(Not that kind! Get your mind out of the gutter!)
Once upon a time there was a girl who had to take a high school computer class when said class was about writing 50 lines of code to see your name scroll across the screen (yes, I’m dating myself). I’m sure we learned to write other, more useful programs, but that was the coolest one, so the one I remember. In college, I had to take a similar class and only survived because of a boy with the most beautiful brown eyes fringed with lashes as long as my 80s-style bangs, who happened to be an engineering major. By the end of that class, I swore I’d never touch a computer again.
Fast-forward a few years and I was now a mom to a one-year-old and very pregnant with my second child. My own mom, a computer geek since the 70s – when a machine with the power of an iPhone required the space of three college campuses – introduced me to Prodigy. Wow! I was hooked. A few months later, when I bought my own PC, I immediately joined AOL, found the mommy and preggo message boards and became addicted to what was then known as the Internet.
For many years, I was the go-to person when it came to computers. I was one of the first professional resume-writing services to have a website and for many years, I was listed #1 on Yahoo!. I sat on the cutting edge of computers and the WWW.
But somewhere along the way, technology surpassed me. I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the latest-and-greatest. Web 2.0 and social media sounded exciting, but my head ached from swiveling so much with all the applications, sites and usefulness. I let myself go, worse than an unhappily married, middle-aged housewife.
I jumped on LinkedIn several years ago but have yet to discover all of its usefulness. I joined FaceBook comparatively early for my age. But Twitter and blogging? Meh. I didn’t need those, too. Who wanted to know that I was having taco salad for lunch or helping my sons with homework? Or worse, a whole blog about my boring life?
Then I submerged myself back into fiction writing and completed my first novel. Along the road to seeking publication, I learned that writers need to take advantage of social media to market themselves and their books, to connect with other writers, agents and publishers, and to build a platform (that’s pub-speak for fans). So I finally gave in and created a Twitter account.
Wow! As I build my writers’ network on Twitter, I’m re-discovering the joy of finding those first Prodigy and AOL forums. Whoever said a writer’s life is lonely is not on Twitter. In fact, it’s so not-lonely, I don’t know how some of those tweeps get any work done. Especially when they also write fantabulous blogs. What I’d thought was an even more in-depth way to bore people – because FB status bars and 140 characters in Twitter just weren’t enough – could actually be a fun outlet to express our lives as writers.
So, I’m giving in. This is my virgin blog post. Just like other virginity losses, it’s more awkward, slightly painful and less inspiring than I’d hoped…and a little frightening (will you still like and respect me in the morning?). But it does get better, right? It has to. Otherwise, why would so many people be doing it? Blogging, that is. I told you to get your mind out of the gutter.