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How my facebook friends pulled me out of a death spiral. #amwriting

Having admitted the problem, it becomes easier to come up with a plan of attack ... especially if you have smart friends who care enough to make suggestions in your Facebook feed (as mine did last Friday) which pulled me out of my death spiral.

Marta Szabo, Mudd Lavoie, Jessica Arinella, Corinne Friesen, Julia Wolfe and Tracy Wuischpard had ace suggestions which I’ll boil down to:

- get out and move your body

- have some FUN

- start scribbling like there’s no tomorrow

With the one exception of wishing that I hadn’t sought ‘fun’ in walking past the weirdest storefront window in the Village (with the large rabbit, on Waverly near Charles) I recommend following their suggestions to a ’t’.

I’d gotten sucked into the old perfectionism trap and was trying to come up with seven, beautifully constructed, tightly written pages to drop into the middle of the script.    

Having gotten out and 'moved my body', I relaxed ... and had an idea! Do what art students do at museums: copy from the masters.

And so I googled ‘best eps of 30 rock”, watched the 30 Rock episode called ’best-structured” (acc to Vulture: 1. “Tracy Does Conan” Season 1, Episode 7), understood for maybe the first time EVER what people are talking about when they talk about ‘structure’, watched it again and wrote down what happened scene by scene and a third time to see how long each scene ran, watched some I Love Lucy and did the same thing.

I’m probably not going to win any speed race in finishing this rewrite but at least I’m working on it and even having fun with it which is a huge improvement from the panicky death spiral during which the fingers were clenched around the pen, the shoulders brushing the ears and sounds of anguish coming out of the sides of the mouth.

Thank you my dear friends for your love, support and ace suggestions!

(Click on the Like button below the picture for something instant and delicious ...  And if you want to Share this, please hit the 'Share' button right next door. Thank you!  \o/ )

 

Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 201 (Before & After telling the truth on Facebook)

How can I thank you for rallying around!. Your generosity and acceptance took me completely by surprise. 

There's an old saying: "A joy shared is doubled, a sorrow shared is cut in half."  Well, In this case, my baaad feelings were more than cut in half by your stories and encouragement.  I've never DARED to talk so openly about such a clearly miserable situation and never in my wildest dreams imagined that doing so on facebook would be the fastest route to getting through it.

I bow to you.  And I thank you.


Go Big or Go Bust: Day 126 (Social Media for the Socially Awkward)

Social media has been a hard pill for me to swallow.  I didn't sign up for facebook until The Louise Log was going onto its 8th or 9th episode.  A year later, already feeling overwhelmed by just two fb accounts, Mary Jander browbeat me into signing onto twitter. 

But social media looks like so much fun!  How could it be difficult!

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One of the main problems is my 'personality'.  As best as I can analyze it, there are four main qualities necessary for success at social media.  None of them is my strong suit.

1.   Faith that you'll get what you so richly deserve  (gives you the ability to be Cool, the sine qua non of a public persona, on social media and beyond)

2.   Self-acceptance  (makes it possible to write about deeply embarrassing personal experiences and insights which are, apparently, all anyone wants to hear)

3.   Self Discipline  (keeps you from going down every interesting rabbit hole you come across)

4.   Executive Function (keeps you on track and on schedule - more on this another day)

So?  Enough of the bad news.  What do we do now?  Take heart fellow anxious-isolaters, there's no need to despair.  Twitter and a lot of the new social media platforms (looking at you Snapchat) are about having a conversation.  Even we, insecure in groups, can talk to one person.  Stephen Dimmick generously explained this fine point to me years ago:  Do not broadcast.  Twitter is not a billboard.  Have a conversation.

But here's the $64,000 question: how do you have a conversation and feel a connection when you're writing to (a majority of) faceless 'imaginary friends'?  I stumbled onto a low-tech hack:  imagine you're talking/writing to one specific friend when you're writing a post. 

In a recent conversation, Mhairi Morrison mentioned that before getting on twitter, she had gotten some help from a book (!).  I promptly rushed out and bought myself a brand new Second Edition of this one, The Twitter Book co-written by @SarahM whom I remember from my earliest days on twitter.  In spite of being somewhat outdated, it's a treasure trove of helpful hints. 

The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein  (I resorted to a reversed shot on photobooth due to internet issues.)  And though the book is on nice thick paper and a great compact size, to show off just how many pages I'd 'bookmarked' had to sort of mangle the stiff cover.

The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein  (I resorted to a reversed shot on photobooth due to internet issues.)  And though the book is on nice thick paper and a great compact size, to show off just how many pages I'd 'bookmarked' had to sort of mangle the stiff cover.

A number of people have been critically helpful in helping me get as far as I have with all of this.  Being off in the Southern Hemisphere about 30 hours from my desk, off the top of my head I'm only able to properly acknowledge these social media mentor-aces (in chronological order of their help)  Thank you for your patience and your generosity!  Victoria Trestrail, Leah Jones, Molly D. Campbell, Alexandra Rosas, Sidneyeve Matrix, Stephen Dimmick, Mudd Lavoie, Mhairi Morrison and Veronica James.  My apologies to others whom I've momentarily forgotten.

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 112 (free time, to-do lists and prioritizing them)

As some of you, my dear friends, are already aware, I'm somewhat of an 'all-or-nothing' person.  Though I'd planned to spend a solid hour today on Facebook and another solid hour on Twitter, today is getting written off as what I think the corporate world calls a Personal Day.  Just to be clear, I'm calling it a Mental Health Day. 

For once I didn't even bother to number the rest of the list.   #sanity  #Freedom

For once I didn't even bother to number the rest of the list.   #sanity  #Freedom

It's been a while since I pulled out the old vacuum ... so long, in fact, that Mr. Green and I have been coughing and clearing our throats non-stop.  The tell-tale layer of dust had moved in from the corners to pretty much stand, hands on hips a la Wonder Woman, in the middle of every room.  And it started affecting more than my airways: I could hardly fall asleep last night for dirt and disorder induced ANXIETY. 

Fourteen hours after making my to-do list this morning (there was a lunch and a dinner break and a lot of laundry to do too) I am a new person in a sparkling and transformed house.  

Words can't tell you how much I loved knowing what had to happen today and doing it.   But deciding on priorities is rarely so stark unless I'm working or there's a deadline.  In the good old days, pregnant and/or the mother of small children, it was all so clear. (I forget that the time and energy were oh-so limited). 

BURNING QUESTIONS:  How do you decide how to spend free time?   How do you justify doing something frivolous when there's always work you want to do? ... when there's ALWAYS social media you want to catch up on?  Thank you in advance!