Tag Archives: Facebook

Will Write for Food

A guy I knew in grad school used to wear a T-shirt with those four words on the front.  Every time he wore it, the rest of us gave knowing chuckles.  The statement aptly captured two assumptions of student life:  meager grocery budget; desperation for payment, any payment, for one’s words. I’ve been thinking a lot about that shirt.  The spirit behind it seems both sincere—a willingness to do what it takes—and ironic.  Food?  You kidding me? What about free?  You kidding me? The debate sprouts up on Facebook, professional writers’ list servs, and heated email chains: when is it … Continue reading

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Out of the Faith Closet

When I started blogging, a little more than a year ago, I did so as an exploration of social media as a tool to reach my readers, to “build my brand” as a writer.  I was curious about (and a little intimidated by) the opportunities and challenges of blogging.  I had never logged onto Facebook or Twitter, and all my Friends were people I’d met and talked to in person. I’d also always thought writing a regular column (aka blog) would be fun. So I signed up for Meghan Ward’s social-media class at the S.F. Writers’ Grotto.  If I could … Continue reading

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If I Gave a Reading in the Forest, and No Tree Fell, Would Anyone Buy a Copy of My Book?*

While in grad school, some seventeen years ago, I taught my first class and gave my first public reading.  Both were nerve-wracking—I practiced for days, reading aloud  from pages marked up with little arrows and accent marks.  You know, slow down, look up, even take a sip.  I’ve always been one for preparation. When the time came, though, once I’d quelled the butterflies and got through it live, I discovered my inner exhibitionist.  After years of being the shy girl, the quiet bookworm, guess what? I loved to talk to a room of people, loved to hear myself read my … Continue reading

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Friends Indeed

I have a folder in my email inbox titled Friends.  I also have one for Teaching, with subfolders for different classes.  No doubt there’s a better way to organize (Friends from Way Back; Acquaintances I Rarely See; BFF) but I stick with the general.  Lately I’ve been consider a new category, somewhere between Teaching and Friends. I taught Julie a year ago, and when the class was over, we started emailing—not that often, and usually on the topic of writing.  But the tone had changed, the balance of power shifted, so I thought of her in a new way. When … Continue reading

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Beside the Point?

A couple weeks ago (OK, three, which is ancient history in social media time), an essay appeared in the New York Times Book Review called “Why Authors Tweet.”  In it, Anne Trubek seems to poke fun at Jeffrey Eugenides as well as other social-media-shy writers for opting out of Twitter, Facebook, and the like. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” the great and powerful Oz says, but that’s of course exactly where we want to look.  Toto pulls back the curtain, and the mysterious and powerful is rendered quotidian, ordinary—a little traveling showman with his smoke-and-mirrors machine. … Continue reading

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