Today a friend I met at the coffee shop where I work on my fiction expressed surprise that I have a blog. This is because I seem like such a Luddite (that’s my phrasing, not hers). I write fiction in longhand, in composition books with cardboard covers, then type everything into my computer, then print the manuscript out and edit in longhand. I agree that it is cumbersome, but it’s how I write best, and believe me, the world isn’t suffering because this process slows me down some. I’m prolific enough even when I add what some might consider unnecessary steps to the writing process.
The thing is, I think better with a pen in my hand, and when I see the words on the page, not on a screen, I “hear” them better. So this works for me. The reason I mention it is because we tend to think that because one methodology works for one aspect of our lives, it should work for all of them. Because I don’t lug a laptop around, then, I shouldn’t be the kind of person who has a blog.
But I do. And I love the blog. I love the immediacy of writing a post and publishing it. I love getting comments and feedback from other writers. I love spending a little time each day on a small piece of writing for which I have complete control. This is using technology in a way that works for me.
I hear a lot of angst from writers who don’t have time to blog, to be on LinkedIn, to Twitter and so forth. I certainly understand that we all have a limited amount of time and energy and we have to spend it wisely. But from what I understand, they never even tried these things before they dismissed them. That’s where I think people sell themselves — and technology — short. I have tried to write and revise fiction on a computer/laptop, and it doesn’t work for me. It just doesn’t. But the blog works for me. So I do it. I have a LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferlawler) but I don’t find LinkedIn all that useful for my purposes, so I don’t spend a lot of time on it. The same with FaceBook; I have a friend who asked me to join, and it seemed really important to her, so I did. But I don’t personally find a lot of value in it, so I don’t spend much time with it.
However, when another friend told me to just spend a little time checking out Twitter, I loved it. So maybe that makes me shallow and snarky, but it’s a ton of fun, allows lots of networking, and doesn’t take up that much time. (You can follow me at www.twitter.com/JenniferLawler).
That’s the beauty of technology. You can pick what works for you and forget the rest (or at least neglect it a lot).