Monday, March 28, 2011

To Tweet or Nor To Tweet

Montana grad Aryn Kyle recently began a blog, and writes in her first post:

When I think about all the tweeting and blogging and skyping we’re expected to do, I can’t help feeling slightly jealous of those writers of yore, the ones who lived in plague-infested squalor and worked by candlelight and died of tuberculosis before the age of thirty-five.

Exactly. I have had an on again/off again affair with blogging, and facebook updates, and I’ve resisted “Tweeting,” although now that I have a book coming out I feel the pressure to promote any way possible. I know that hiding behind the “I’m the sensitive/socially phobic writer type” excuse isn’t going to do me any favors. I need to suck it up. If don’t sell my book, nobody else is.

But isn’t it all so—exhausting. Online once I found George Saunders started to blog but after about five entries the posts grow shorter and more lackluster. (I couldn't find the blog today to provide a link). He begins in charming, honest Saunders style admitting his newness to blogging, but you can see he just couldn't attach a real purpose to it. Even a writer as good as Saunders quickly discovered how much work it takes to write even an average post. None of us got into this to be average. Our dream was to be poets and nonfictionistas and to pen great novels, not "maintain" a blog. But to keep a blog up, and post regularly, there will be filler.

The very thought of adding Twitter to my promotional list makes me want a nap. Celebrities can post about burnt toast or btichin’ parties or socks because they are famous. But I’m going to have to sweat out clever aphorisms like an Oscar Wilde machine.

And shouldn’t I be working on my “real” writing? And is all this social networking really doing anything? Often this all feels like posting into the void.

I don’t know. I suspect that the only way I’ll survive all this is by finding a way to make it fun. Because I can vouch that when social networking feels like a chore, I won’t do it.

But posting to the blog is much better than working on my syllabus for tomorrow. Uh, which is what I should be doing.


Anonymous said...

Hello Kelly:

My very close friend has been recently accepted into the Montana MFA program and I am so excited for him.
At the same time, I am worried about the prospects of relocating (from the east coast) and the prospects of finding jobs both during and after the program. Can you discuss your exeriences

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson said...

Hey Anonymous, I turned your question into a post. The answer was too long for a comment. I might do another post on how to move across the country. But that's another story!