Posts tagged blogging
Technicolor Nightmares

Viginia Woolf Writers (and artists in general) have a million quotes that all basically come down to the same thing: we feel like lightning rods for the human experience, and as such, we need to find a way to redirect all that feeling, emotion, darkness, and energy somewhere else, or we'll explode. We live the life of everyone we talk to. We dream of worlds no one has seen. We take all of the invisible, intangible bits and try to give them shape.

Being a person who walks through life feeling this way is complicated and exhausting, mostly because the only people who truly understand what life feels like to us, is other people like us (and we tend to not spend enough time around those types of people!) This is why my life changed when I first set foot inside the hotel at my first RWA National Convention. It was like Dorothy walking into Oz and seeing the world in color for the first time. I didn't have to explain myself to anyone. I didn't have to make apologies for needing a few minutes to introvert. I didn't need to explain that I love socializing and being alone. These were my people. 2,000 of them all in one place. There were other people like me in the universe (a lot of them!) who geeked out over information and reading, who believed in happily ever afters and the power of transformative experiences. These were people who could talk about hair and makeup one minute and the deep underlying meaning of racism and misogyny hidden in popular literature the next.

This is why I treasure the internet. It took me over 30 years to find other writers and artists to connect with. Without the power of the internet I wouldn't have the network of people and support I've been able to gather over the last few years. The internet is amazing. Conventions where you can spend time with people who have similar interests are amazing. The world is huge and it can be very lonely, but it doesn't have to be anymore. You can find your people.

I'm writing all of this because this weekend took a dark turn. Dark. The kind where being a lightning rod became too much and I really felt like I was on the verge of exploding. Actually, it felt more like a well of sadness so deep and strong was trying to escape from my soul that the only way out was by it spilling out of my heart like a tidal wave. That if I didn't find a way to let it all out, that sadness would carry me away with it--because it had to get out and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I don't know exactly how that much sadness winds up inside me, but I suspect it comes from me being me. I pick up emotions from everyone I meet. I absorb them and take them in. Maybe I store them up so they don't have to, or maybe I accidentally leave them lying around in a back storage room until the room is full and there's no where else for the stuff to go. I'm really not sure.

In the past I dealt with this alone, but then I became a writer and I finally had a real outlet for this stuff. I could finally redirect all the feelings and stories I collected each day into a channel that could handle it. Along with that came finding friends who understood me and I was able to build a community of support that I've never had before.

And I want everyone who feels this way to know there are people like them out there, and that taking those steps to go to that convention, or meeting, or school is the right step. It can feel overwhelming, but it is worth taking the chance. Not every attempt will work out, but you have to put yourself out there in order to find the one that will. Find your art, find your people. They are out there.

Pisaro quote

Facebook and I Are Getting a Divorce

Kids, I have something to tell you. After some careful consideration, Facebook and I have decided to get a divorce. We still have shared custody of the fans and pictures, but he has the status updates and I have to move out of the house. It was a tough decision, but a few months back I saw the writing on the wall and started testing the waters with other platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+... I've realized that Facebook and I were in a bad relationship and we really are better off apart.

You see, back when we first started dating, Facebook made me a lot of promises. I went in knowing Facebook had their own needs and I tried not to be naive but... I was hopeful and probably a bit doe-eyed. There was so much to love. So much potential. We could do so much together and there were some beautiful times we had together.

But then things changed. Facebook went public and needed to prove their financial stability to the world. I became less important. I tried to be understanding--Facebook had his own dreams and goals that were different from mine. But there came a point where I realized this was an abusive relationship.  And it was probably wrong (even if it felt right) to expect so much from a single platform. I put all my hopes in one place, and that is never a safe choice.

Facebook would ask me to do one thing, then get me in trouble for doing it a week later. He asked me to use him, then took everything I needed and asked me to pay him for it if I wanted it back. It wasn't a healthy relationship.

There was so much potential. Facebook could have become the most important and successful business platform the world has ever seen. They were providing a connection between product and customer--between people looking for love, life, friendship, advice, and more--and decided that connection was only useful to them if they could put an actual price tag on it.

But my friendship and connection to all of you doesn't have a price tag. I just wanted a way to connect and I thought that was what Facebook and I were all about. It's not. So, I'm moving on to a place where I can feel safer--more loved and connected, not used and lied to. My fan page is still up on Facebook and I have no plans to ever change that (unless FB starts charging for that, too).  I have a personal page that you are more than welcome to friend request or "follow". I only use it as an author and nothing else.

But I'm happy with the friendships I've found in other places. Instagram (though it is owned by FB) is such a great place. I've connected with so many readers and other writers. We share our journey every day.

Twitter is where I talk daily with my fellow writers. There is such a great and supportive community there. I spend most of my "working" hours connecting there.

Google+ has so much potential. I've already connected with tons of other writers and readers there. I'm excited to see where it goes.

Tumblr is also a fun place to be. I'm still figuring it out, but it's strange and wonderful. I think I'm finding my footing there as well.

Like all bad divorces, Facebook and I breaking up has hurt. But in the end, it has changed me for the better. As I've moved on to other platforms I've been forced to reevaluate my goals and connections, rethink where I'm going over the next year and how I want to get there. I think, in the end, Facebook's decision to become a self-centered, bullying, asshat, has made me a better business owner. This blog, for instance, is now the center of everything.

And I think that is the way it should be. Most businesses are reverting back to "Pre-Facebook" business standards. Blogs are back and so are RSS feeds. Waaaay back in the day, that is how I used to keep up with the personalities and businesses I enjoyed following. If you are interested, look into an RSS feed reader to keep up to date with the blogs you like to follow (Feedly is the one I'm using at the moment and it great on tablets and phones), that way you aren't tied to Facebook, Twitter, or anything else to find out what people are up to (or an annoying daily email you more than likely won't look at). Instead, open your feed and see what you want.

Facebook decided it didn't want to capitalize on the good things it was doing. Instead it has flushed them all away and replaced them with a confusing maze of rules, contradictions, and meanness. Maybe it is better that we're going back to the way things used to be. I don't know... either way, change is happening whether we like it or not. And I'm moving and changing along with it.

Thanks for the happy memories, Facebook. I'll still be around, I just can't love you like I used to.