Check out their great website — https://lifeinmaastricht.com/ — and share the magic!

THAT’s what blogging’s all about.

So You Want to Get Published?

 

So you want to get published?

This blog is for you.

So you want to see your work in print?

This blog is for you.

So you’re about to quit?

This blog is for you.

I myself am done getting pumped up and deflated about the publishing thing. Done.

Now that I’ve said that, let’s clarify things.

First, don’t ever GIVE UP give up. Keep fine tuning, keep submitting, keep searching for that niche I know you can find.

In the meantime….

I’ve got a computer full of poetry, short stories, novels, medium-length novellas — writing that has filled my life for the last 20 years. And, ignorant and self-serving as it sounds, I think it’s all pretty good.

Life has turned around again and again for me; sometimes good, sometimes lousy. But for better or worse, my life is also turned around, up and down, by writing.  And even if that illusive butterfly of love (thanks, Bob Lind) continues to escape me, I’m going to see my name in print one way or another.

I’ve decided to proofread the hell out of everything I’ve got, print it out, and put it all in binders/journals to give to my family and friends. I can’t afford to get it published, even for my own vanity. The market is so crowded outside my door I’m lucky if I can stick my toe in the writing pool.

My family and friends know I write. Some catch this blog, others catch a birthday ditty or two I tend to create. None really ask to read my stuff — most likely the reasons are simple. Some don’t like to read on a computer. Some don’t have time. Some are afraid to ask. Some probably wouldn’t like my style anyway.

Well, I’ve decided I want those I love to know me through my writing. I have access to Word, Photoshop, and some neat looking fonts. I can create a masterpiece just like scrapbookers do. I can buy neat binders and print novels back-to-back on good paper and hand them out as Christmas presents or whatever.

I want people to read my writing. I want them to have fun and laugh when I laugh and cry when I cry. And if I wait to get “published” I might be dead before I get a contract.

So this blog is to encourage all my poet friends and writing friends and blogging friends. Don’t give up the dream. You are all great writers, and no doubt have a well you can continue to drink from. I have followed your poetry, your short stories. And they are good. So are your blogs.

But if the reality of the world is that you just can’t get your writing out  to the billion or so readers around, get it out to those who care about you. Make a book, write in a journal, paint your poetry on your walls. Make a book of your blogs. Make a book of your sketches and artwork. Get YOU out there. Find a way to share your writing without any fiscal reward…wthout any reward except the good feeling of having shared yourself.

If your friends and family put your binders on a shelf, that’s okay too. Maybe their kids will clean off their shelves one day and read your masterpieces, and get them published for you. If nothing else, maybe their kids will read your masterpieces and smile.

For a writer, that’s payment enough.

 

Ask

B3hKx3FCIAAGEIG Sometimes — no, wait — most of the time —  I feel like the machine that keeps track of your heart rate. Up, down. Spiky Up. Spikey Down. Rhythmic, predictable. Up. Down. Spikey Up. Spikey Down.

One minute I think — no, wait — I know — I know what I’m doing. Charge full speed ahead. Do it my way. Oh, do the work, do the research, but since most around me don’t listen to me anyway, just do it.

The next minute — no, wait — the next day — I have no confidence at all. What the heck was I thinking? It was a waste of time/energy/thought process.

This year is my Golden Year. Sssssssssixttty Twooooooo….(you know how hard that is to say). Golden because I finally have found a second wind, a second dream, a second chance. I’ve found a calling, and I don’t want to let go.

But also, being sixty two, I have had my fill of other’s ideas, criticisms, and opinions. I’m tired of listening to opinions that go nowhere, eyes that glaze, and minds that are always closed.

Herein lies the spike up and down.

I find I still do need eyes that glaze and closed minds to open my own. And I still need to reach out to others for help.

After all these years I still find that I still am afraid of putting out my ideas to others. I’m afraid of rejection, closed minds, eyes that glaze — all that negative stuff. And I find that all of that gets in the way of getting what I really want.

I know I’ve said this to you before, but don’t be afraid to share your ideas and directions with those who can really keep you on task. Those who enjoy your work and can give you the boost you need to take it to the next level.

Those who can see what you cannot.

Never take suggestions from those whose opinions you respect as criticism. Don’t take them as daggers to the heart, or balloons bursting in front of you. I know that’s the first place we all go. But it’s a waste of time and heart.

Tonight I broke bread — or rather ice cream — with a friend whose experience and friendship I trust. So I threw out my idea(s) for my Golden Stuff, and got some excellent feedback. Feedback I wasn’t expecting. Feedback that I hadn’t even thought of. Feedback I wouldn’t have gotten had I not “put it out there.” I know now that I have more work to do — and that’s a good thing.

Working on your dreams is a lot of work — whether you’re 25 or 55 or ___ (fill in the blank). Don’t settle for yesterday. Or maybe take yesterday and use it for today, which will be for tomorrow. And ask others. Take their thoughts and see if they fit within your own. If they don’t fit, that’s okay. But you’ll never know if they fit until you try.

