Thursday, 21 March 2019

Why Are You Following Me?

Since I haven't worked in box-office for nearly five years, I've struggled a little with the idea of continuing to write as Boxofficegirl. So much so, I abandoned this blog intending to create a new one on a different platform. I may still do that but for now, let's pick up where we left off, albeit a little older and wiser than when we last met.

You may have noticed that the blog has had a facelift. I came back intending to sell up then had a sentimental change of heart and gave the place a lick of paint instead. I hope you like it as much as I do. If only we could renovate ourselves in the same way. Imagine that, trading in the old for the new. Though I'm not so sure I'd want to be first in that particular queue. There's something to be said for accepting the ageing process, and maybe even enjoying the status that growing older brings. It won't be long before I'm wearing purple and spitting in the street and that's definitely got to be something worth looking forward to.

So much has changed on the internet since I first took up blogging. The amount of social media sites available is mind-boggling and like many, I too have succumbed to the likes of Twitter and more recently, Instagram which, I hear is already considered outdated by the millennials. Damn their youthful eyes. These days a writer needs to be so much more whether they choose a traditional or self-publishing route, which is kind of tough when all a writer really wants to do is, well, write.

For a long time, my followers on Twitter remained fixed at the same amount. Until this week. In the last 7 days, they have swelled beyond recognition through a follow-fest campaign of writers and authors at #writingcommunity. (Y' see, I know all the lingo.) I'm not talking millions here nor have I suddenly morphed into Lady Gaga. (As if.) But I was a willing participant, fool that I am because there is something extraordinarily seductive about hundreds of people wanting to engage with you, especially when you normally spend so much time alone. Usually, if I got a notification about a new follower, I'd go and have a look to find that for every new one gained, three more had left the building. Sod's law. This morning, I woke up with a social media hangover having been glued to my phone for most of last night. There were so many new followers I couldn't keep up with following back. Plus, there were a couple of dubious hopefuls chancing their luck, but let's not go there. Today, in the name of sanity, I've turned notifications off because the follow-fest party is still going on and my poor brain can't cope with all the sudden influx.   

Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to be connected to a whole new bunch of writers and artists. But it's overwhelming too. What if I don't interact enough, what if they don't like my posts? What if they click the link to my blog and notice I haven't written anything since 2017? What if...what if... what if..? I suppose that's partly why I'm back, trying to squeeze into a dress that doesn't fit so that I'm ready to entertain unexpected guests. Oh, the pressure.

I need to clear my head and plant my feet firmly back on the ground because as exciting as seeing the numbers increase is, there is a danger of being swept along with the tide, of forgetting the important stuff like writing and honing the craft. That's the job. That's the journey and relationship I'm really interested in. The one between the writer and the page. 

I'm sure I'll adjust to this strange new phenomenon in time, but right now it feels like winning a huge amount of money on the lottery. You think you want it - until it actually happens, then it becomes a whole new (adrenaline-rush) ball game. 

As for Boxofficegirl? Well, she's still around here, somewhere.