This is my 500th blog post, and I wish I had something more monumental to say than, “I’ve joined Facebook.” Which, if you know me, is actually quite monumental, as evidenced by the overwhelming amount of posts on my wall to the tune of, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, pigs are flying outside of my window!” Har. But since I’ve spent the however-many years since Facebook’s inception adamantly refusing to join (despite pleas from many an email-impaired friend), I can understand the surprise.
My plan has always been to join the social media world once I had a book to promote, since I didn’t really see the point before then. But since I’m still unemployed and the book is still seeking an agent, I thought I’d get a jump on building a network now. One can only work on one’s new novel for so many hours in a day. Although, I’m quickly learning that one can only be on Facebook for so many hours in a day before developing a visual-overload headache behind one’s eyes, which is similar to the headache I often got when I was still writing web content. (The other overwhelming amount of Facebook messages are to the tune of, “Welcome to the dark side.” I’m trying not to be alarmed by how many people have said this to me.)
So, fellow Facebookers, note the Facebook badge that is now located on the lefthand side of the blog, right under the About Me and right above the Follow by Email. If I somehow forgot to send you a friend request, click the badge and friend me. Or if you’ve done some tricky Facebook privacy thing that prevents me from finding you on there, you can make the first move, if your heart so desires.
The other semi-monumental news is that Folio Two of Present Tense Writers’ Journal is now available, and I have a story in it, which is the first publishing credit to my name. The story is called “Like That,” and it’s one I wrote while I was earning my MFA. So it’s in my Master’s thesis, as well as the novel-in-stories I’m shopping around, and now it’s in a literary journal, too. If you live in Portland, you can buy the journal at Powell’s, and if you don’t, you can order it online at the Hubris Press website. I don’t get any of the proceeds, but the guys who run it are fellow Pacific MFAers and pretty cool people, who I’m sure would appreciate the support. Plus, I’m sure a lot of you are just dying to read some of this fiction business I’ve been blogging about for the past five years. (And for those of you who are less reading-inclined, the story is only 1,100-words long, which is about four, double-spaced Microsoft Word pages. You can handle it.)
I’ve been trying to embrace the “if you build it, they will come” theory lately, both personally and professionally. So my hope is that by flinging my writerly self onto the social media heap and making an effort to talk about good things, good things will in turn come my way. This blog was my first real foray into the online world (besides email). I started it my sophomore year of college as a way to get myself to write something, anything creative, anything other than papers, papers, papers on a semi-regular basis. It then grew into a receptacle for my mind vomit, and when I began earning my MFA, it became the place for anything that swam around my brain and tried to elbow out whatever story I was supposed to be working on, both of which, let’s be honest, are still a good portion of what this blog is.
But in recent months, I’ve noticed myself taking extra time to craft certain posts, saving them to documents, and getting ideas from them for new books. So without knowing it, blogging has become a way to practice my craft, and it’s begun to influence the “real” writing in a positive way. All writing is practice, yes? And practice makes you better, which in turn (hopefully) makes people more interested in what you have to say, which is part of why you need an online presence–so those people can find you. It’s all part of the game, like publishing, though I don’t think I can consider Facebook posts a legitimate means by which to hone my craft. You never know, though. They may surprise me yet.