Let’s work on this puzzle together.

 

Ye of Little Faith … or Willpower … May Read

ice creamI am so weak. I am such a loser.

I’ve been sluggish lately; trying to adjust to my husband’s new job schedule (nights), my job schedule (days), cooking and not cooking, sleeping and not sleeping. All those things post-menopausal women go through.

I was going to try and do something about the sluggish thing. Diets aren’t for me. I love the taste of food too much. But common sense told me I can’t live on Fettuccine Alfredo and lasagna the rest of my life…not if I wanted to live to see 70. Or 80. Or, goddess be on my side, 90.

So I was going to go on that low-carb diet. Lots of meat, veggies, and water. I drink a lot of water at work already, so that’s not a problem. I started walking during my morning and afternoon work breaks. I was being a good doobie.

Then stress comes along. Too much salad too many days in a row kept me in the bathroom. Scrambling around in my frig for something that goes with the meat/veggie/water thing that is ready in 15 minutes more than impossible. Husband cooks dinner that I have to clean up. Can’t catch up with my writing or my friends or my sleep. So the crabbies hit me full force. And what do I do?

Meet my bff at McDonalds for an ice cream sundae. Then have a bowl of cereal (carbs!!) before bed.

What ever happened to MAKING A COMMITMENT? What ever happened to WILL POWER? What ever happened to the whipped cream and nuts that are supposed to come atop the sundae?

I admit my weakness will not cause the moon to slip out of orbit or get Gordon Ramsey to stop yelling at his Hell Kitchenites. But it bugs me that I can’t seem to stay true to trying to lose a few pounds. Oh, I know — tomorrow is another day. I didn’t fall off any wagon. I’m still walking and drinking water and eyeballing salads. I KNOW I have to move it or lose it. Cut proportions. There are already a dozen things I can’t eat any more because they mess me up in one way or ten.

But somehow it just seemed right to share my joys and sorrows with my bff over cheap ice cream. She, too, is swimming in her own pool of drama, but somehow we found comfort and support over a chocolate dipped ice cream cone and a hot fudge sundae. Seeking solace and laughs and camaraderie,  I would have willingly followed her to the local Italian restaurant, too.  That’s what friends do.

Tomorrow I will be back on the low-carb road. I chopped up some chicken for my salad and will have a burger for breakfast, along with some grapes and broccoli and whatever else my frig gives up. I will not be weak. I will not give up.

But I will be looking for my next excuse for a plate of Shrimp Scampi. With noodles.

Oh Euglena … Come Out and Play …

euglena2The other day I blogged about the light-bulbs-growing-on-grass-thing. Inspiration, getting the growth going and all. Then I had the day from Hades — personal flubs, everything from losing my debit card to a momentary lapse of memory to indigestion. I wondered how I would ever live up to the growing thing. The writing thing. The inspiration thing.

Then I found my little notebook that had the plot line of my second novel scribbled in multi colors.  It’s like someone really did turn the light bulbs on the grass on. A plot! A direction! Ideas! I remember looking fondly, wistfully, at the little 3 x 5 thing, not really interested in my character’s continued adventures in Tinaria.  But now — here it was. Waving. Calling. Teasing.

What made this adventure even sweeter, though, was that I overcame my “do not share” mentality and actually asked for advice for my story. I was stuck on a premise I started in my first novel, and had no idea how to manifest an explanation in the second. So I talked to my good friend Cal The Science Guy about colors and blood and time travel. I actually told him about my story idea and asked for a feasible way around my blockage. I was able to get an educated — and fun — opinion about my work and my ideas.

The point of this evening’s conversation is that I learned to share my work. Not hide it. I always wanted to make sure my writing was perfect before I shared it with anyone.  Like, if I didn’t tell them about it ahead of time they would like it better. All the grammar hadt o be perfect; the conversations, the encounters, all had to be smoothly  orchestrated. If I was stuck, so what. I just changed ideas. All because I wanted to “surprise” my reader.

You would think at my age I would know better. The best kept secrets are nothing but secrets. Who cares about the stories you’re not telling anyone? Publication is a a fleeting thought; a dream, possible in some spheres of reality, impossible in others. Winning first place in an art show or  graphic competition just as nebulous. What matters is NOT keeping these things a secret. No matter if you are a painter, a jewelry maker, or a writer. If you are stuck, ask someone. It’s not like they’re going to take your idea, or laugh at your idea, or tell everyone your idea.

We all get stuck in life. Some landmines can’t be helped. It’s life. But not sharing your stories, your poems, your creativity because you are afraid someone might not like it? Pfffttt….what does that matter? Did you like making that necklace? Did you enjoy stenciling that room? That’s what it’s all about. Need a little boost, a little clarification? Don’t be afraid to share your creation with someone. Everyone needs help now and then. I mean, even Van Gogh painted side by side with Gauguin.

OK, Cal…about this alien/time travel/gladiator  thing….