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Monday, September 18, 2017

Messages from Cyberspace

Every so often (as it  did last week) Facebook reminds me that I haven't posted in awhile. Of course, she always couches her criticism in positive terms (your followers are eager to hear from you).  But I'm not fooled by her courtesy and I certainly don't need an algorithm  to remind me of my shortcomings!

Awhile ago my editor and I were discussing the merits and shortcomings of social media and whether I should jump into the virtual pool. Common wisdom suggests that an online presence requires attention. If I didn't like like frequent blogging or tweeting, it might be best to forego social media all together.

I opted for a website and once-a-month blog but decided tweeting would be too much. I will be honest —I love interacting with my readers— I love reading letters and emails from librarians or kids and their teachers. (My favorite letter was from a student who said that he and his classmates had been assigned to write to one of the two authors they had studied that year. Apparently all the other kids chose the other author but I chose you.) I decided to focus on that last line— I chose you. After all, writing is not a popularity contest, I told myself...if an author reaches the heart of one reader, she should be honored.  I was honored and wrote back to my solitary fan that very afternoon.

But back to Social Media.

Keeping up with FB is sometimes difficult because I'm reticent by nature, the classic introvert who recharges her batteries in the quiet of her own corner. Wandering (and often lost) in my own fictional constructs, I often forget to check-in on-line. I love people and care deeply about this world we all share, but I am more far more comfortable letting my characters do the talking than reaching out more directly.

Of course, communicating is the key to nurturing relationships and I am committed to making a better effort to stay in touch. This morning a little bird sat on my porch ledge.  For a moment I reconsidered opening a twitter account...then I realized that it was probably Facebook who sent her.