My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Follow Us on Social Media (Updated for 2020)

Interested in following Writing About Writing? Or Chris Brecheen as a writer?

If you're trying to follow Writing About Writing (or if you are trying to follow ME as a writer), it might actually be confusing to navigate all the different ways I am online and what goes where.

Writing About Writing is on several social media, but each medium is updated a little bit differently. Some get every post I make, no matter how major or minor. Some media are privy to a cycle of "reruns" where, at least once a day, I cycle through the popular posts of the past so that new folks can see old posts they may have missed (and old fans can be reminded of treasured classics).

Some social media have different signal-to-noise. Some I update in other capacities. Some are fire and forget. In some, I post my writing that is not "about writing like the blog NOT Writing About WritingWhile other places I will link only this blog and the posts I write here.

  • What should you follow if you want to see everything I write? 
You want My Public Facebook Page. Follow it (or friend it if you check out the guidelines below). Though be warned that it can sometimes be like drinking from a firehose. All posts from ALL the places I write, reruns, plus navel gazing, proto-posts, Jack-Handy-caliber deep thoughts, amateur political punditry, social justice thoughts, macros, silliness, and geekery.
  • What should you follow if you basically want all the official posts I write, but not a bunch of crap about politics, video games, my day, or social justice?
You want My Twitter. Every post from every blog plus the reruns, but no other posts because I don't really use Twitter except to cross post.
  • What should you follow if you basically want the Writing About Writing blog, but nothing else. 
You want the Writing About Writing Group. 2 posts a day (usually 1 new and 1 rerun). There is one meme (but only one) that is the prior day's best from the page.
  • What should you follow if you basically want memes, puns, articles, and "you should be writing" reminders and don't really care about your writing.
Okay, that's cool. No no. It's fine. Really. While I put some aloe on this burn, you want the Writing About Writing page. Lots of memes, macros, puns, and comics and it's easy to scroll past the occasional post from my blog.
  • What should I do if I want all of these things? 
Follow the Writing About Writing PageThe Writing About Writing Group, and my Public Facebook Page. Then go to the following button on the page and set your preferences to "See First." I will warn you that you may see some repeat posts, but this if you want to miss the fewest things I post, that's the way.

The real "Join this site" button is at the
bottom of this (and every) page.
Follow Writing About Writing through Google Google's Blogger allows you to assemble a collection of blogs you follow. Most people following the blog this way have their own blog through Blogger, but it's not necessary. (You only actually need a Google account, which many people have through Gmail.)

Pros- Shows all updates (minor and major). Updates in a timely manner.

Cons- No reruns. No posts from any other venues. Blogger usually takes a few hours to get the latest post up.

It's going to burn your FEED!!!
R.S.S. Feed (Feedly, Feedburner) If you have an RSS reader, you may like to simply be updated by having your RSS feed updated with the text of my latest post. If you click on the Feedburner button AT THE BOTTOM of the page, you can subscribe to Writing About Writing through a number of RSS readers including FeedDemon, Netvibes, My Yahoo, Shrook, NewsFire, RSSOwl and more.

Pros- Shows all new updates (major and minor). Updates instantly.

Cons- R.S.S. feed does not include reruns (even the really awesome ones). No posts from other venues. Many RSS readers are JUST text, so you won't see the images. Also, if you get a little behind on your feed, catching up feels Sisyphean and knowing the next update is coming feels like the sword of Damocles. (Gotta get my Greek metaphors on.)

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't punch in
the addys of all those Nigerian Princes.
Email Notification At the bottom of the page, there is an option to put your email into a text field and subscribe to W.A.W. through email notifications. Every time I post an update, you will be sent an email notification containing a link to the post. I've been told that there's even some preview text (the first 200 words or something).

Pros- Shows all new updates (minor and major). Updates right away.

Cons- No reruns. No posts from other venues. You probably already get ten billion emails a day.

(That heading is a link) I was off Twitter for a while when they were making excuses for not banning Nazis. They seem to have pulled back from that position and are now basically as horrible as most other social media, so I opened a new account. It's JUST a tweet of our posts (and reruns). That's it.

Pros- Gets all posts (reruns, new, other blogs, everything)

Cons- Gets nothing else.

Facebook Page for Writing About Writing 
(That heading is a link)

W.A.W.'s Facebook page is its whole own thing.

In order to build an audience on Facebook, I spend a lot of time posting memes, macros, "you should be writing" reminders, inspirational messages, videos, and whatever thing about writing I find interesting and want to share.

This may seem counter intuitive, but I actually try NOT TO POST TOO MUCH FROM MY BLOG. The audience I've spent years carefully cultivating will not stick around if things get spammy. Most of the FB audience is there for the shenanigans, not the blog cross posting. FB's algorithm blacks out posts showing a post to roughly .00025% (that's 1/40th OF ONE PERCENT) in order to encourage content providers to spend money promoting themselves.
So very bitter.

