Creative Advice, Writing

Taking Back Social Media

For a while, I was not liking social media. I didn’t like Facebook, I didn’t like Twitter, I didn’t even like Instagram.

I was burnt out. I had gotten tired of ‘social media’ seeming synonymous with ‘I am going to show you all the worst things about myself.’ There was a tiny percentage of people whose thoughts and opinions I actually cared about, and they were like those tiny clams you see at the beach when the waves are receding. You catch just the quickest glimpse and by the time you leaned down for a closer look, there’s another wave, and they’re gone.

For a while, it was easy to just say ‘no thanks’ and spend my time online on websites that I enjoyed. But then I realized that I missed the feeling of connection and community I had in those spaces online. I missed seeing stuff from writers I liked. I missed getting to keep up with friends who lived far away.

And then I had a bit of a duh-piphany (that’s an epiphany that, at second look, you realize that it’s kind of dumb you didn’t realize it before).

I get to choose the type of experience I have online.

When I started “building my platform” as a writer, I found myself feeling like I had to be consistently following everyone. As if I was going to regret it someday if I didn’t follow them and they were suddenly looking for me. Or, in the case of my more familiar crowd like on Facebook, I thought that somehow I would be compromising my integrity unfollowing people just because I didn’t agree with them.

Now, I’m unfollowing with reckless abandon! I’m kicking people out of my feeds like it’s going out of style! I’m finding artists and writers and creative people and I’m filling in the gaps with stuff that makes me smile.

I’ve heard it said at writer’s conferences that when you deal with social media, you should focus on the ones that work for you. But the other part of that is also focusing on what works for you within the ones you choose. You don’t owe it to anyone to be miserable when you’re online. Keep joy close and the people who are watching will feel that warmth come from you.

And limit how many news sources you follow. Damn, the news is depressing.

 

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inspiration, Self Dare, Uncategorized

5 Living Reminders

  1. There’s somebody out there who is doing worse than you right now.
  2. If you’re concerned that you’re not as good of a person as you think you are, that puts you ahead of the game (keep exploring that).
  3. In a whirlpool, if you panic, you die. Relax. Ride it out.
  4. Give yourself a little bit of mercy now and then. You’re the only one hearing you say ‘uncle.’
  5. Touch your own heart. Feel it beating. Remember that you’re still here.
5 Things, Writing, Writing Tips

5 Writer Reminders

  1. Not everything is going to be awesome. Still keep writing, though, anyway. You never know when one of those rocks is going to be a gem.
  2. Look at the world through the eyes of your pen. Make note of how things are, how things make you feel, and then put it into your work.
  3. If you are writing anything, you are doing more than a huge population of people in the world. Perspective: appreciate it.
  4. You can’t write all the time. Still try to.
  5. You are your own worst enemy. Worse than the rejections, worse than the critics, worse than all the people who smile and nod at you. Because they get to be outside of your head until you let them in.
Poetry, Writing

Kitchen Crises (averted)

A teapot does not lament the soft roundness of its porcelain curvature
Nor does it aspire to the lofty place of honor that is the flute in the cabinet,
The glass never begrudging its harvest moon use.

A spoon does not hate its wide breadth, its unrelenting width,
And a fork never says that it is too sharp, too abrasive,
That existence would be easier as a knife.

The sniffer does not sit and consider constantly its fragile state,
Waiting for the day that it breaks in either an explosion of fragments
Or a slowly stretching crack from the inside out.

Stoneware does not cry.
The cutting board does not bleed.

And the spork does not fear oblivion.

5 Things, how to have a day job, Uncategorized

How to Survive Bad Work Days

  1. Remind yourself that it is only a temporary badness. Nothing bad lasts forever.
  2. Acknowledge that you do not deserve to feel bad just because something bad is happening around you. Your feelings are valid, yes, but it’s not somehow ‘coming to you’ to feel that way. You do not ‘have’ to feel that way.
  3. Love the good things in your life. Count them. Say ‘thank you’ to them. Focus on them.
  4. Find something to do with your hands. Whether it’s squeezing a stress ball or doodling or writing, move your hands and focus on that instead of the world.
  5. Once it’s done, let it die. Tomorrow is another day.
Poetry, Writing

For Every Bad Day

Make time for good
When it is easy to say that you are
Too tired
Too stressed
Too who,
Dare to say that you will give yourself an hour
To be the truest you:

The one who shapes things
And destroys castles,
The one who makes miracles
Out of shoelaces and spit,
The one who builds meadows
And does not part the sea
So much as rules it from the center.

You must allow yourself to be
Who you were meant to be
On the other side of numbers and populations
And formulas and chemicals;

You must be the sunlight
And the moonlight,
Shrug off the hard shell of facts and figures

And shine

Because everyone who matters is waiting to bask in your glow.