Posts Tagged ‘random’
So. Shaved my head. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been threatening to do it every time I’m due for a haircut. I just hate hair. Oh, not hair itself, just dealing with it. I despise wasting any amount of my time on dealing with that stuff on my head. If I’m not good enough without it, well, then I wasn’t good enough to begin with.
Now that I’ve taken the leap, I’ve been pondering lots of different things. (Less weight on my head=more brainpower? Hmmmm…)
WHY it’s such a “brave” thing to do for a woman to shave her head. Oh, I know the historical context, the verse in the Bible, way it was used to shame women in past centuries. The fact that it’s an obvious sign of enduring treatments for a horrible disease. (Also knowing that there’s always going to be someone who wonders if you’ve done it because you had head lice.)
It still bothers me, this notion that a woman isn’t fundamentally beautiful just because she exists. That this is something we can gain or lose by conforming to changing and sometimes arbitrary standards of grooming.
Anyway, I’ve been asked a lot in the almost-week since I’ve shaved my head why I did it. The answer: Because why not?*
OK, fine. #LeahStepsOffSoapbox
*I won’t claim that the fact that my eleven year old son was mortified when he saw me wasn’t a bonus. After all, he’s eleven and I’m his mother. By definition, everything I do is mortally embarrassing. Therefore, I take this as confirmation that I’m doing my job well.
A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.
Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.
So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!
There is no way I could quantify the amount of help I’ve gotten from individual members of the writing community and the community as a whole, either as practical help or just encouragement. So I’m putting all the names in a hat and randomly one. If it’s not you, that’s just luck, not because I don’t appreciate ya’.
Today I’m recognizing RC Lewis! She was one of the first people I met when I started this crazy writer thing. She gave me encouragement and practical advice on an early draft of Fighting Gravity and it meant a lot! She also let me read her manuscript, Fingerprints, and I thought (still think!) is was great. Plus I really enjoy following her blog. She’s a fellow science fiction writer, but even better, to me, is that she’s a math teacher at a school for the deaf. Teaching math in sign language. How cool is that?
So I’m going to send her a $10 gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so she can enjoy the book of her choice.
Do you know someone special that you’d like to randomly acknowledge?
Don’t be shy–come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. 🙂
Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.
Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness? Let me know in the comments!
Have you heard of The Rule of Three and their blogfest coming in October?
From their site:
Once upon a time, four Writers Who Blog (WWB) got together to create a shared world, the Town of Renaissance, where they invite writers to come and take up residence and explore it’s environ and citizens. During the month of October 2011, one a week, a story will emerge, linking three characters into one final cumulative story. It’s up to you, the writer, to choose the way they interact, or not, and how the final story in the fourth week ends is the journey’s end. Damyanti Biswas, Lisa Vooght, and JC Martin and I are the WWB, and we welcome you to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay. Oh…one last thing…
Now I’ve been remiss in posting this because I thought it started in October, but now I see the first prompt is already up, so if you’re going to get in on this, GET OVER THERE!
‘Cause I may have.
I ran across this article yesterday and it was so timely. I’d just that morning unfollowed a lot, and I mean a lot, of people on Twitter. Not because I’m a bitch (well, not only because I’m a bitch,) but because I was getting lost in that social media site to the point that it was no longer “social.”
That article, Content is not KING. The social interaction should be the real focus is actually written for businesses. So how about us authors? We are the business. If the advice is for a business to severely tone down advertising itself on a social network in favor of engaging their followers, shouldn’t authors, people, be doing the same thing?
I think so. But even using the Twitter management programs like Tweetdeck, my stupid stream was moving so fast I had no idea who was saying what, no chance to respond. (Lots of times I’d go to hit “reply” only to find that I was replying to a different tweet because the one I wanted had moved out from under my cursor before I could click.)
So I unfollowed quite a lot of people. My criteria? Did I recognize their avatar and/or username. See, the point of social media is to be, well, social. The people I’ve interacted with, whose tweets I’ve retweeted, who’ve retweeted my tweets, whose tweets have made me laugh, or go “wow.” That’s the social aspect of it.
I paid no attention to the number of people who were following them, or whether or not they were following me. In fact, I removed those columns from the view on the utility I was using. The one and only criteria was whether or not I “knew” them. Either as someone I admired, enjoyed following, or as someone who had engaged with me.
Looking back over the data on those who are left, it’s an interesting mix. People with 20 followers and people with 20,000 (or, in a few cases, quite a bit more.) People who are following me and people who aren’t. People who were seriously top-heavy with the number of followers to the number following, or the other way around.
With a smaller number of people feeding into my stream, I can participate! I can make sure I’m following the ones I want to be following. I always check now if I chat with or retweet someone, to make sure I’m following them. Or if they’re participating in 5MinuteFiction. I’m checking #amwriting and #pubwrite for people I want to follow. I want to follow people I’m going to enjoy following, who I’m going to be “social” with.
I know the advice. Lots of places will tell you to follow back out of courtesy. Lots of other places will tell you to send those “thanks for following” DMs or commit the sort of #ff and #ww spam that drives me batty. But when I faithfully followed everyone, or even most of the people who followed me, I simply could not keep up with thousands of people feeding into my stream. The posts moved so fast I couldn’t read them. And half or more were just “buy my book!” or the like.
So am I doing it “wrong” by unfollowing the people I didn’t find value in following? Maybe. But I’m sure enjoying Twitter a heck of a lot more.
P.S. I’ve lost a lot of followers myself as a result of unfollowing. I expected that and I’m guessing it’s no real loss to me, since we weren’t interacting anyway. But I do hate that the authors I try to help promote will have that much smaller an audience I can help them reach. Well, them’s the breaks.
I’ve also gotten a few “why did you unfollow me?” @ replies since I did the purge. As this is the first interaction we’ve ever had, I’d think the reason would be self-evident. In any case, I can’t explain what a bad taste that leaves in my mouth.