I’ve said that my ambition is to be able to add “author of…” to my LinkedIn profile.
But I quit Facebook. I don’t Instagram. I wouldn’t know how to Pin or Tumbl anything, and though I have a Twitter handle, I don’t Tweet and I barely check on the people and media I (allegedly) follow. And I don’t even use LinkedIn that much, either.
So, correction: what I really want is to one day be truthfully described as “reclusive author of….” (followed a modest list of reasonably selling books that a few obscure but well-respected reviewers variously describe as “poignant,” “heartbreaking,” “funny,” “laugh-out-loud,” “insightful,” or “searingly honest.”)
But it seems that blogging carries with it some kind of obligation to engage in, and with, every form of social media imaginable. I find that off-putting. And exhausting.
Because dammit, I’m trying to WRITE, here.
For me, writing requires more than 240 (is that how many you get, now?) characters, minimization of distractions, quiet contemplation, and time. Sometimes accompanied by classical music. I don’t claim to be some kind of brilliant artiste (we’re saving that for the reviews, right? HA!) but I want to write stuff that is worth reading. I don’t believe that every tiny detail of my daily existence (what I ate, where I went and how I got there, the current state of my physical being) is worthy of…what do we call it? Sharing.
AAAAAAAK!!!! Sounds like something you do “in group.” (Which isn’t to say that it isn’t valuable…in group. If that kind of sharing is your thing, more power to you. Don’t hate on me. But don’t expect me to read all about it on every social media platform imaginable, either. Unless it’s really funny. Or poignant. Or heartbreaking. Or laugh-out-loud. Or insightful. Or searingly honest. etc.)
I do understand the importance of audience.
I like being on stage.
I like singing in public.
And I want people to read my stuff.
But I regard the audience-performer and reader-writer relationship as personal, one-to-one, intimate kind of thing. Each audience member or reader brings their own stuff to the theater, or the page (or the pixels).
As a performer, I experienced the freedom (and the catharsis) of total honesty on stage – because the theater is a place where everyone agrees to pretend that that what’s happening isn’t real, when it is actually more real than any reality the audience will go back to after the show.
And as an avid reader since childhood, the intimacy of what happens between the page, the brain and the heart is really important to me.
Now, I’ve put myself on the page side of that intimate relationship, and found a kind of freedom, there, too.
I used to wonder about how authors of very personal books felt at book signings, meeting so many people who now knew… all that about them.
Some of my family and a few of my friends read this blog. So I know that they know stuff about me they didn’t know before; stuff that you, my blog friends, also now know about me, and about my life.
But it’s OK – because I’m discovering that the same kind of agreement exists between reader and writer as exists between audience member and actor: we’ve made the choice just to know that we know what we know, and keep it – intimate. Personal.
It’s weird, I know, for something so public to be so… private, but I think you get what I mean. Claudette wrote about it recently. I’ve written about the pain of grief and betrayal, the revival of love, the embarrassment and absurdity of things I’ve said and done, about regret, and gratitude and striving to do better. I hope some of that has gotten down under your skin, and given you a chance to feel what you need to feel about those things, or think about them, or just laugh, at least. And it’s that part of “sharing” that makes it worthwhile, to me.
But I don’t find it necessary to reduce those experiences to 240 characters, or a photo of a pizza. Or a cat.
Unless it is Sophie, expressing her opinion:
Because, cats. It’s the Internet, after all. HA!
Wishing you some quiet contemplation, classical music, a good read, and funny cats, I remain,
Your social-media-impaired but always up for a good blog read,
(Featured image by ijmaki from Pixabay. I just noticed for the first time that even though it isn’t required, I could be crediting the makers of the images I use from Pixabay – and I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so you may see these image credits from now on – if you don’t, it’s because I made the image or took the picture).