On Nuking Social Media & Identity Maintenance Costs

Last week, I nuked my social media.

What does ‘nuking’ mean? In the case of twitter, I deleted all previous tweets and likes. In the case of facebook, I deleted all posts, deleted my pages, left all groups except those few related to organizing with individuals in my immediate physical environment. I have setup both to auto-repost links to my work and articles published elsewhere (I fully expect most of my friends to not actually see these as exterior links are heavily suppressed by facebook sorting algorithms). I have set an intention to not post or comment on either platform for 30 days (other than the aforementioned automated reposting) and we’ll see what happens.

This act is part of a long term strategy of social media divestment while Continue reading

Fatherhood 22 Months In

When it comes to parenthood, first and foremost let me say my daughter thrives and nothing makes me happier.

I recently reread my earlier essays Fatherhood: 7 Months In and A Letter to my Unborn Daughter and –much like looking at earlier pictures of her- they plugged me back into who she was, who *I* was those months ago which had somewhat though not quite been overwritten by who she is, who I am. I am beginning to experience that unique lifelong schizophrenia of the various versions of her playing almost parallel in my mind, running together and overlapping one another. The ‘What you can’t have a date for prom, you were just learning to walk.’ The struggle to stay present, to fully plug into *now* faces unique challenges in rearing a child.

So here’s what’s now; Elliott is walking-climbing-running-tantrumming-cuddling-crying-laughing-joking-exploring-fighting-sharing-thanking-loving-living-breathing-being. She has smashed past every expected developmental milestone we’ve cared to track, early and eagerly. That, plus her height, leads most Continue reading

How I Write

This post originally appeared on the Salt in Wounds Patreon.

I thought you all might like some information about how I work. My (normal) process is as follows:

1. Brainstorm in Workflowy

 

First step, I utilize workflowy for all my brainstorming/project organizing. Workflowy is amazing and free; basically it’s infinitely nested and utterly searchable lists available on any device you happen to be utilizing. This is where I quickly jot off notes, outline, brainstorm, and just play with ideasIf you’re curious about workflowy (and I use it for lots more besides Salt in Wounds) you can sign up for a free account here (and if you use my code, we both get extra useage).

2. 1st Draft Longhand Notebook

From here, after organizing/vomiting out my thoughts via workflowy, I proceed to write a longhand version in one of my project specific genre composition books. I enjoy the physical act of writing longhand cursive (even though my penmanship is atrocious), especially with a fountain pen. It’s also nice because it’s free of distractions, can be done anywhere, and is the best way I’ve found to get out of my own way and just write. If you’re curious about fountain pens, these disposable ones from Pilot are what first got me hooked.

3. Transcribe into Google Docs

After finishing a draft in notebook, I’ll then type that up into google docs so I have access on whatever PC I happen to be using (I use a laptop for my dayjob, a chromebook for idle browsing, and share a workhorse desktop PC with my wife). It’s amazing how many errors and little tweaks I catch at this stage; writing a longhand first draft and being forced to take this step really helps me polish.

4. Additional draft Google Docs

From here, I try and crank out another draft in google docs.

5. Copy In Nonformatted Version into Word, Publisher, or whatever Blogging Software

Sometimes, bizarre formatting artifacts are transferred in from whatever word processor  (this was a much bigger issue when I was transferring and divvying up the old Tribality Salt in Wounds posts) so now I’m paranoid about weird typographical issues that make things look funky. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen, I first copy/paste the text into notepad before copying and pasting into blogger. At this point I do another draft specifically for spelling and grammatical errors (avoiding -if at all possible- editing for content).

6. Typoographical Edits

I recently read and paid for the freely available (and highly recommend) web book Practical Typography http://practicaltypography.com/ which is all about the artistry of Typeset language. It’s been a huge help in changing my approach to publishing and presenting my work as a professional. Anyway, at this point in the process I specifically produce a draft in blogger that’s focused on producing the most pleasing typographical presentation of my words I can manage. (By the way, while I recommend reading all of it, just taking a moment to review Practical Typography’s ‘Typography in Ten Minutes’ section will probably greatly improve your ability to present what you write.)

7. Promotion/Selling

From here, I promote or attempt to sell the work. I actually want to build as large an audience as possible (and make money), so getting my work in front of people (and then encouraging those people to comment, share, and otherwise join the conversation) is as much a part of the process as writing in the first place.

And that’s how I get from idea to a space where you can read it.

 

On 4 Weeks of Sharing

For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing pieces I wrote as part of a ‘30 Days of Sharing’ project I did, wherein I wrote and published longer pieces on facebook. I cut a few because I didn’t want them to be public, lightly edited the ones I did publish; but this was basically a republishing of what I shared privately with my friends on social media. What follows is the last piece about the project.

On the most basic level, I feel relief. Producing these on the schedule I’ve been doing has been tough and -with some of these more than others- emotionally wrenching. At their best, I felt like I learned more about myself by producing these, grew closer to friends along odd, unexpected slants and in ways that Continue reading

On Writing

I have been writing consistently, and submitting pieces for publication, and working to get better for fourteen years. I’ve tried to quit once or twice; wished I could quit more times than I can count but I never could. I do my best to keep putting out better, truer work. And as an added challenge, since I’m going to be doing this anyway, I work to get paid for this behavior.

Sitting in my inbox today was a contract for a bit of game writing; a little fish to help feed my family. I was organizing my archive the other day, and I realized that -not counting reprints- I’ve sold Continue reading