Oct. 28th, 2015 06:31 am
masqthephlsphr: (word)
I am not going to be doing NaNoWriMo this year, ironically, because I am busy working on the first draft of my new novel. I have a rhythm down and it really isn't compatible with cranking out as many words as possible every day for 30 days. Plus, next month, I have a three-day work conference, a new writing class starting, and plans out of town for Turkey Day.

I've been doing my writing first thing in the morning. That is about the only time of day I have any energy, as work has been really busy for the past couple months (if you don't understand the reference "ICD-10", count yourself fortunate).

And I have other sources of social energy besides NaNo. The writing classes, including a course following Julia Cameron's Artist Way got me going on morning pages. And the Twitter hashtag #WriteChain has continued that by giving me a place to keep accountable for my daily writing goals.

My main excuse, though, has been physical pain. Unless a quip is short enough that I can peck it out with a finger or short enough for my voice-to-text not to get lost mid-sentence then crap out on me, I don't post it much. Hence my continued presence on Facebook.

I might try doing a November blogging thing if there are folks still around here in LJ/DW land. Roll call?
masqthephlsphr: (robotsonmars)
Yeah, it's cutesie, but it also makes what is far away and highly technical a little more human.

 photo MoreRobotsTalk_zpse4bf2e78.png

Mars rover to Mars satellite

 photo RobotsTalk_zpsb8b75efa.png

Comet lander to Mars rover

 photo PlanetsTalk_zpsbc3509d0.png

(Dwarf-) Planet to planet
masqthephlsphr: (compgeek)
I think I've figured out my writer's platform "Twitter strategy": follow who's interesting, regardless of who they are and what they tweet about, and have fun. One thing I won't be doing: tweeting every hour on the hour with Yet Another Promo of My Book. That is a one-way ticket to being boring and unfollowed. It seems a lot of writers on Twitter only follow you so you'll follow them, and then it's promo, promo, promo. Like a hall of mirrors, writers tweet "Read my book" at each other, instead of talking to people (some who, hey, you never know, might be readers) about things that make life (and themselves) interesting.

Talk about the writing process. Talk about cool space probes. Talk about a rock star that just died. Talk about your kids, your favorite TV shows, something funny you saw on the way to work, respond to what other people are talking about and make it All About Them.

But a steady beat of alternating one-liner book promos? Is internet navel-gazing., in case anyone cares.
masqthephlsphr: (word)
I published a book last year. I made some dough on it. Not a lot, but enough to generate two 1099-MISC forms from Amazon and Smashwords.

This week, I went to the TurboTax website to do my taxes. 1099-MISC with an amount in box 2, it told me, is either property rental income or business income. Plz to be proceeding to fill out a Schedule C.

I have a business?

So I start in on the schedule C. Business name, business address, business type code. This all seems rather silly. I write fiction from a chair in my living room. Some day, God willing, I might be a self-employed writer, but not right now. I have the proverbial day-job, a full-time job in an urelated field that brings in the majority of my personal income. Now onto the deductions. Oh, yes, I paid some money to get a personal website put up to promote my writing and book. Enter the expenses on that.

Suddenly, my refund, which was not itty-bitty due to mortgage interest, doubled. What. This can't be correct.

Now, ask some people, this is all perfectly legit--especially if Turbotax lets you do it leads you down the garden path right through it. But I'm not keen on the idea of being audited. So I spent an hour plus today waiting in the queue for TurboTax's free CPA chat. Schedule C is correct, says my Free CPA. "But it's not a business," type I. Free CPA disappears for a moment, then gives me this useful info dump )

Yeah, legally a hobby, for now.

So I return to Turbotax, enter an expenses write-off equivalent to my sales, and wipe my hands clean.
masqthephlsphr: (masq)
Yes, this is me, yipping about social media again. 'Cause it's on my mind. And an article I read today got me thinking about how difficult it is for me to compose website blurbs, blog entries, Twitter tweets, and Facebook feebs. At least when I'm posting as an Author.

It's a philosophical thing, you know: the marketed person is not the real person. Ask any celebrity.

A friend recently commented that she preferred to follow writers on Twitter or Facebook if they came across as a "person," and not just a spam-bot pushing books (to which you might say, "well, duh", except it's excrutiating how many authors don't realize this). The comment made me ask, naturally, "What are some ways I can be more personable on my Facebook fan page and Twitter?" I mean, it's one thing for me to let down my hair on DW/LJ. These outlets were created to be places for personal expression, and I consider a great number of my flist to be personal friends, even if I met them first on the internet.

I'm also pretty personable on my personal Facebook wall, although there's some compartmentalizing with filters and some downright self-censoring as well. You know what I mean--don't you hate those people on FB who repost political stuff from their feeds or just say whatever idiot thing is on their mind from moment to moment?

Being personable on an author Facebook page, Twitter account, or website is just that much harder. Don't talk about politics. Don't bore people with the minutia of your daily life. Don't be an obnoxious jerk. Those are the no-brainers. Unless, of course, it's part of your reputation, your internet "personality" as it were, to talk about such things.

Which is really my point. We are socially constructed on social media. The selves we present are a compartmentalized subset of who we are, or sometimes, a character we or someone else made up. And if we're smart, we've developed a persona that the people we want to draw to ourselves like and want to see more of.

One benefit (and drawback) for those of us without a publicist is we can construct ourselves.

So who am I going to be? I can try to be The Philosopher, but that's very hard to do in the limited character-count typical of Twitter and Facebook (at least it is the way I do philosophy). I can be the Philosopher in a blog, and then link to my blog, but the trick is to get people clicking on those links.

On the other hand, I can really funny with the witty one-liners. People at my day job think I'm "hilarious" and "feisty" in meetings and on instant messenger. Problem is, my one-liners are only funny in a context. Twitter tweets and Facebook updates are very low on context.

Who do I want to be on social media? I want to be funny, philosophical Nancy. I want to talk about the philosophical depths of my favorite fantasy and science fiction stories. I want to kvetch about the writing process. Ocassionally, I might want to drop a tidbit from a story I'm writing or an anecdote from my daily life.

Now I just have to figure out how to be that person in Very Few Words. I'm not good at Very Few Words.
masqthephlsphr: (bang)
I have been a bit off the webosphere radar lately. And ironically, it's because I've been busy organizing the various outlets I am using to increase my internet presence. Website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads.... You know, I know I'm not the first person to say this--it's one of the blogging topics du jour--but the demands of social media to promote yourself as a writer (or artist, or any other creative type) interfere Big Time with the actual creative process.

Read more... )

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