The Problem With “It’s Twitter”

Recently, author E. L. James had a conversation with fans on Twitter using the hashtag #AskELJames.  Instead of a conversation, James was viciously attacked. 

This sparked a number of blog posts about the issue of hateful and hurtful comments being posted online, from book review sites to articles, Facebook and Twitter, and everywhere in between.  One such blog post by Deb Ng caught the attention of author Anne Rice, who has been crusading against this growing trend.  You can find the post here.

After reading her very thoughtful post, one of the comments caught my eye.  In it, the commenter stated that “it’s Twitter” and that these kind of hateful attacks are to be expected from the popular social media site. Twitter, of course, is a micro bogging site that gives users 140 characters to speak their mind. 

Here is my issue: No matter what social media platform you’re using, you have no right to attack people.  This applies to book reviews, discussions, comments, and any other place where you can post comments.  That stands to reason, right?  Common courtesy, social etiquette, netiquette….

But when you say “it’s Twitter” it makes it okay to post hateful messages.  If we allow it, and it is tolerated because “that’s how it is”, then it becomes accepted even though it isn’t acceptable.

Twitter allows users to block abusive users, and they can also be reported.  Let’s use those tools to show people that we don’t want to see their hateful posts. Let’s make it clear that we don’t accept this unacceptable behavior.

Writing with Someone Else’s Voice

Have you ever been asked to wrote something for someone else? I’m not talking about writing fiction and moving between different characters. I’m talking about producing a piece of writing with someone else’s voice and tone.

I’ve written letters of recommendation for bosses before. Those are relatively easy because generally they follow a pattern.

I’m trying to come up with content for a friend’s website. It needs to include information about events and recaps of shows.  She’s a comedian.  And since she’s a comedian she wants everything to sound like her. 

I’m not a comedian.  I dropped out of comedy school because as Freud would say, I’m too anal retentive.  (Ironically, I was a valedictorian and I’ve never dropped out of anything)  So writing content in her voice is an interesting challenge.

However, I feel like it’s a good experience and it will broaden my horizons and all that jazz.

So…(insert humor here)

The Writing Bug

I keep seeing signs for flu shots. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu (which is why I avoid the shots).  Right now I have the Writing Bug.

I can’t stop writing. Last night alone I wrote three articles for a website.  Earlier in the day I wrote a week’s worth of blog posts.  Today I have a dozen ideas for things to write next, and new ideas for my book, which has stalled since Comic Con.

The Writing Bug isn’t a bad thing. The only time it poses a challenge for me is when I don’t have the time to write, when I’m driving, and when I’m supposed to be doing something else.  Clearly the Writing Gods have a sense of humor.

Even now, I’m writing this post and I have at least 6 more that I want to write.

I guess I should get on that….

On Writing: Productive Procrastination

Sometimes my procrastination can be productive.  Today I wrote a few blog posts (business and personal), Tweeted (again, business and personal) and sent a dozen business emails.  I got a little writing done, and I’m mostly satisfied with it.  Perhaps procrastination isn’t so bad when it’s done in a productive way.

Of course, if I keep procrastinating, I’ll never get the book done.  *headdesk*  The vicious cycle never ends….