The picture with this blog is from our recent vacation. Look closely and you’ll see the hummingbird hovering near my hands. The bird was so enamored of the flowers that it brushed my hands and wrists in it’s boldness. Jon and I took our daughter, Trinity, and my sister, Pilar on vacation. It was a glorious trip, and I’ll blog about it eventually, but tonight I want to introduce you to Jess, my new media minion. The job title came out of some brainstorming and was mostly her idea, which says something about how fun she’s going to be on the job. But why do I need a media minion, at all?
One of the most valuable thing any writer has is their muse. Contrary to the television show, “Castle”, most writers don’t have flesh and blood muses. When I say, muse, I mean the creative spark, that part of us that sees the real world and translates it into a fiction. The care and feeding of an artist’s muse means different things to different people, because the “muse” is as variable as the writers themselves. What is happy activity that will send one writer to their keyboard eager to create, may drain another and leave them empty of words, ideas, or just stopped dead in the water. Some writers are extroverts and love people and activity. Some writers love work in hotel rooms, or on trains, and some need the same room, the same desk, and the same everything day in and day out. Some writers listen to music, others need dead silence, and sometimes those needs change from book to book. Charles Dickens supposedly served drinks at his parties with one hand and wrote with the other. That level of activity while I tried to create would have driven me mad, but Dickens & his muse must have thrived on it. I need a certain amount of quiet time to stare into space, and let myself think. I knew too much in person socialization stole that solitude, but what I’m beginning to wonder is does electronic socialization do the same thing?
I love interacting with all of you online, but even happy interactions may be messing with the alone time I need in my head. I need to be thinking about the current book I’m writing, but I often find myself thinking, “That would make a great Facebook post,” or “Hmm . . . what should I blog about next?” or “How do I get that down to a 140 characters for Twitter?” I’m beginning to wonder if my subconscious is being sidetracked from creating stories so that it can manage my social media. I remembered on our vacation that getting out of the house, and seeing new things can feed my muse and refresh my subconscious, but talking about it online as soon as I have an experience maybe sapping the “magic” out of an event for me as a writer. It’s almost as if writing it online takes the impetus away from me wanting to translate things into fiction.
Now my real life is not a one to one translation to my fiction, but the experiences I had on vacation fed parts of me that had been starving for awhile. I can’t explain it precisely, but I’ve been needing to go to the woods, the wilderness, for awhile. It feeds something in me as a person, and that part gives energy to my writing. But thinking about sharing that experience online, before it’s had time to sink into my subconscious and sit for awhile in the quiet, I think is hurting part of my creative process. So, I’ve decided to get off line for awhile, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging, so Jess’s job as a media minion was born.
I’ll still be blogging. My posts to Facebook will either be texted, or emailed, to Jess for her to post for me, but they will still be my posts. Or Jess will be posting as herself. She will also be wandering around Facebook to answer your questions and being far more social than I have time, or inclination to be in the new Facebook landscape. She’ll be running her answers by me & Jon, but I’m hoping you’ll give her a warm welcome & appreciate her input. Twitter is actually the most problematic, because I actually enjoy and understand Twitter more. I may try to stay on Twitter for awhile, but if I feel that it actually is still distracting me from my writing, then that may have to change, too.
The first novel I wrote was typed on a computer, and I’ve finally really embraced the technology. I’m typing this on my iPad, and I feel naked without my iPhone. I’ve started to enjoy it all, but I’ve become less productive as a writer as I’ve become more productive in posting on line, so time to back up and put the actual writing first, and the social posting second. I need to hike in the mountains and truly be in the moment, absorbing it and letting it sink deep into my subconscious like a rock thrown into a still pool. I need to let the ripples flow out and see what muck and mire that metaphorical “rock” stirs up. I need to do all that before I think, “I’ve got to tweet this, or Facebook this, or blog this,” I need to think of my fiction first, not my social media. Thanks for your patience while I try this little experiment. I’ll see you on Twitter, at least for awhile, and you’ll still get to read the blogs, but for the rest I’m saving it for my muse, for me, for my family, and for the new adventures to come.