Authors have to do social media, they said. You must develop a platform, they said. Post eighty percent on random crap, and the other twenty percent on shameless self-promotion! No ten. Actually fifty! You must include Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter, wait, not Twitter! Twitter is dying! No it's not! Are you writing a book about birds? Look for message boards filled with people who will attack you like a flock of rabid chickadees if they get ANY INDICATION AT ALL that you are there to promote your book. You must promote your work without SEEMING to promote your work! Actually it's okay to promote your work! People expect it now! Unless they are internet purists. Avoid the purists. They will TROLL YOU, destroy your reputation, accuse you of trying to actually profit on the very activity with which you are desperately trying to earn a meager living. Get noticed by people, but not OVER noticed, or they will come for you. The misogynists and militant vegans and religious fundamentalists and crazy lonely cat people will lie in wait for you on message boards and in comment sections. They will surround you like hyenas circling an injured baby wildebeast! Don't be a baby wildebeest. Be a hyena. Unless there are catfish around. Or cat-fishermen. Or...
Avoid animal metaphors!
And forget. Forget how you used to sing in a bar at a thing called a Hootenanny, how you would practice with your friend Mimi and harmonize for a group of tolerant middle aged people. Forget making dinner for friends, showing off your lasagne, telling them that hilarious story that happened in Spain and making them laugh. Instead entertain those friends from afar with 140 characters. Forget how you used to get bored of being home, and you'd put on your shoes and walk to a coffee shop to read a book. Especially forget that you used to carry a book with you everywhere you went, because books are heavy and iPhones are light, and Twitter is even lighter. Forget sitting quietly in a park listening to birdsong. Forget taking naps.
Entertain yourself entertaining people entertaining you.
And definitely forget about how much you used to write. How much MORE you used to write. How much longer you used to write.
On second thought, forget it all. Forget Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Tumblr. Forget your passwords. Forget your iPhone. Remember that story you never sent off? That book you meant to read? That idea you had for an essay about how social media is destroying your attention span?
Look out the window.