Tag Archives: social media

Why Am I Stepping Back From Twitter?

Why Am I Stepping Back From Twitter?

Like everything, this begins with a story. Recently, I started reading Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander, and I’m enjoying it so far. He begins the book with an author’s note explaining how he bends history to serve his narrative. In this introduction, he states that while the book is thoroughly researched, he takes creative liberties in regard to historical figures and battles. (Though I usually find such forewords unnecessary in historical fiction, I appreciated O’Brian’s care, and I know some Royal Navy enthusiasts probably did as well.)

“My point is that the admirable men of those times, the Cochranes, Byrons, Falconers, Seymours, Boscawens and the many less famous sailors from whom I have in some degree compounded my characters, are best celebrated in their own splendid actions rather than in imaginary contests; that authenticity is a jewel; and that the echo of their words has an abiding value.”

—Patrick O’Brian, Author’s Note, Master and Commander

Whenever I start a new book, especially one as lauded as Master and Commander, I do a quick Google search about it. I’m not sure why I do this. Sometimes, it’s to find ephemera I might otherwise miss. Sometimes, it reveals little details not mentioned in the prose. Sometimes, I want to check out maps or illustrations that are not in my copy of the book. Over the course of the search, I stumbled across another book claiming to be the real story of the real master and commander. I have forgotten the title, and, to be honest, it’s not relevant. However, I found it amusing. Here was a book written and published decades years after O’Brian’s novel that pretended to be a response to it. Its author ignored O’Brian’s foreword completely and was like, “NO! You need to tell the REAL history of the Royal Navy’s heroes!”

Which now leads to Twitter. While at a BBQ, I was explaining to a friend how I found this amusing. His comment (I’m paraphrasing): “Funny, that’s like Twitter but before Twitter, and the guy actually took years to write a response.”

I found that comment funny and poignant. Over the last few days, I’ve been dwelling on his statement. It’s resonated with me. In a way, it is like Twitter, but as my friend observed it’s also very different. You see, Twitter removes that time in between. It gives us an instant connection for good or ill. Twitter lets us respond so quickly—we often don’t realize how our comment will make others feel. We don’t take the time to write a well-honed response, we just react. We laude. We celebrate. We resist. We obey. We re-tweet. We sub-tweet. We call out. We insult. We cast aspersion. We make accusations based on 140 characters and a profile picture. Twitter has ceased being a conversation and has become the mass reacting to one another. We’re no longer listening, which means we’re no longer responding.

I don’t want to do that. I’ve seen what the toxic nature of reaction-culture can do to communities. I’m not interested in playing those games any longer. This is why I’m going to shift the majority of my thought back to the humble blog. For me, this format forces solicitude and introspection. It makes me slow down, and it tempers. I never published posts the day I write them (even this one)—I let them sit and simmer which in turn discourages knee-jerk reaction. I have drafts of posts I’ll never publish because I wrote them while my ire was up. That’s a good thing. It lets me get those emotions out without dragging someone else down. It’s therapeutic in a way.

The biggest trick of social media, like Twitter and Facebook, is that you need to be on social media to somehow be successful. It’s a lie. Yes, you need a web presence, and you need to be on social media, but you don’t need to let it control you. There’s a big difference in running a business online versus throwing yourself into the volatile social media landscape. Humanity is just now starting to see where the latter leads, and I’m choosing a different path.


TL;DR—So, what does this all mean?
  • Well, first off, I’m not deleting my Twitter account or anything like that. I still run a business and Twitter is a part of that, and it’s an important part. After all, I gotta keep the lights on and the bills paid.

  • This blog is my primary platform; it’s where I’ll be doing most of my thinkin’. So while I will be posting more links elsewhere (probably a lot of links.) Most of those links will bring you back to here. Likewise, instead of writing Twitter threads, I’ll be writing posts. Posts are easier to read anyway; Twitter is garbage for long content.

  • If you’re interested in continuing to follow me here are a few options:
    • Do nothing and keep following me on Twitter; I’ll continue to post links to news and blog articles there. But my content will primarily live here.

    • Click the “Follow” button in the footer to follow my blog via e-mail.

    • Follow me on Facebook where I also share news and articles.

    • Subscribe to my newsletter; that’s what the cool kids do. It’s where I share news about my books and preview secret stuff like sales and giveaways.

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You Could Prove Nothing

“Sometimes indeed, you could put your finger on a definite lie. It was not true, for example, as was claimed in the Party history books, that the Party had invented aeroplanes. He remembered aeroplanes since his earliest childhood. But you could prove nothing.”

1984, George Orwell


I’m finishing up my year of reading classics and George Orwell’s 1984 has been striking close to home. Especially regarding our recent election here in the United States, the fluid nature of truth as it pertains to facts, and the interplay of old and new media. It’s still a poignant read.

Friday Link Pack 4/18/2014

Cover Reveal Coming Soon

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!

Writing:

The 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette for Writers
Really appreciated seeing this article on from Anne R. Allen. I want to shout this link from the rooftops. I see so many writers on Twitter, Facebook, okay basically everywhere that break these rules and they end up looking well…less than professional. All 10 are very good. Learn ’em and live ’em.

Old Broken Road Cover Reveal Coming April 29th
Get excited! Only 10 days until the cover for Old Broken Road is revealed. Remember those who subscribe to my newsletter will see it before anyone else, as we all know that ups their radness by a factor of 10.

Lessons Learned From A Game Changing London Book Fair 2014
I try to not post back-to-back links from the same blog every week, but Joanna Penn‘s thoughts around this years London Book Fair were really good. Highly recommended.

10 Bits of Career Advice for a High School Artist
I debated putting this here or under the art section. I chose here. I think this is good advice for ANYONE working in a creative field.

The Stars Were (STILL) $2.99
I’m (still) having a sale! For a limited time ebook editions of The Stars Were Right can be purchased for only $2.99! Grab a copy today.

Random:

Pointer Pointer
It points. (Just try it. You’ll see.)

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell
io9 breaks down 13 places people once thought were entrances to the underworld. (Some of those entrances are oddly beautiful. Looking at you Fengdu.)

Tricorder Project
Follow a team working towards building a functioning tricorder. Yes, a real tricorder. Like from Star Trek.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Turn of the century mental hospitals can be frightening places.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

It doesn't get much better than this.

#TheStarsWereRight

The Stars Were Right Print Proof

Roaders, miscreants, friends, and readers! First, thanks for taking the time to read The Stars Were Right, thanks for the emails, the posts, and the kind words about the book, and for spreading the word. Ya’ll are awesome.

I have one quick request: If you’re posting about the book on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) please hashtag it with #TheStarsWereRight. Not only is it a great way to keep building this little community of ours. It also makes it super easy to organize, explore, and share thoughts/opinions/ideas/art with one another, and allows interested readers to see what other folks have thought of the book.

Oh! One last thing. You’ll notice there is a new menu item as well. I figured it was time to launch a teaser site for Old Broken Road. It’s simple and straightforward but I think it’ll help set the mood and excite folks for what is coming. Enjoy!