My Bibliography

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Online Branding

Twice in the last week I’ve vowed that I’ll never write again.  And I have urges to get out of bed at four in the morning to delete everything that I’ve ever made available on the Internet, including all my social media accounts ‘cos I think I’m no better at socialising digitally than I ever have been in person.  Lol at that ‘cos I know what it means - I simply need a break.  It boils down to my lone wolf tendency; I should know that by now.

It’s not that I don’t socialise well, it’s just that I prefer more intimate settings, relationships with meaning, the kind that I’ve always been particular about allowing into my life; somewhat of an introvert in the true sense; able to be the life and soul (and how) but needing adequate amount of time in my own company shortly thereafter to reenergise before I can do it all over again.  New people coming into my (real) life  often saying that I’m not the same person they met before, even looking different; confusing them, making them think I’m a bit weird.  But I’m used to that, embrace it actually, add it to my repertoire of self-acclaimed eccentricity, jokingly calling myself as I do on this blog bio, a bit of a Sybil. The people that know me wouldn't be without it.  Trust me I've tried.

Some people are great at branding themselves; constantly engaging others with seemingly light-hearted comments on Facebook and Twitter – even non-writers, I’ve noticed, who're unaware perhaps that this is what they’re actually doing in a sense.  But sure enough, an introspective, over-analytical mind like mine has soon built up an FBI profile of them and smiles at their natural ability all the while thinking why can’t I do that?

The reason though is that I think I'm ingratiating myself all over the place, that people get sick of seeing me, thinking God not him again.

Then there are those I can tell are trying to brand, coming across as a bit contrived really and nonetheless great at it.  But that’s what we have to do these days as writers.  Apparently.  Yes, gone, it seems to me anyway, is the luxury of the sensitive artist type to be able to slink off to their dens to view the world by their quiet contemplative introspective from where their greatest works arise.  An unspoken understanding by others that they're meant to be misunderstood.  I don't think that's the case anymore.

But I can’t pretend to be just one person - even though I know of course I really am before anyone thinks I need a psychiatrist - for when I try to choose an online persona, usually in the quiet of night, that persona makes all the others in my personal clique wanna puke the next day when they read back what it wrote; mid-morning persona promptly deleting it.  ‘No’, it insists, ‘that’s not representative of all of us at all at all (for it can be Irish) or, it feels, 'just a bit too revealing for a private person... so it is.'  

But I think what I've come to realise is this; the initial inclination that I had when describing myself online as a bit of a Sybil when I first started out, is the one I should stick with.  Yes, I should fine tune it, concentrate on a multifaceted me instead of having to choose just one perhaps.  Have fun with it, for I think that’s the only way I can be comfortable, can be truly represented, if I have to present myself, because for me that has to be paramount.  But I do think one persona might have to take control, not allow any of the others to press the delete button; showcase that unpredictability of the kind readers say is evident in my writing.  Market that.

Anyway, gotta go, have a lunch reservation for seven; wonder what the maĆ®tre d'will think when only one person turns up – well okay then, the girl behind the counter at Subway.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Old fashioned pens... not!

Today I feel like griping a little.

I know a lady who’s always saying that they don’t make things like they used to, a lady whose house could probably match the bomb shelter in that movie... the one with Brendan Fraser in a time warp... for she's bought nothing new in years - despite being incredibly rich.  And she might be right.

In my business, I do have to jot things down with a pen quite frequently, electronics not entirely appropriate, and despite the fact I literally have hundreds of biros and gel pens – trays of which I buy at Costco - anytime I pick one up, it doesn’t work.  No amount of scratching around on the paper, ripping it to shreds in the process will make it write (or right) after its initial use of scratching a few words and its cap being removed; dried up like a Middle Eastern riverbed – the kind they use for wadi bashing (the practise of recklessly four-wheel driving in places like Dubai).  And pencils too, somehow every one of those never sharp enough to jot something down with despite being sharpened regularly. Now that I can get over, I'm heavy handed with certain things, but the pens, all of them, often not working as soon as they’re taken from the tray even? Outrageous. Indeed I have to agree, they don't make things like they used to... why, I remember a pen would last me a whole semester at school until it burst in my shirt pocket... now that's a writing implement.

No wonder everything seems to be mightier than the pen these days.  Oh... and I walked barefoot fifteen miles in the snow to get to school an' all....