12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice

Social network burnout, Writers group, Gratitude

So, I’m at a writerly crossroads – and I know a good handful of writers and artists who are feeling the same. It’s the same old conundrum: On one hand, you create, on the other, you’ve got to market your wares – somehow.

Part and parcel of running a blog – even a haphazardly posted one – is that I have a disproportionate few followers of the e-marketing 10-ways-to-a-better-blog-in-10-days ilk who have come across 12C&Skiving by way of webcrawlers, who’ve collected keywords like ‘blog’ and ‘social networking’ and ‘cats’. And perhaps they feel sorry for me. Pffft.

These days, I’m not even on Facebook – that’s one grand hole in the selfie-promo net right there – but for the month of April and NaPoWriMo I gave Twitter an enthusiastic go, Tweeted like a canary on coke. And then recently I’ve realised (through Friend or Follow, another self-confidence hamstringer) that a good many Twitter folk have herded me into their fold solely to up their follower count, only to have me follow them, and then dump me. In one end and out the poopshute. Need I add these are the Tweeters with enough self-promotion jargon and these ‘#’ to span the Nullabour Plain.
I’m all for promoting self-published works – if that’s where we’re headed in this brave ever-new world. I’m not interested in scrambling my way to the top of the pile of self-promotion, armed with an artillery of hashtags, treading on others’ backs on my way up to the heady heights of Bestsellerville.

These days I’m content to leave the world a couple of tweets hither and thither and to use the platform as a point of resource for looking up writers, artists, publishers, editors, and the odd cat photo. And I’ve met some genuinely fabulous creative folk along the way. Other than that, I don’t have room in my already overloaded over-thinking to take it too seriously.

So, back to the crossroads. I need to join a virtual group of writers, one that will stick together like Locktite.
I’ve written before about how I feel I’m writing a bit crustily (yes, even here under the Tuscan sun) and sending it out into a void. I realise this is due in part to a lack of writing group (not for want of trying on a number of occasions) and the accompanying vital critical analysis, word count, competition, goal-driven side that I feel I need to balance out my creative sanguine waftiness (and poetly introvert’s swing between loftiness and melancholy), and in turn workshopping others’ WIPs with them.

But calling it a ‘void’…well, in hindsight, that’s not entirely true. Just because I’m dog paddling words in circles doesn’t mean it’s in a great big nothing. I love writing. I have my handful of readers who genuinely enjoy what I write, however irregularly I post; they follow me and I follow and read and enjoy their work – purely for the sake of that enjoyment, for a peek into the day-to-day lives of other creative human beings around the world, for what they make or write and birth into the world. That’s my blogging community, for which I’m grateful – thank you!

So I’m asking my community (if they’ve read this far down!): Are you a part of a good, critical, boot-up-the-bum writing group who’d be willing to induct this flailing poetess into their ranks?

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