Pros- Lots of other fun stuff going on. Most posts from other venues.

Cons- Lots of other stuff going on. FB algorithm prevents page followers from seeing every post so some W.A.W. posts will get lost. Not a good place to get all the updates if you want them. Enjoying anything on FB requires a shower with steel wool and industrial cleanser. Facebook is the antichrist.

(The heading is a link)

I joined Tumblr after Facebook's latest round of content throttling. Then Tumblr started doing it too and THEN they axed LGBTQIA+ content because of overkill compliance with Fosta/Sesta and now I post maybe one thing there a day. My goal in the new year is to send the "best of" post that I put up on the GROUP on Tumblr as well.

Pros- One post a day, always a new post if that's what I have.

Cons- Tumblr really took me for a ride, and now it's hard to give a shit about them. I sometimes forget days and don't really care.

Close but........no.

Facebook's Writing About Writing Group-
(The heading is a link)

Different from the FB page, the Facebook GROUP will only have the blog posts and a single macro/meme/infographic that is kind of like "The prior day's best."

Pros- Mostly just blog cross posts. (Reruns and current.) Once-a-day "best of" macro/meme.

Cons- Nothing else.

My Public Facebook Profile
(The heading is a link) My Public FB profile is a melange of personal updates, posts about politics and social issues, geekery, things I find about non-monogamy, introversion, and pop culture. But it will also include some "behind-the-scenes" thoughts about writing, running a page, and the creative process. If you wish there were more "Social Justice Bard" posts, this is a place where you can read the proto-versions of some of them as well as the ones that never make it to the blog.

  • You might want to follow for a while and decide IF you want to send me a friend request. I'm definitely not everyone's cup of tea with the geekery and the social justice stuff. 99.9% of my posts are public, so you really wouldn't be missing anything except the ability to comment.
  • If you don't care for my (very) occasional social issues post on other social media, you will like my profile even less. I write about that stuff almost daily.
  • I can be a bit much for people. I post a lot. 
  • I have a Commenting Policy for this profile. You should read it before charging in. ESPECIALLY before charging into a contentious post. 
  • If you do want to "FRIEND" me, send me a PM with your request. (Don't worry, I check my "Message Requests" at least once a day.) That account gets around 200-500 friend requests a week. I reject most of them because I don't know if they're there to try and rent my page or just pick a fight in the comments. So send me a message along with the request.
Pros- See more of "me." Get behind the scenes updates. See "alpha" versions of posts and thoughts that never quite make it.

Cons- I post a LOT.

(The heading is a link)

Technically this exists. Very very very occasional updates. Not really a good way to follow anything. I actually post most pictures I take or of me on my Patreon as part of the selfie tier.

Others? I would love if something could replace Facebook. Anything. Right now, though, I am fettered here. For all its throttling and trying to squeeze blood from my stones, Facebook is what has made it possible for me to be a working writer.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Admin Posts are Coming [Cedrick Update]

Hi everyone,

Cedrick here.

Chris is currently running up and down the grass hills just outside my window, jumping the hilly brush, and filling the air with joyous screaming about the bliss he will have ensconced in his new schedule.

Want to know what he's NOT doing?

He's not writing a goddamned post. Just jumping that hilly brush. He's not looking for the evil mystery blogger. He's not cleaning up the random slices of cheese on the third floor that have begun to smell like a cross between old people's jockstraps and what wafts up when someone on a Southwest flight takes off their socks and shoes.

So while Chris is out there frolicking and acting like he's a teen-ager in love and not a 45 year old who is going to pull a tendon or break something tumbling enthusiastically down a hill, I will start taking care of a series of admin and admin-type posts that we do every year here around the new year.

We review our update schedule, our business stuff, anything that needs adding to the F.A.Q., how to follow us, what monthly posts will go into the "Greatest Hits" (now that the year's best have been "promoted") and give a huge shout out to the Patron Muses. [I'm not linking the ones that are going to change significantly when those posts go up shortly.]

Listen, I also just got a lovely holiday picture of Dor, and I have to admit a renewed sense of purpose and motivation. I even let Leela Bruce call it a "door" last week.


I'm going to roll up ALL my sleeves and get some work done here on things that have spent years being unfinished, like making sure the menus are all cleaned up and keeping you abreast of who all you might run into working behind the scenes here at the WAW compound. No more treading water (which you know I'm particularly good at).

