CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Before I start can I just point out it’s 3.30 a.m. and I can’t sleep…this makes me grumpy.

“I TWEET, I FACEBOOK, I BLOG, THEREFORE I REALLY REALLY SO AM.”

No. You’re not.

Let me take these things one by one…

Twitter: Get off it, get back to having a life, talk to real people who haven’t told you what they’ve had for breakfast, what mood they’re in and what colour pants they’re wearing and may well be stalking you on google Earth…and all before you’ve got out of bed. Leave it alone and do more stuff. Life will be better. Done.

Facebook: I deactivated my Facebook account for a week. I gave prior notice via a status update but still the results were interesting. Friends emailed to ask me what they’d done to upset me. Friends emailed other friends to ask what they’d done to upset me. Friends emailed other friends to check I was ‘okay’. No one texted me, or called. Two people thought I was dead. Really? Is this how we exist now?

I’m kinder to Facebook than Twitter because I like keeping up with writer friends all over the country easily on it, but I currently have 104 outstanding friend requests sent by people I have never met. Not one of them has put a message in the request. To me, this reads like a demand to be my friend. Like they have some God given right because the Internet has validated them and therefore I should welcome them in. Well, I’m sorry – if you’re too rude to stick a “hey, I’d like to be your FB friend cos I want to spam you constantly about my upcoming self-published chapbook.” in the message line, then you’re too rude to be a friend of mine. My friends aren’t rude.

I’m giving serious thought to deactivation again. The quiet was nice for a while.

Blogging: Now my issues with blogging may be because I don’t really get it. If I didn’t have this job I would never blog. Ever. I do it because I’m told to, and I’ve tried (although they’re now mainly hidden on the website under this wordpress) to make them interesting and not all about me, me, me. But if I didn’t have a publisher wanting me doing stuff, there is no way I’d do it. The world does not need to know my thoughts. It probably doesn’t need to know yours. Everyone seems to be blogging these days and it leaves me baffled.Is your life really that interesting? I know mine isn’t. Neither is my opinion on stuff important. The same goes for you. Harsh, but true. Some people do the blog thing brilliantly (I follow a few) but most people don’t. Some people have fascinating lives (Stephen Fry, Amanda Palmer) that I want to read about – most people don’t.

Having a blog does not validate your life. It’s just words on a page that a lot of people will never read. And then there’s the content. The other day I found myself nearly writing an abstract blog about something recent that hurt me very badly. It stopped me in my tracks. Why would I blog about that? It was a private thing. It should exist only in me. It should not be papering the walls of the Internet. That’s just so…..American.

Not only does the world not need to know what I’m thinking, it definitely doesn’t need to know what I’m feeling. Maybe it’s because I’ve never felt a particularly overwhelming need to be liked. In fact, I’ve never felt a particular need for anyone or anything to validate my life. Except maybe my books. I want people to like them, and I want publishers to keep buying them from me and maybe that’s all the words and liking I need.

The long and short of it is, with all this noise in the Internet I find myself thinking,”World, shut the fuck up.”

So I’ve decided to take my own advice and shut up. I’m taking a break from blogging. I don’t want to feel the pressure to stick something on here for a couple of months. Maybe when the house is sold (decorating nearly finished – yay!) and my mad move to London is underway I’ll have something more interesting to share…but until that moment strikes, it’s adios from me unless I have book news to post…

Catch y’all later. Now switch off the computer and go and do something more interesting instead…

Eyeore x

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About sarah

Writer of supernatural and crime fiction for Gollancz in the UK. I've written six horror novels and my first thriller, A Matter of Blood, wa View all posts by sarah

8 responses to “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

  • Chris Limb

    For me, blogging isn’t about telling everyone what I’ve been up to – it’s more the mental equivalent of a workout. I have found that since I started blogging on a regular basis I find it easier to write in general (which is a good thing as I’m one of those people who struggles to reach the word count, not to stay under it).

    But I’d never write about what *I’ve* been up to – that’s private. And boring for anyone who isn’t me.

  • Stephen Volk

    Very interesting blog, Sarah. You share a lot of my thoughts. I’m scared to death of of Twitter, but I do enjoy FaceBook as a rolling, idle conversation with mates (and to get news): it’s also interesting to pick up on stray opinions (though I could care less about quizzes and footie). But, frankly, I’m spending too much time on FB. Here I am, via your status…. 🙂 It’s a kind of addiction. I’ve avoided the idea of a blog though. I do a “comment piece” every two months for Black Static in which I gather my thoughts on a non-fiction topic, and I enjoy that: but I don’t actually want everybody to know all my waking thoughts. I want to put those thoughts and emotions into stories: that’s what stories are for, and I think the blogosphere is essentially for people who don’t have the drive or necessity to write fiction. Does that make sense?… I find it scary that you were “told to”. I remember it was exciting before we knew much about Stephen King or Clive Barker or even what they looked like. We knew them only through the stories. Anyway – interesting. :)Thanks. To work!

  • Steve

    Make that 105, 1 with a message :).

    I’m beginning to agree with you about the radio silence thing though. Good writing happens when the mind is at peace.

  • adele

    Was lovely meeting you at FP (promise I am not stalking you on google earth).
    I think that while it is important for an author to at least have a website where someone can find info about the books, the social media side of it is less so. It’s great for fans if an author enjoys it and wants to engage that way but if you aren’t having any fun then it’s just a massive time and energy suck and adds to the publics sense of entitlement, “you are on twitter and I demand you speak to me right now even though you have no idea who I am”.

  • Victor

    I agree with you for the most part.

    I still don’t get the point of twitter. So to me, it’s practically stupid. Facebook is how I stay in contact with most of my friends now. Playing phone tag got expensive. As for blogging, I tried it. Didn’t go far.

    I think you should just use Facebook to let your fans know what you’re doing. Upcoming releases, signings, cons, you know-writerly things. Nobody really needs to know that you undercooked the roast and overcooked the soup.

    Besides, doing the blog, facebook and twitter would take too much time from what you do best. Write.

  • xcandyxcane

    I totally blog about what I’ve been up to, without that content I would most likely have nothing to write about. Oh, I’ve been known to tweet too… although, I don’t know why. ;*)

  • Therefore I Am | Lou Morgan

    […] that line. It surprised me. I’m not entirely sure why, as I read an excellent post on Sarah Pinborough‘s blog a while back about “I social network therefore I […]

  • Michael

    I write because it releases stress. I know I fit that “American” blogger to a T,but every blog is so different. I daresay,reading a good blog is a lot better then reading yet another fantasy about trolls looking for a magical shoe or a cop with more skeletons then graveyard…*s*

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