Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Think I Fail At Social Media...

With everything stressful that's been going on, I've made a concerted effort to get back into querying and other attempts at agent-hunting. There are multiple reasons for this, but primarily, it was so I had something 'else' going on that I could put energy into (because writing when stressed and unhappy is very hard) and so I could have something to be hopeful about.

Of course, since it's been some time since I queried, I did what I always do, and read up on current trends (in regards to query, or what agents think is a bonus for upcoming writers, not what's hot in the market) and of course, social media, and having a 'platform' seemed to be high on the list.

Well, I've had the blog for a while. I have a excruciatingly boring tumblr account. A live journal page I sometimes manage to post on. And then there's Twitter. Everyone's favorite random tweety thing.

I was late to the twitter game, but once I got an account, I found I really liked it. There is just something terribly amusing and endearing about reading that your favorite author got out of bed and tripped over their cat, or woke up with a kid's feet in their face. You think 'HA! I know exactly what that's like!' Then there's the 'I got an agent call! And then I sneezed into the phone! *face/palm*' tweets of your friends who are going through their own journey to publication. The point is that you get glimpses into those peoples' lives, and you feel connected to them. You love hearing these little blinks of their world.

Except Twitter isn't like that now.

Now, I have to search my feed in earnest to find one cute, random remark about daily life, or personal writing experience. Instead, I'm flooded with tweets bearing links to articles about peoples' books, tips on writing, releases of their friends' books, radio interviews, newspaper articles political articles, contests, press releases, movies about books, casting calls, charity events, and any number of other things. I, personally, am not such a much. I'm just a writer on her way to publication. I've got something like 250 followers. But I follow many more than that. Agents, authors, fellow writers still trying to make it, a couple of actors, and several publishing houses.

I sort of expect ads from publishing houses. And I don't mind them from established authors (what's cooler than having someone like Scalzi or Gaimen help raise awareness for something?) and I totally don't mind agents tweeting happily about clients' upcoming books or events.

But I think that either I've missed the point of social media, or it's changed. Because the nonstop links to buy your book on Amazon, and the endless ads drive me up a wall. If your tweeting about a release date, or contest/giveaway for the release date, awesome. But don't kill me with it. Recently when I've lurked on twitter, I've found myself feeling like I'm in one of those futuristic movies where there are ad banners embedded in your retinas and you have no choice but to swallow a steady flow of marketing. Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe the point of a platform is to tout yourself and your works nonstop.

But I thought the point of social media was to be social. To get people to like you, and thusly create a platform wherein people will support you because they think you're pretty cool. And they'll help spread the word about you because they want other people to think you're pretty cool. And somehow, being bombarded with what amounts to self advertising, just doesn't make me feel social. Or friendly. It makes me want to move into the middle of nowhere on the top of the world and live alone in a cabin, like that girl Hanna, in HANNA.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tentatively Moving Forward.

So. Here I am. Still. And yet, I'm not here in the same way.

It's been so long since I posted that I can't even remember what, exactly, the last post involved. But that's okay. I'll just move on without backtracking. Sort of like life. You can linger and stare longingly at the past, but you can never go  back there (unless the Doctor shows up, and then you're still likely to screw things up if you try and change them in major ways) and so it's better to just move forward. Or sideways. Or in diagonal little squiggles. The point, my dear, is not to stand still while the world is moving around you. Not unless you're  stand still so you can smell a luscious rose, or smile at a child.

I am moving in all sorts of directions at once right now. And I'm not sure that any of them are the way that I ought to be moving. But I'm going in them, just the same. Eventually, out of the chaos, will form a path, and then I'll know which way to head.

I have several queries in the wind. Something I've done far too little of in the last months, and not because I was revising, but because I couldn't handle the rejections, should they come. So for the sake of my emotions, I took a break. Now I find that I am so far into this emotional turmoil that, as Robert Frost observed, The Best Way Out Is Always Through, and so I have begun sending out queries again. Just three, so far. But I'm making a list of other agents and will soon send out more.

Outside the writing world, things are in a constant state of flux. The farm is not the same and never will be. We've placed many of the horses in homes. And once those that will be going to live with various staff members leave, we will be dangerously close to single digit numbers. Which means that in the not so distant future, we will all be looking for new places to work, and new adventures on which to embark.

I do not want to leave. But even if I stayed, I would just end up being the only thing left. That's the way life is. Sometimes you leave a place or time, or group of people. But sometimes they leave you, and no matter how much you don't want them to go, they do, because for whatever reason, things change.

So here I am, hoarding pennies and fearfully exploring the idea of being who I am, in a place that isn't here. I have some leads on work. I do not fear not finding a new job. I fear everything else.

But when the dust settles, I wager you'll still find me sitting here, even if here happens to be someplace else.