Maybe social media isn't for me
#11: Featuring advice on being a creator online, Warsan Shire on writing for herself, why we need to educate hiring managers on shitposting, Escapril 2022 and more
It’s the second late newsletter in a row! What have I learnt? Midweek newsletters are a lot harder to get done on time when you’re busy.
But I’ve been busy for good reason!
Yesterday I attended the graduation ceremony of my good friend, Bekka. As well as celebrating with her lovely family, I was reunited with people I hadn’t since before the first lockdown.
Since the previous issue, I’ve also looked further into freelance writing and aim to start offering my writing services on a professional basis by the end of the month.
Furthermore, I’m toying with a rebrand of this newsletter, which I expect to elaborate on in the next issue. Part of that rebrand will include a fortnightly schedule of newsletters going out every other Sunday (with potentially some bonus newsletters here and there, too!). So expect the next issue on the 17th.
Before we get to the list of recommendations, I thought I’d share this advice from Eve Harms:
The best advice I’ve ever received about being a creator online: never ever denigrate yourself or your work publicly. Not even in jest. No self-deprecating humor.
People lose confidence in you or are reminded of their own insecurities or they feel an obligation to console you.
I must confess to being guilty of this. Self-deprecation is my default, something I’m trying to unlearn. Self-promotion also often feels icky and can be hard to do without hating yourself, but we shouldn’t feel ashamed to shout about the work we do. So that’s another habit to change.
Going forward, I’ll be making an effort to speak about myself and my work with more confidence. And I want to thank those who shared their positive feedback on the newsletter. You’ve made finding that self-confidence much easier, and I want you to know that I appreciate you.
Finally, here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing from the past two weeks:
I have very mixed feelings about social media, and I’ve never really had a healthy relationship with it. In an age where we’re all expected to have a social media account, I’ve found myself interested in other ways we might exist online. I’ve started exploring these thoughts in a blog post where I consider that maybe social media just isn’t for me.
I loved, loved, loved this interview with Warsan Shire for Vogue. Shire herself talks about anxieties around social media posting and makes a strong case for stepping away for a while. But what particularly stuck with me was how Shire ultimately writes for herself. Her process of writing to films and how it differs to writing to music is also interesting and makes me think I should perhaps experiment with my own process.
Whenever I send someone a long message via instant messaging, I often find myself wishing we were exchanging letters instead. Recently, I’ve even sent a few handwritten letters. But after reading Anandi Mishra’s article on the pleasures of hand-writing letters you’ll never send, I’m considering turning letter-writing into a habit (y’know, on top of my journaling, blogging and fiction writing habits).
I can’t recall ever having had so many books on the go at one time. After finishing Sian Meades-Willaims’ The Pyjama Myth, I decided to revisit one of my favourite books of 2020: Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists. This time, however, I’m reading with a pencil to give marginalia a try. I also started the sci-fi classic Star Maker by Olaf Stapldeon on a friend’s recommendation. And yesterday I started Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, which has been on my TBR list since forever.
There’s a backlog of emails in my inbox, which I’m slowly making my way through. A lot of these emails include curated newsletters similar to my own with article recommendations. Some of my recent favourites include:
Last year, I wrote a post on what I’d learnt after attempting to write the start of a novel. I touched upon the idea that if writing has one rule then it’s to never be boring. However, I much prefer Lincoln Michel’s one rule of fiction writing: “You can do anything but you can't do everything and you have to do something.”
Sam Dylan Finch shared a useful acronym he came up with for ADHDers who struggle with task initiation: RAN (Rewards, Accountabilty and Novelty).
Ed Zitron’s latest newsletter is a reminder of how his candidness helps keep me sane: “Nobody Works Eight Hours A Day, And You Are An Idiot If You Think They Should.”
I have a lot of misgivings about hiring managers screening the social media accounts of their applicants. However, if this is to become an accepted standard practice, I agree with Miles Klee that we must train hiring managers in shitpost literacy.
Escapril 2022 has begun! For those who don’t know, Escapril is the brainchild of poet and novelist Savannah Brown, who challenges the poets of Instagram to write and post a poem every day of April (National Poetry Month). I participated last year (albeit half-heartedly), but I’m going to try and write for every prompt this year! The first poem is a newsletter exclusive:
When I opened my eyes,
the morning brought mourning
for the days forever lost
and a yearning for cherished times.
The sun was cloaked in a black veil
and their weeping left us sodden.
But though there are blades in the wind,
the tears on the ground must dry.
Soon, the veil will fall away
and we shall wake to a warm embrace.
Thank you so much for reading and for your continued support! If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do so below. And if you enjoyed reading, I’d love it if you could share it with anyone else who you think would like it, too.
Speak to you all again on the 17th!