Writers’ Places

Activity Being Avoided: showering and dressing.  It’s 1:15 p.m.  I’m self-employed.
Music In My Head: Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
Tea Being Drunk: blueberry green tea
Book Being Read: Plato’s Symposium.  One of my Germans wants to study Greece.

Even before I decided to become a writer (a real one, not the kind I was gonna be when I was two years old: the world doesn’t need any more stories about baby tigers), I knew writers were an individual lot.  We are temperamental and fickle; we are the personification of extremes. We are what everyone else doesn’t want to be.

But we can’t be that in public – at least, not until we’ve established ourselves professionally. Margaret Atwood and Leonard Cohen can be whatever they want in public.

We’re told we have to have “a web presence”. That’s how people find and check out writers now. I have to agree that it’s the first place I go for everything, so others must do the same. I’m not at all inclined to provide a public image in the traditional sense, but I can see the advantages of being accessible.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been testing out internet places where I’d like to be found:
Myspace was a very, very short-lived space… and I am consoled only by the fact that it seems to have been short-lived for most people. It was awkward to navigate, and I didn’t know anyone else on it.
Facebook was also a short-term place. I have a personal page on Facebook — mostly so I can keep in touch with family and close friends — and everyone was gravitating to that page, leaving the “professional” page embarrassingly bare.
Google + was supposed to take over Facebook. It hasn’t  Again, it looks like you have to be famous so people want to connect with you.
• I have a Twitter account, but I rarely use it. I don’t often have 140 characters of brilliant thought to pass along. I keep this account so that I can connect with other people who use Twitter as their main web presence. [Edit: Account is now deactivated.]
• I’m on LinkedIn. It’s boring. I’m told that I don’t use it properly. I have no idea what “properly” might be.
• I have a web-page. Nobody really looks at it unless they really want more details about my professional life. Most of the time, they just click on the link to my blog.
• I have this blog. According to the data, people like this blog. I like this blog: it allows me to rant or pontificate or ramble for as long as I like, and it embodies the things I’d like the world to see.

Clearly, this blog is meant to be my web presence.

Black Lithuanian pigs and anti-ignorance rants are my web presence. Oh, my….

Of the writers I’ve contacted this week (it’s been a “reach out and Tweet someone” week), one was found through their own website, one through Facebook, and one through Twitter. And those were really the only places to find them. While there may be many articles on them and/or their books, finding the writers themselves is like looking for the cat: check all available hiding spots, and they’ll be in the last possible one. Incidentally, the webpage guy was the easiest to find – an inspiring thought during those publishers-are-searching-for-me fantasies.

So this is me: the cropped picture of my grandfather’s dictionary and a whole lot of blog entries. It looks like my public image isn’t all that different from reality. Books and words for everyone!

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