January, 2012

the art of being an introvert creative (forced to cope with social media)


I’m giving a workshop on blogging/social media at the Southern California Writer’s Conference in San Diego in February.

I asked people on Facebook if there were particular questions that I should address.

Canadian novelist Adrian Kelly made this point:

….I’d like to hear less about the end of the book, and more about how we still need to make room for the book, for deep, attentive reading and writing, even as we explore the benefits of blogging and social media. Good writing, good reading, takes time and silence and solitude, three things that blogging and social media, used injudiciously, erode.

My first response was, I always take this as a given. And because we tend to project ourselves on the world – we think that other people think like we do (except, of course, when they don’t, which can be so annoying) – I assumed that other people did as well.

Meanwhile, over on his wildly popular blog, Chris Brogan ran a post called 97 Ideas for Building a Valuable Platform in which he urged people to “keep everything brief” because

We are in a consumption society. People can barely read a tweet. click for more

Jan 30, 2012 · 23 Comments / ADD YOURS

why Pinterest is totally not a waste of time: creating a visionboard for your creative project ( + why it’s helpful)


I joined Pinterest for one major reason. I am returning to my novel-in-progress THE DECADENTS after a couple months’ break from it and wanted to create a digital visionboard to help drive it to completion.

This book has been tricky for me because it deals with some challenging subject matter. It’s also drawing on some raw life material from my years in LA which (it turns out) I’m still processing.

It’s a big departure from my three previously published novels, which I regard as the work of a much younger writer: someone who was still finding her way to her true voice, who hadn’t yet realized the Big Themes of her life – and thus her fiction. I’m not the same person I was back then, and I’m not the same writer. (I like to think I’ve deepened with age.) I’ve also lost a lot of illusions, which means that the personal world I am writing both from and about click for more

Jan 22, 2012 · 24 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to become your own rebellion


“I became my own rebellion,” writes Twyla Tharp in her book THE CREATIVE HABIT, and I have loved that phrase ever since I came across it a handful of years ago.

She was talking about her decision to become a dancer/choreographer: generally not a choice of profession that fills parents with glee. She goes on to say:

Going with your head makes it arbitrary. Going with your gut means you have no choice. It’s inevitable, which is why I have no regrets.

I was in my early thirties when I read this and realized that I, too, wanted to become my own rebellion.

Even if I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. click for more

Jan 14, 2012 · 14 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of letting your freak flag fly

White collar conservative flashin’ down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me. They all assume my kind will drop and die, but I’m gonna wave my freak flag high. — Jimi Hendrix


I have multiple small male children, which means I do a lot of Lego (a pox on those Lego pieces that get lost and screw up the design until you find them three days later when you step on them barefoot). If I go to my laptop after a lengthy Lego session, something strange tends to happen: the keys on the keyboard feel oddly Lego-like. With each touch-tap my brain ‘hears’ and ‘feels’ a Lego snapping into place.

So I could relate when I read about something called The Tetris Effect (even though I don’t play Tetris). From a book called THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE:

Tetris is a simple game in which four kinds of shapes fall from the top of the screen, and the player can move or rotate them until they hit bottom. When they create an unbroken line across the screen, the line disappears. The point of the game is to manipulate the falling shapes to create as many unbroken lines as possible.

…In a study at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, researchers paid 27 people to play Tetris for multiple hours a day, three days in a row…. click for more


Jan 10, 2012 · 21 Comments / ADD YOURS
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