Learning Curve: Social Media and the Passionate Artist

Be like bluebird, Jess.

Oh boy. I should have just worked on my NaNoWriMo book instead of hopping on Twitter yesterday. I embarrassed myself in front of someone I respect. The only upside I can see is that this person called me out on it and gave me an opportunity to learn.

So, I’m learning. I feel really tense about wanting to delete those tweets, if I even could delete them. I don’t think I will, because I need to learn from what I did. I definitely need to learn from what was tweeted to me about my bad attitude in certain situations. This person hasn’t unfollowed me yet, so I have an opportunity to show I am trying to learn to be a useful contributor to the Twitter community.

I have the chance to show I’m learning how to traverse social media gracefully and graciously.

I’ve found that I learn best through adversity. Not all people do, yet I do. This has been a stroke of fortune as a writer. When I write, I seek out at least one important lesson for the character to need to learn in order to evolve from the first to the final page. In the Dome Trilogy, the main character travels a massive story arc making mistakes which affect the outcome of both her life and the lives of others in a human future in a utopian arcology held up by obfuscated dystopian truths. In the Cryptid Series, the three primary characters each have a journey which winds around the journeys of the other two. Writing a viewpoint shift is challenging, possibly as challenging as shifting my own viewpoint in real life when I realize I was wrong about my opinions.

“Write what you know” consistently appears to be the most often-used advice given to writers. For me, that means to write that inner journey I take as a human being and apply it to the inner journeys of the characters. The settings and challenges may not be my own, but the ability to learn and evolve come from what I know personally.

So, what do I know about being gracious on Twitter?

  • I know I should read, retweet, and favorite more than tweet, to follow the rule of listening twice as much as I “talk”;
  • I know I should never, ever, ever enter a conversation where I do not belong, even if I am passionate about the subject;
  • I know I should participate fully in hashtag groups when I’ve been invited and I decide to join;
  • I know that I need to treat Twitter like a publicist or agent and be courteous and professional in my interactions on it.

I have met some wonderful individuals who I could befriend in real life. I have learned from professionals who educate participants on dos and don’ts on social media through linked blogs and their own tweets. I have seen the range of human behavior, both good and bad, and I have participated in that full range of human behavior, both good and bad.

The Pink Olivetti
Bye-bye baby, baby bye-bye! Well, only for November.

Now, it’s time to write a book and prepare for Thanksgiving. My attempt to hand-write, type, and enter the book into a computer has failed. I am removing the typewriter from this grueling process, because I’ve found myself hopping on Twitter to avoid it. Will I use it in my writing process. Yes. It works well for me when I am not under pressure to produce a novel rough draft in a thirty-day time limit.

I’m definitely considering an egg timer for my Twitter use, limiting my use of the social media outlet to an hour in the morning and to an hour at night–plus the social outlets. And if I ever use automation, which I am loath to do, I think I will leave it for the #FF (Friday Follow) alone, and make sure to schedule those tweets at hour intervals.

I really like the people I’ve met on Twitter, and I want to be better at social media for them and for myself.

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