April 28, 2017

28 04 2017

So we are back to 80 degrees, and humid to boot. This morning was all about getting deposits made and bills paid. Then hit the store to pick up groceries. It always strikes me how much more expensive Hannaford is than Market Basket. But the Hannaford in Northwood is close by, and my bank is a block away. So I buy the bare necessities.

I delivered a whole bunch of eggs to the Food Pantry, and they gave me a couple of boxes of bread in return. Didn’t expect that. We laughed about it—the Food Pantry was compensating my chickens for their eggs. I left feeling pretty good. It’s that social thing, that sharing thing. A reminder about all the good people doing good things in the world.

So back home, and the morning fog has lifted. I took a lunch break and hopped online before going outside to work in the garden. I’d taken a hiatus from my Facebook news feed. I realized I was spending most of my time scrolling and feeling frustrated. Life is too short to waste one’s time being uselessly upset. Today I took some time and thinned out my “friends” list, removing anyone I wasn’t actually friends with, or couldn’t recall why I friended them in the first place. There are a few I kept, even though we’ve never met, because I usually enjoy their posts and they’ve commented on mine. I think I would like them if I actually met them, and I want to keep seeing what they are up to.

A writer friend advised me to keep all the SF connections for when I promote my next book. As a matter of fact, a huge part of the cull was just those sorts of connections. I have not a shred of evidence that FB has done a damn thing to help with any of my books, except getting the word out to people who are actual friends. That SF editor or pro who has a gazillion followers isn’t going to see my post anyway, let alone do anything about it. I’m just another in a sea of amateurs.

Back when my first book came out, I friended every writing person I could, and was thrilled whenever a pro accepted my friend request. This was “networking” and it was supposed to help me make connections in the right circles. Then I began to notice that these folks never reacted to, or commented on, anything I posted, and in fact, rarely posted anything themselves. (Two exceptions are Robert J. Sawyer and Jim Kelly. They are awesome writers and awesome people—read their books!!!) However, my feed was jam-packed with announcements from, shall we say, less well-known writers, all vying for attention. Hmmm, I thought. How likely am I to buy a book by somebody I’ve never heard of based on a FB post? Unlikely. They are unlikely to buy mine, either. The only writers I care about are the ones I actually know, either through Broad Universe or meeting them at conventions. So, my conclusion is that FB is a great way to keep up with folks I know and care about, and useless for book promotion.

The aforementioned writer friend, Dan Kimmel, was someone I approached at a convention after hearing him read from his book and liking it (I bought a copy). I was nobody, but he agreed to read and blurb my book. I’ve never forgotten that. Ditto with Allen Steele and Rob Sawyer. I met them in person, interviewing the former and being on a panel with the latter. (Jim Kelly is my neighbor; lives next door in Nottingham). It was that personal connection that mattered. Facebook, again, is a great way of keeping in touch with these folks. So, you’re right, Dan, and I’d never cut loose those connections. It’s the ones I never actually met, or only met in passing, who don’t know me from Eve, that I’ve unfriended, and I’m sure they’ll never miss me.

It’s all part of me figuring things out. What works, what doesn’t. And never mind what the rest of the world tells me. What works for them, doesn’t necessarily work for me (and the reverse). And for me, Facebook is a place to keep in touch with friends—real ones.




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