FORGIVE ME FACEBOOK I’LL NEVER REVILE YOU AGAIN

Facebook
Awhile back I wrote a post calling Facebook the devil. I hated the insipid, superfluous crap people posted, everyone’s lives so seemingly perfect, not to mention my family’s posts and photos continually reminding me I’m the black sheep of the family, the outcast, liberal, artsy-fartsy freak, excluded from all gatherings.

I never went on Facebook all that much and I scoffed at the folks who seemed to be on it 24/7. Surely they had no lives, or they were avoiding conversation with their significant others, or possibly they were attention sluts, or having virtual affairs with rediscovered childhood sweethearts.

Then I took a social media class and my entire life changed. I decided to stick my big, fat toe into the sea of unabashed admission. Followed more authors, saw what they were doing. Began to go on FB every day. Tolerated it…then liked it…liked it more…and then…and then…I fell, and I fell hard. It was like a bright light had suddenly been switched on in my dark and bitter pessimistic soul. How could I have been so blind not to recognize Facebook’s magnificence sooner? Especially with me being such a visual person?

I discovered quirky pages, artistic pages, sexy pages, dark and twisted, sarcastic and bitchy pages—everything I am, I found within this social media framework. And I reveled in it all. I felt compelled to log in 5, 6, 7 or more times a day so I didn’t miss anything. The more pages I liked and people I followed, the lengthier my news feed. I’d like one page, and then 6 more suggestions would pop up for similar pages, so I’d gleefully click on them, and so on and so on. Hours slipped by as I interacted with other like-minded brethren. THIS is my culture; not my soul-less suburban nightmare of a town. I didn’t need to be around people. I got all the social stimulation I needed from postings less than a paragraph long.

The happier I was over my newfound love, the more magnanimous I became. I no longer roll my eyes at God quotes or inspirational garbage, or cute kittens because I have simply accepted them as insights into a person’s personality. And I have been known to post some inspirational garbage of my own, especially when it comes to love. (I am a romance writer, after all.) I show a glimpse of my warm and fuzzy side on my author page and on my personal one, I get to be the raunchy, sarcastic bitch that I truly am.

Not familiar with Grumpy Cat? George Takei’s page? Tattooed Mommy? You don’t know what you’re missing. There are pages out there with names like “Reading someone’s status and thinking ‘oh shut the hell up’” and “Thepenisinhermouth. I read it wrong the first time.” (Get it? Neither did I the very first time.)

“I fucking love science,” “You can Call Me Mistress,” and, wait for it…“50 Shades of Craptastic Grey.”

I am in fucking Facebook heaven.

Like it? Hate it? Tell me what you think of FB.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CATS AND DOGS

I took a social media workshop last week that covered Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, Blogs, and Newsletters. Today, I have a social media hangover. Today, I feel like this:

LAZY

Today, I’m going to let other talented folks write my post for me. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video entitled “Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend,” YOU MUST! It’s by Fat Awesome Films. They’ve made 2 videos, so make sure you watch them both. The first one has had over ten million views. It’s funny, funny stuff.

CAT-DOG DIARY

Here’s one more video you have to see also perfectly illustrating the difference between cats and dogs. It’s taken with a phone, but make sure you stick it out until the very end.

dogs vs cats

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Being the social media slut that I am, I’m on LinkedIn. But if you were to ask me what LinkedIn was, being the woefully inadequate social media slut that I am, I’d tell you to Google it. I do, however, appreciate the writerly discussions on LinkedIn, specifically about marketing, because imo, writers are the most clueless when it comes to marketing their own work.

Example: I manage social media for an insurance company. I can come up with numerous relevant Facebook posts for them like there’s no tomorrow. My own author page however, consists of sporadic postings involving photos of half-naked men, quotes I’ve sucked off of other writers, and inane comments like, “Am eating my son’s gummy bear vitamins to satisfy a desperate sugar craving.”

One author on LinkedIn started this discussion: “There are a gazillion people with books out there. How does one stand out?” Everyone regurgitates the same old crap about how to market one’s book. She wanted to hear original ideas, crazy ideas, ideas that were outside the box.

When I think outside the box on how to market my book, it almost always involves something deviant or sexual—like, Hmm, if I do something to get arrested, I can give a shout-out about my book while being taken away in handcuffs, or Hmm, I can make a sex tape and somehow incorporate the reciting of passages from my book.

Another author on LinkedIn suggested standing on the street while naked between two sandwich boards advertising her book, so I’m not the only twisted one thinking along those lines. The problem is any idea involving sex isn’t all that original. The other folks who responded wrote about the same tried and true tactics we’ve all heard over and over again: hard work, luck, book trailers, door-to-door fliers, signings, writing crappy fan fiction without any knowledge of basic grammar. (Okay, maybe not the last one.)

