Running Away From Home

cropped-road2.jpgI’m running away from home–well, actually I’m running to my childhood farm home and away from my home home with computers and phones and demands and EMAIL. I’m going where service is not an option, six miles from the nearest paved road.

I like my home home, really I do. I like that my writing room is six steps away with all the books, papers, and memory-jogging journals I need or want. I like that my Internet connection is up to speed and effective (well, effective except for the times of Coronal Mass Ejections which hurl great and glorious explosions of universal matter that mess up everyone’s electronic gadgets but create wonderful Northern Lights). I like it all, really. The work I do and the connections I make and the poetry and memoir and email and board meetings and business meetings and being included in the renovation planning of the old Walt Disney Studio on 31st Street. Really I do. And I like the WordPress community I’ve been a part of and received blog renovation advice from. Which, in part, still need renovating. I like my Facebook community. I even liked tarring the leaking parts of the back porch roof. I just need to do nothing for a couple of days and renovate my life.

As I said to a friend, or posted on Facebook, or something, my life is like a cement mixer – one two or even three days of smooth pouring and then the rocks are tossed in. Yikes! Enough with the rocks!

So I’m going MIA: missing in action. At least until Saturday night when we return and it will be time to dig out from everything that’s left over or will come in while we’re gone. But I’ll think about that, if not tomorrow, Saturday night.

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On Writing: Social Media

SAMSUNGI’m participating in a Blogging 201 online workshop with WordPress. If you have a WordPress blog, these online workshops on Writing, Blogging, and Photography are free and truly valuable. I recommend trying one out and see if you like it.

The latest Blogging 201 prompt on Social Media was particularly helpful. I have Facebook and Twitter and Linked In, but I’d also heard about Pinterest and Instagram and had no idea whether they would be useful. I knew Pinterest had to do with photos, scrap-booking sorts of things, but that was about it. And that’s not what I do.

Here’s what Michelle W. at WordPress wrote and which I found very helpful:

Each network has different strengths. Facebook and Instagram are good for parenting, lifestyle, and personal blogs. Twitter is more technically-inclined and useful for pop culture and current events/political blogs, while Pinterest is great for blogs [with] lots of images, like food, fashion, and craft blogs. LinkedIn is ideal if you blog for business.

I did my research: Instagram is there to “share the world’s moments…” and seems to be more about photos than the kinds of blogging I do, and I have Facebook, so will pass on Instagram. But those of you who do photo blogs regularly might find it useful. A nice touch is the ability to fine tune your photos on the site rather than fiddling with them on another program and then uploading.

As a general rule, I don’t send my blog posts to Linked In. I have, however, taken advantage of the new feature in Linked In to write posts with a business/training focus with tips on writing. Those have had good readership.

As a general rule, I’ve also avoided sending blog posts to Twitter. However, from time to time I write a more current and politically focused post. Having the above information gives me permission, if you will, to post them on Twitter.

Many of us use Facebook and I appreciate seeing other writers’ posts there. An interesting tidbit I picked up from Jane Friedman: Helping Writers and Publishers Flourish in the Digital Age is that having a writer’s page on Facebook is less effective than allowing readers access to your personal blog. Readers want to know who the writer is and news of the writer’s life rather that simply what she/he is writing.

I’m sure there are differing ideas on this, but for me, that fits fine. In part, because I didn’t want another page to keep up with and in part because while I post photos from time to time and respond to family posts, I rarely to never post personal information.

Each writer or artist needs to find their own comfort level, but for me, what I have seems to cover my bases: Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and a WordPress blog with several pages.

Hope the information helps you. Let me know what your ideas on the above are and whether you find a particular form of social media more helpful for your writing than others.

And keep writing!

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