Writer’s Tools – Being a Person

Where do I start? Okay, let’s start with Social Networking. Yeah, I’m talking about Twitter and FaceBook and LinkedIn and all those “online presence for marketing” things. I’m telling you, if you friend me or network me or whatever noun is now a verb JUST TO SELL YOUR STUFF, I will un-verb you so fast your merchandise will spin around in a circle until it wears a hole in the floor. So I don’t like to do that to other people.

BE A PERSON. I have lots of online friends — Okay, not thousands, but I’m all about quality, not quantity, except when it comes to cleaning the house, in which case I’m not about either. Where was I? Oh, yeah: I’ve met people online and “talked” to them about writing or photography or movies or food or whatever. I’ve met people at conventions and traded practices of elevator speeches and recipes. And it’s the people who have interacted with me as PEOPLE that capture my attention. Those are the people I ask to guest on my blog. Those are the people I friend and follow and those are the people whose news I share with as many people as I can. Not the high-powered marketeers. The people.

BE A PERSON. If I go to a writer’s blog and it’s all about selling product, I don’t bookmark it. But if it’s about the person behind the book as well as the work, I’m more liable to subscribe to that blog and keep up with that writer’s career and, again, share that news. My writing is important to me, but I have a life outside of that which, naturally, both informs and impinges on my work, and this blog is about all that. Plus, I love writing prompts, so I always append one to my posts, because everything is about writing with me.

I’m really so very tired of people who don’t do social networking rolling their eyes about it and claiming it’s unreal and impersonal. Some of it is. Some of it is fake socializing in order to sell a product. But some of it isn’t. There are plenty of people out there.

Be one.

WRITING PROMPT: Have a character go on vacation and run into someone else who is also on vacation and let them learn that they know each other online. Are they awkward or does their online friendship carry over instantly? Or are they feuding online and does their face-to-face make it worse or dissolve the animosity? Does their on-line interaction change, or does it have a parallel sort of existence?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Writer’s Tools – Being a Person

  1. Helen Ginger

    December 27, 2010 at 12:10pm

    I, too, am on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I admit I’m more active on my blog because I feel I have something to contribute. I was blogging every day, but cut back to 3 days a week two months ago due to Federal jury duty. On Twitter, I don’t follow those who are selling something constantly. I admit I’m not real active on Facebook or GoodReads.

    It seems like there are so many “social” networks. I don’t know how some people do it all.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 27, 2010 at 2:20pm

      Helen, I know what you mean about not being able to be active everywhere. It seems as if I’m online ALL the TIME, and I don’t do much besides post on my blog. I guess I’m reading a lot, but that’s hardly contributing to the conversation! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. 🙂

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  2. Bodie P

    December 27, 2010 at 1:56pm

    You are so right, Marian–people who use other people are just as obnoxious online as they are in person. It’s easy to tell who’s come to the party to have a good time, and who’s come to the party to get you to sign up for insurance with them. I try to think about my interactions on the social sites as introductions–I introduce people I find interesting to each other. Or I say, “Hey, have you heard about…” and provide a link to a product I find interesting or helpful or informative. If my sole focus is making sales I get very boring, very fast.

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  3. Nancy Williams

    December 27, 2010 at 4:16pm

    Ditto that comment you made to Sherry…I am not too good at facebook and even worse at twitter. I always go look at what people are posting and wonder how they find the time.

    Writing challenge:
    “I met a great fellow the other day on my blog. I followed him back, exchanged a comment and then tweeted him.”
    “Yeah,” she said. “What was his name.” She pulled the Insurance papers from her drawer.
    “That’s the funny thing,” he said. “His name was George, George Bellows, and you are Georgia Bellows. He referred me to you. Any chance you are related?”
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  4. Sharon Reece

    December 30, 2010 at 11:44am

    Your post was a good reminder. Being a “person” takes a lot of time, doesn’t it?! Most people don’t want to take that kind of time. The interactions I’ve managed to develop on twitter and facebook have definitely added value to my life and hopefully to theirs. Facebook is one of my first stops in the morning and last at night. Twitter, not so much.

    I enjoyed reading through a bunch of your posts and especially like your writing prompts. The snowflakes, not so much…

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 30, 2010 at 12:13pm

      Sharon, thank you for commenting. I’m glad you like my writing prompts, but … but … snowflakes not so much? Oh-kayy, I do thank you for the feedback. I’m dialing the snowflakes down. 🙂 Mwwwwwwah!

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