We'll hope that Chris gets this shit out of his system and gets back to some respectable word counts soon. In the meantime, you may see admin posts going up on our usual days off and even a couple of two posts days until we're all finished.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Best Modern Science Fiction (Poll Results)

So last night I got home and went right to work. (Literally, I grabbed a Lyft from the train station and went straight to my nanny job with all my luggage.) Today I've got a long shift as I tag out the person who's been covering MY shifts while I was out of town. Which means, for now, we just have a quick posting of our poll results.

This weekend there is more end-of-year admin to do. Next week both the fruits of my train "writing retreat" and the new writing schedule will start to kick in. There was a really good spread (until 4th place) so either the Douglas Adams fans swamped the poll, or this is pretty reliable.

Thank you for voting. I'll start taking nominations for the next poll very soon.

Text results below.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -D. Adams 127 42.47%
Parable Duology (Earthseed Series) - O. Butler 63 21.07%
Hyperion - D. Simmons 36 12.04%
Consider Phlebas - I. M. Banks 19 6.35%
Doomsday Book - C. Willis 18 6.02%
A Fire Upon the Deep - V. Vinge 16 5.35%
The Dosadi Experiment - F. Herbert 12 4.01%
Don't Bite the Sun - T. Lee 8 2.68%

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Train Reminder

Sorry for two posts in one day, but I want to remind everyone of how things will work while I head home on the train. It basically goes backward from when I come east. Tomorrow I will be almost completely unable to post because of lack of signal. On Thursday I will hit a lot of cities and get a lot of signal, so I will be able to post some stuff to Facebook through my phone, but I will not have WiFi to update the blog. Late Thursday I will be home and our posting schedule will resume. The first thing you can expect is the results of our current poll. So go vote

I already have a new post ready (and the conclusion of the article for Early Access) but it's going to take more editing than I need to get it up early tomorrow morning before I leave for the train, so it's going to have to be Friday. And then I'll drop some admin stuff over the weekend and give you all a full week of posts without my usual days off to make up for all this travel time.

If you're seeing this on social media, no need to click the post. You've read the whole thing. (Although there is a LINK to the blog.)

2019's Top Ten

The very best articles from 2019. 

It was a tough year with a surprising number of personal posts making the list, lost friends and beloved pets, ghosts (the real kind), and a nanny schedule that only looked good on paper, but we got through it and fiddled (hard) with the knobs to make sure that 2020 affords much more writing time.

This list will end up in The Greatest Hits along with the best articles by month.

The Buy-Me-Lunch Answer About My Sexuality

I don't much like labels. I'd much rather you buy me lunch and we'll sit down and talk.

The MLK That White People Like (SJB)

Let's get something straight, my fellow history-whitewashing, tender, gentle, fragile white people who like to quote Dr. Martin Luther King.

Fuck This. See You Next Week

The fires in California this year threatened my home and I tried to keep writing. It did not go so well.

5 Reasons Your Submission Probably Ended Up In the Trash (And 5 It Was Rejected That Aren't Your Fault)  [Also Part 2]

Your story MIGHT suck. But it also might be nothing at all to do with the content.


Some people love this word, and others find it a red-flag of a few different kinds of bigotry. What happens when the two groups talk?

24 Jackwads Who Show Up On Every Post About How to Write Something Oft Problematically Portrayed

They're always right there with the same handful of arguments.

Types of Editing (Basics)

There's a lot more to editing than just fixing your spelling and commas, and in fact that's kind of the least important and last step to a proper multi-phase editing pass.

I've Seen The Preview: I Don't Need to Hear Your Shitty Argument

Notice how so many of those internet arguments go so exactly the same way as the others that you already know how they're going to end? Kind of like the previews to certain movies where you totally feel like you just watched the whole movie.

I've Lost That Loving Feeling! 15 Ways to Spice Up Your Writing (Mailbox)

I took some marriage advice and applied it to writing in a listicle that was pretty weird, even for me.

Writing In Grief

At the end of this summer, a pair of my friends died while I was pet sitting for them. Dealing with that was more difficult than I imagined it was going to be.

Honorable Mentions:

Should I/Must I Read the Classics? (Mailbox)

This mailbox where Judith wants to know if she should read the classics missed the top ten by fewer than fifteen page views (which could account for almost anything including putting it up the first time too late in the afternoon––after east coast folks had gone home for the day).

I Need Advice (But Not "Write Every Day") [Mailbox]

I actually picked this one even though it was down a bit from the top ten. It got a very warm personal reception...if not all the page views.

11 Reasons Fame Probably Doesn't Look Like You Think It Does (The Renown Margin) [Part one of 3]

I break up many of my longer articles these days to keep my writing pace a little more reasonable for me and keep from vomiting 20k words for folks to read in one shot. Each part of this article missed the top ten (barely) but all together it would have been around the middle of the list.