A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "social media"
I still like a train best for this kind of thing. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers.
That’s it. Two sentences. And then this happened:
And here’s Jessica Gross on writing on the Amtrak during her test residency:
[There is] a sense of safety, borne of boundaries. I’ve always been a claustrophile, and I think that explains some of the appeal—the train is bounded, compartmentalized, and cozily small, like a carrel in a college library. Everything has its place. The towel goes on the ledge beneath the mirror; the sink goes into its hole in the wall; during the day, the bed, which slides down from overhead, slides up into a high pocket of space. There is comfort in the certainty of these arrangements. The journey is bounded, too: I know when it will end. Train time is found time. My main job is to be transported; any reading or writing is extracurricular. The looming pressure of expectation dissolves. And the movement of a train conjures the ultimate sense of protection—being a baby, rocked in a bassinet.
As John Cleese put it, the artist needs “boundaries of time and boundaries of space.”
What a great story. And PR dream for Amtrak. Well done, y’all.
Marie Myung-Ok writes about getting writing done while being on the internet:
I work via slow accretions of often seemingly unrelated stuff. When I complete that unwieldy, puzzling first draft, I spread it out on the desk like a soothsayer viewing entrails, and try to find patterns. If asked, I might pretty up my process and call it bricolage or intellectual scrapbooking, but it really is merely the result of a magpie mind/brain, one that flits from one shiny thing to another. While I still work in my plodding way, the ever renewing bits of information in my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds provide endless fodder, like going shell collecting on the beach on a normal day versus the day after a hurricane when the ocean has burped up every interesting bit of stuff imaginable.
I like this bit about using social media as a warmup to the “real” work…
One of my lifelong superstitions is to never talk about any work when it’s in progress — lest its essential energy leak out into the atmosphere rather than the page — but I have no such inhibitions doing unrelated, throwaway writing while I’m writing. In fact, I find that posting a tweet or a Facebook status update can be a nice little warm-up, mental knuckle-cracking before getting down to the real business.
…but I would make the case again: you don’t really know what’s Big Writing and little writing. Something that starts as a throwaway might turn into something else later. Writing is writing.
From The Frailest Thing, comes a great list, “11 Things I’m Trying To Do In Order To Achieve a Sane, Healthy, and Marginally Productive Relationship With the Internet.” My favorites:
1. Don’t wake up with the Internet. Have breakfast, walk the dog, read a book, whatever … do something before getting online. Think of it as a way of preparing – physically, mentally, emotional, morally, etc. – for all that follows.
4. Don’t take meals with the Internet. Log off, leave devices behind, and enjoy your meal as an opportunity recoup, physically and mentally. If you’re inside all day, take your lunch outside. Enjoy the company of others, or take the chance to sit in silence for a few minutes.
11. Don’t go to bed with the Internet.
This reminded me of David Karp: “We have a rule: no laptops in the bedroom.”
And V. Vale:
The only solution [to social media addiction] is not one that most people want to face, which is to become lovers of solitude and silence… I love to spend time alone in my room, and in my ideal world the first hour of every day would be in bed, writing down thoughts, harvesting dreams, before anyone phones or you have any internet access. I write on paper, cause if you write on a laptop, it’s too tempting to go online. You look up a word and then an hour later you remember why you went on…
I think a good rule overall would be: No internet in bed or at the kitchen table.
Something to aspire to, at least…
For as long as I have wanted to be a writer – and that’s about 40 long years – there was never any part of that dream that included obsessively checking a page of statistics and judging my self worth by the numbers within. I always wrote for the sheer pleasure of it, from putting that first word down to finishing the final edit, writing has always been a labor of love. Recently, it had become just a labor.
So here I am back at my old domain, the one where I started writing publicly (ok, blogging) in 2001, the one where I started telling my stories to the world. I’m taking the majority of my writing away from tumblr, away from the hearts and reblogs, away from the instant validation. I don’t want to labor anymore. I want to love what I write. I want to love why I write.
There are no stats programs here. There is no like button. I will have no idea how many people will read each post. But I will write and I will learn to love to write again.
I was chatting with Michele on Twitter, and she said, “For the first couple of years I blogged I had no idea how many readers I had. And I was better off for it.” It reminded me of Greil Marcus, talking about the early days of Rolling Stone, when they said, “My God, people are actually paying attention to this. Let’s pretend they aren’t.”