Monday, 17 October 2011

Tweeter, Blogger, 25 for Lunch: One Weekend in October

Hello! I'm not sure who I am talking to. Most likely nobody. I talk a lot and hence I'm used to people glazing over. With this in mind I'm viewing this blog as therapy, my internal monologue posted, just in case there's someone out there who might be interested in reading, and might read without glazing, just for a paragraph or two.

A bit about me: three daughters, two large dogs, two fluffy cats, six chickens of various sizes, a husband, and a book out - yes, out, I'm still pinching myself - in August 2012 with Constable and Robinson. I'm starting to think about publication, and why, how, when and where, people might buy my book. Promotion. A little voice in my head. Promotion. The thing won't sell itself. One chance. Don't blow it. Think: Twitter. Facebook. Blogs. Website. Snog someone notable. Boris Johnson? (yuk), Clive Owen? (now we're talking).

Though guaranteed to help, snogging celebrities is not an option as the Husband seems unreasonably opposed to the idea. Back to traditional methods then. I looked at the list. Facebook was done, up and running, and you know? I get Facebook. Photos. Messages on walls. Replies to messages on walls. It's virtual stalking, right? Like I said, I get it. I have about a hundred and fifty friends, 60% of which I actually know, perfectly respectable for a technophobe of my age and standing. So, Facebook. Tick. Next Twitter? This is a bit more of a problem. Three years ago I opened/started/twitterered an account. Then I stared at it. For a long time. What to tweet? What to tweet? What to tweet... There was nothing and so I left it at that, a barren username with no meat or pastry, hanging lonely and followerless in the ether. But last Friday I tried again. I turfed Daughter 1 off the computer, ignoring her disgruntled, teenage mumblings. 'I need to work,' I said, unsympathetic to her Powerpoint homework she was halfway through. As she muttered her way out of the study I took a deep breath. 'Be brave,' I thought. 'You can do this.'

Just start with a profile description. So I wrote one, set it, sat back and stared at it on the screen. It didn't look too bad. 'Ok, you're up and running, girl. It's a walk in the park.' But then I got a couple of followers!!! The pressure nearly killed me. How to be funny? Or was funny too try-hard? Was one supposed to be funny? I read some people's (tweeple's?) tweets. Perhaps I should recommend a website or a blog or retweet something. I panicked all of Friday and all of Saturday and finally went with '...been staring at Twitter trying to tweet for two hours...' or something like that. Genius, eh?! Then the doorbell rang; 25 people had arrived for lunch. I shut the computer down, fed 13 kids shepherd's pie and 12 adults curry. Coffees all round. Red wine. Chocolate brownies. Bendicks Mints. Ribena on the carpet. Dog fight. Last person leaves at seven in the evening. Washing-up pile the size of a mountain and the dishwasher already on. uniform! My book, as is normal, is forgotten amidst the chaos.

But this morning I'm back at the computer. I have a second book to finish by the end of the year, an author photo to have taken (weight loss required), and didn't I say I would write a blog as well? Bolstered by a you'll-be-fine tweet from a new follower, and scarily successful, Kate Colquhoun (review in The Telegraph, April 2011, for her book Mr Briggs' Hat - '...unputdownable'), I am feeling up for it. I tweeted this morning - twice - and decided this was the day I would start my blog. But what should be my USP (unique selling point as opposed to University of Sao Paulo)? I log on early with a cup of tea while the kids are eating breakfast, and in the middle of the first sentence of my brand new blog Daughter 2 treads in cat sick and Daughter 3 tells me she has a headache and feels sick. She's hot too, however much I blow cool air on her forehead before feeling her. No school for her...

And with this comes the birth of Three Girls and a Pen: Juggle Juggle Toil and Trouble. It might not be unique, but it's all I know.

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