What Counts as Writing?

I should be writing. It’s the name of a well-known podcast with Mo Rafferty. It’s also the phrase tumbling around my head 99% of the time. The only time it isn’t is when I’m actually writing. So, am I writing today?

Technically, I guess I am. What I usually mean tell myself I should be writing is is “I should be working on that damn novel. It’s not going to write itself.” So, in that sense, no. I’m not writing today. But I am telling a story.

As anybody who knows me knows, I am a lover of road trips. Long road trips, short road trips, spontaneous trips, rides with my kids, or trips by myself. I’m a wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving who always returns. Not always in the same automobile I left it, but I come back.

The kind of road trip I like isn’t some lyrical Blue Highways-esque meander through forgotten back roads and small towns of America. It’s the twelve hours on a four-lane interstate through the flyover states. I want four straight hours of 85 miles per hour, playing leapfrog with the eighteen-wheelers. Landscape flying by, tires humming and music I know by heart blasting from the speakers.

It’s my favorite type of meditation. When the next instruction on the GPS is ‘take I-70E for 580 miles’ ( which is actually part of the trip from Fort Collins to Charlotte), I know I can relax, let my mind wander through every plot hole, vague story idea, personal problem, and future Oscar speech rattling around my brain.

Do You Really Want to Know the Real Me? Baring it all on social media.

Social media is an indispensable tool for self-published authors. I love using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to meet readers and other authors. I enjoy the interaction and I learn something new every time.

I was reading today about the benefits of having a facebook profile versus author page. One of the articles said that using your regular profile, the one you talk to your friends and family on, is best. It’s more personal than an author page and can make a reader feel more connected.

But do virtual strangers really want to be that connected to me? Do you really want to know the real me?

Sometimes, I can be kind of a  jerk on my FB profile. I whine. I post inappropriate jokes and make rude comments to my friends. I post pictures of my kids so their grandmother can see them. I threaten my kids publicly so they call me. I post stupid memes, cat videos, and itineraries of imaginary road trips.  Yesterday I accidently tagged Ted Cruz. Oops.

What I don’t post much about is my writing. I don’t want to bore my friends, most of whom will never read my novel. I have several close friends who are published authors. I haven’t read most of their books. [But when I do, I review! (hint)]

Plus the genres I write in, paranormal romances and urban fantasy, contemporary gay romances, aren’t everybody’s cup of team. My mom very actively follows me on Facebook. And my nephews. I don’t need them thinking about the fact that a lot of what I write is m/m spicy romances. I don’t want to discuss the nuances of writing in these genres with them. That just seems wrong.

And I love writing those kinds of stories. I’m not going to stop. I’ll let them know about the things they can read.