Sunday afternoon Twitter talk

I don’t purport to be an expert on social media. But I do pay attention, and I think I’ve learned a few things along the way, one of the fringe benefits of knowing a lot of very smart people. Today, I received twitter spam from an author I’ve never met or heard of, linking to his short story available on Amazon. Like pretty much every writer I know (every person, for that matter), I hate spam. Nothing is better designed to keep me from buying any product than the uninvited attempts of a stranger to sell it to me. But it’s a lazy, sunny Sunday here, and I’m sitting on my patio drinking tea, and it appeared he was an actual human being, so I decided, knowing it was likely unwise, to reply. I said pretty much what I’ve already described here: “Twitter spam? Great way to alienate potential readers.” I expected to either get no response or to get slammed for the comment. What I didn’t expect was for the writer to come back and ask me what he should do to attract readers. I told him what I know, even if I fail as often as I succeed in keeping up with the first two: engage. Be interesting. Talk about things other than your work. Build relationships. The conversation that followed showed he’s become frustrated enough with that approach to decide the pay-off for the spam is worth the cost to his reputation. Fair enough. For him, annoying those of us who hate spam enough to write off anyone who sends it is worth the reader engagement that comes from those who click through and buy his story.(He claims it’s connecting with readers, not sales, that drives him. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.) Building a following can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and sometimes disheartening exercise. So I wonder: other than what I said, what else would you have told him to do, assuming he’s genuinely interested in attracting readers without spam? How do you keep pushing through when it seems like nothing is working? Please share in the comments. Apart from encountering a spammer who was actually willing to have a reasonable conversation about what he was doing, the best part of it for me was meeting a fellow writer who joined in and was on the same page as I am. One of my favourite things about social media is the chance to connect with colleagues while I’m working alone on my back patio. What’re yours? Happy Sunday! Share...

The Weight of Disorganization

Awhile back, I had great intentions of writing a blog post about the weight of disorganization. The irony of the fact that I still haven’t posted it hasn’t escaped me. It was a day when the accumulation of receipts, notes, meeting agendas, tickets to events, and whatever other random detritus had taken up residence on my desk had me overwhelmed, and my goal was to clear it all off, piece by piece, until I had a clean, clear surface to work with. But first, I decided to take a “before” picture to use in this blog post. And IT BROKE MY PHONE. You may think I’m kidding, but no sooner had it taken the picture than it crashed, first to the standard “oops, I’ve crashed” black screen with the white apple, and then to a solid blue screen (Apple’s own BSOD?). Apparently I’m not the only one who finds the disorganization too much to take. Maybe it’s a coincidence that my not-quite-two-year-old iPhone died – truly dead; it had to be replaced – at that particular moment, the instant I snapped that picture, but I tend to think not. If I’d needed a sign other than my own stress level that it was time for clean surfaces, surely that was it. By the end of the day, after I’d spent a couple of hours at the Apple store dealing with the phone replacement, I sorted through and dealt with every bit of paper on the desk, dusted the surfaces, including the top edges of the books, and even sorted and tidied the desk drawers. It was glorious when it was done. I’m not a stickler for tidiness. I would far rather write or read or spend time with people I love than clean. I’m not going to look back on my life and regret that I didn’t spend time I could have been doing the things I love cleaning my house instead. As long as it’s hygienic and not too piled up, I’m fine with it. But every once in awhile, I’m reminded of how much more clearly I can think when my space is truly tidy. It’s like the neat spaces allow my mind to get busy creating instead of being slowed down by the visual clutter from a mess. Or something. Whatever the reason, I like the result. Maybe not enough to tidy instead of doing other things I love every time. But maybe once in awhile. I’ll just be sure to avoid taking a before picture first. Share...


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in D:\Hosting\12064769\html\wp-content\plugins\kebo-twitter-feed\inc\get_tweets.php on line 257