I’ve read that the savvy self-publishing author, these days, creates an on-line presence and, so, in addition to struggling through the myriad insecurities of revising and polishing my novel, I’ve been endeavoring to build my on-line presence. My attempts to be savvy have led to the creation of this blog, my Facebook page and the delightful website that my generous and talented dad built for me. I’ve been leaving the scariest for last. Twitter.
Why would I be scared of Twitter? For the same reason that I’m still listening to cassette tapes.
From the time I was four until I was 19, I lived in tents, campers, travel trailers, cars, boats and float houses. For the last ten of those years, I lived in the tiny (50 residents) and isolated community of Edna Bay on Kosciusko Island in southern Southeast Alaska. In other words, I learned to communicate via VHF radio but not telephone. I learned to operate a boat but not a car. Over twenty years later, I’m still marveling at indoor plumbing and missing the cozy glow of kerosene lamps. I’m still filled with a sense of ecstatic relief when the power goes out and the ubiquitous hums, buzzes and whines of our modern household hush and the quiet seeps into my bones.
It isn’t that I dislike technology. Believe me, there’s nothing like years of emptying a honey bucket, packing water and wood, washing blue jeans with a scrub brush and cooking over a kerosene stove to make you appreciate modern luxuries. I like technology; I’m just not an early adopter and I’m not a digital native. It doesn’t run through my blood. I’m new to the country and I still look like a tourist with my camera ‘round my neck and my guidebook open in my hands as I gawk at the landmarks. Someday I’ll tell you about my first few months of college and how much time I spent repeatedly flushing the toilet. Because I could. Really.
All this is to say, it probably would have felt more natural for me to sign up for interplanetary travel than for a Twitter account. But I did it and I’m here to tell you, it’s fantastic! Sure, there are some folks out there posting the most mundane details of their lives as well as folks preoccupied by negativity and yes, there’s even a little spam. The thing is; these unappealing aspects of Twitter are remarkably easy to avoid and the appealing aspects are, for an introverted, small town, digital immigrant like me, astounding.
Twitter allows me to connect with an enormous number and variety of people. I am now following more people on Twitter than the total number of people in the community I grew up in. I’m connecting with people from right here in Juneau and people from other countries and continents; even people from another hemisphere! These people are intelligent, interesting, artistic, visionary, funny and wise. Every person that I’ve interacted with has been courteous and welcoming. I am feeling, for the first time in my life, like a member of the global community.
It remains to be seen whether I'm savvy, but I certainly am happy. I signed up for Twitter for the manifest purpose of promoting my novel but I’ve already discovered that Twitter benefits me, not only as a writer, but as a global citizen and as a human. The past twelve days have reminded me that sometimes the scariest things bring the most unexpected rewards.
Please feel free to connect with me via my Twitter account @MarcyPeska, my website http://Marcylpeska.com, my Facebook page, or firstname.lastname@example.org.