Think outside the box.

The problem with cats is they think too much inside the box:

Kitty in box
They may attempt to venture outside the box:

Almost out

But mostly they remain inside the box, thinking of ways to kill you in your sleep:

PLOT KILL

Casting Charlize Theron in Monster was thinking outside the box. Gilbert Gottfried reading Fifty Shades of Grey? Pure fucking gold, as well as also thinking outside the box. James Redfield sold over 80,000 copies of his self-published book, The Celestine Prophecy from the trunk of his Honda. John Grisham who wrote A Time to Kill? He traveled around the South selling that baby from the trunk of his car, too.

This concept of thinking outside the box consumed me all week. I’m an Aquarian. I’m supposed to be unconventional and original. It should come naturally for me to think outside the box.

Sometimes I succeed at thinking outside the box in other areas of my life. Because I can’t afford to go on vacation, I vacation through beer. Sampling beer from different countries allows me to visit places without ever having to be strip searched or robbed by gypsy children. Now when anyone asks me whether I’ve gone away lately, I can tell them Denmark, for example, adding, “And their Doppelbock really knocked me on my ass.” I consider that thinking outside the box.

lottsa beer

lottsa beer

Since my first book, The Accidental Cougar is a romance between an older woman (41) and a younger man (25), I’m constantly wondering: Where does my target audience hang out? I’m a middle-aged woman, but the only place I hang out is the grocery store. I don’t really feel like standing outside the supermarket selling my book like the Girl Scouts’ sell their cookies.

So I went onto Facebook and searched “Cougar” sites and found one with thousands of followers. Now granted, most of the followers are probably men trolling for what they hope are horny, touch-starved cougars, but women over the age of 35 are invited to submit their photo for posting on the site. Special preference is given to those wearing this T-shirt: THE COUGAR CLUB

I don’t know what you’re thinking, but singlewritermom thinks she should pole vault outside that box right onto that FB page. All I would need to do is put on my Victoria’s Secret Miracle Bra, aka Wishful Thinking Bra, aka Fooled You Bra, the Cougar T-shirt, some lipstick, and with a genuine smile, pose with my book. They’ll post it, all the cougar women will see it, buy my book, and I’ll be instantly catapulted to Amazon Bestsellerdom.

OR

I could take Dean Wesley Smith’s advice and stop wasting my time on social media, focusing instead on writing my next book.

What do you think?

THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED TO KNOW HOW BORING MY LIFE IS

statue

Photo by L’Orso Sul Monociclo

This novel writing thing is really getting in the way of my social media time. I recently joined Twitter. Wow, talk about a time suck mind f*ck. I could spend days and days searching for people to follow, and then following up on recommendations of people I should follow, and this isn’t including time spent actually reading tweets. Almost every tweeter recommends an article or a post written by themselves or someone else, and before I know it, it’s midnight and I haven’t even gotten to Facebook yet.

All this social media makes my head spin, and I have to wonder if part of all the hype is simply just that—hype. Writers have it beaten into them every day: “You must make your social presence known,” or “Who’s going to buy the book you worked so hard on if no one knows about your book?” As if writers aren’t neurotic enough.

It’s hard to write a book, and now we have to promote it, too?

There’s a delicate balance to achieve between beating someone over the head with a thousand “Buy my book” tweets a day, and providing useful information which interests people—all while assuming a clever online persona that doesn’t annoy followers. It’s not all about the project anymore; it’s about you as a person, a “brand.” Which really sucks for me because my life isn’t all that exciting.

I have ONE lonely novel to promote. I have no backlist to talk up, no ms’s to drag out from under the dusty bed to self-publish. I don’t go to conferences or do book signings. I go to soccer practices, walk the diva, procrastinate over my current WIP, and complain about writer’s ass. What am I supposed to post about on Facebook and tweet on Twitter?

I don’t want to turn into the people I complain about on Facebook, for example—you know, the ones who make the want to stick a fork in your eye comments like, “Am having a bad day,” or “I love my husband,”—just to force the masses to be aware of my social presence. The majority of writers are introverts and don’t want to be bothered by all this manipulative media crap. We just want to write our books and be able to quit our day jobs. We don’t want to have to worry about how many Likes we have on Facebook or Amazon, how many Followers we have on Twitter or our blog, or Connections on LinkedIn.

Whether I like it or not, social media is here to stay. And until my life gets more interesting, I’m going to continue to bitch and moan about slowed metabolism after forty and how I feel like a complete idiot when I have to retype those two CAPTCHA words to prove I’m not a robot.

Of course, I’ll throw in a “Buy my book” every now and then, too.

Am I the only one overwhelmed by social media?