On that time of year and writers and Litreactor and too much social media
And I stop in to see what I've been saying which is not surprising not much. And I note the physical changes that Livejournal has taken over the years. (I shouldn't throw stones. Haven't we all? My profile picture shows a babbling granddaughter who at the moment of this writing just started elementary school. Next year, when I stop back at Livejournal I'll be amazed and say "Remember when she just started kindergarten? That seems like forever ago.")
What brought me back here today was a link on Litreactor. (Which is what? You ask. I'm glad you asked. I'm not an expert. I just joined this morning. It appears to be a writerly community and a sort of degree-free college of master classes.)
What brought me to Litreactor? (You're on fire today with the on-point questions! Good on ya, mate.)
A colleague advertised a class he was teaching there and I was thought BRILLIANT! I've put teaching classes on hold because mobility and health issues blah blah excuses (GOOD EXCUSES! but still blah) and have been looking into the possibility (and trying to foresee and problem-solve the potential difficulties) with online classes. Finding a site that specializes in them rather than navigating google hang-out or somesuch? Like I said. BRILLIANT! Maybe. I'm not sure. I went in the front door to check it out (which is student eye level and good), to see what it looks like from that side; but I'm not sure how difficult is to navigate from student to teacher. Potentially very difficult as there may be cash incentive in keeping students students. Students pay for classes. On the other hand, teachers create the products students purchase and no doubt share a significant portion of those fees with the site. How and how much is unknown and apparently a trade secret -or at least not visible when you enter the virtual college through the student door. The advantage, perhaps the sole advantage, to going it alone in the online teaching route is that I can charge (or not) anything and don't have to share the profits (or responsibilities: promotional, delivery, etc) with anyone.
Yes, I should probably have just asked my colleague how he got the gig and what the pros and cons were.
So in scoping out the site, I discovered a link under resources for writers to Jim Butcher's livejournal (which is touted as being a terrific resource for writers -which I'm not saying it's not). The exact superlatives are as follows:
Jim Butcher's LiveJournal has some of the most useful, concise essays on the craft of fiction writing available anywhere, let alone for free on the internet. Create flesh-and-blood characters, build tension in your plot, and make your characters react to the events of your story believably.
Which is lovely. Especially if you're Jim Butcher. (Disclosure: I love the Dresden Files show and books.) But what I noticed is that Jim isn't coming to Livejournal any more frequently than I am.
To be fair, concise useful essays don't have to have been written this week to be inspiring. I love me some Strunk and White and "Elements of Style" is not exactly fresh.
But the other question is where have we been if not livejournaling? I don't know about Jim but I'm a little crazy with the social media. Facebook, Twitter, Ello, #binders, wordpress, etc. Tumblr and pinterest and their ilk (word of the day is ilk -I managed to slip it into my Litreactor profile) get little love and I mostly stumble into them on accident when I follow a link that leads me there and asks (or demands) I sign in to continue. Reverbnation has really shot up this month. Although I haven't put new content on in years. Soundcloud is definitely under-utilized. Myspace? I have no idea the last time I logged into myspace. It's been how many years? Goodreads is now owned by Amazon. Ambivalence meet underutilization.
Mostly social media (which double for writers and activists and others as promotional or organizing tools) just makes me feel guilty. Like I should be working harder. Using better those "resources" that are supposed to make life and work easier.
I should update... I should check... I should... Shouldn't I?
PS. I should thank Livejournal for its vigorous autosave. My computer has been cutting in and out all day. The profile I mentioned at Litreactor took 2 hours to write because I had to restart it over and over. Finally using Open Office with cut and paste. But even OO betrayed me when I restored "untitled document" and found it blank. (I should see if I can set my autodraft to be more aggressive.) But Livejournal, thank you! I cut out twice during this post and returned each time to see I had lost a word or two, if that. Reason enough to come back more than once a year.