I Should Be Writing: Twitter, Google+, Productivity, and Origami Cats

My twitter account is a few years old, but in truth my twitter usage only really started maybe a month or two ago. I didn’t know how to enjoy it or how to get anything out of it.

Lately that’s changed, largely because of a few people I met at Balticon who helped me understand the joys of twitter. That and reading about Kristin Hersh’s kids. I had just gotten in to my twitter groove when people started talking Google+. I was terrified.

There are many things that are all too easy to avoid doing. Right now I’m avoiding changing the strings on my guitar for the next episode of the Horde as well as finishing up the rewrites to episode 6. I justified the time off for twitter since I was really enjoying it but I can’t say the same for Google+.

I’ve just spent about an hour trying to set up Google+ so I want to look at my stream yet it still feels like I’m doing what I used to do on facebook: not write.

I check twitter once or twice a day, read through all the updates of the people I follow, try to post a few witty remarks back that hopefully make them last, and on a good day share something that helps someone else.

I have a routine. It takes maybe an hour, which is probably much longer than it should but darn it @spacefuture keeps posting these neat videos. I can’t help thinking that, even though it clearly is directing traffic here, that I’m somehow doing it wrong.

I think this because that is time I’m not writing. I totally agree with Robin Sullivan’s post arguing that marketing is the writer’s responsibility (unless they’ve managed to pay someone else to do it). However, right now the networking and socializing piece keeps distracting me from the writing piece, which I’d argue is much more important to being a writer.

Before I started this blog, I sat down and divided my time in to two categories: promotion and content. The Horde is content. My songs are content. That’s the stuff I want spread around. Twitter is promotion/networking/socializing with neat people. Blogging, for me, is mostly in the same category.

I like the idea of Google+. I especially like dragging and dropping my friends in to different circles based on what movie nights they might wish to attend. But none of this really moves forward with the main goal of my life: writing and sharing that writing.

So maybe it’s a matter of being too easily distracted. I could, for example, stop following Nasa and the Onion on twitter and be much more productive. Honestly though, that’s half the fun of twitter. I’m socializing, I’m networking, then I either crack up or see a brand new galaxy that’s just been discovered.

So when I sit down to open Google+ and look at my stream, I want to jump in and get involved. I want to make comments and connect and share pictures of my cat (except I don’t have a cat so instead I will share pictures of an origami cat I made a few months ago). However I keep thinking, “I should be writing.”

So Google+ers, I know there’s something there. It seems neat. For me, it took dating a ballerina to actually start appreciating ballet, it took making friends with an avid twitterer to start getting twitter. So how do you appreciate Google+ in a way that makes it an enriching part of your life instead of a distraction from all the cool stuff you want to do?


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