All ur lanes are belong 2 me.
I’m terrible with social media, because I have a hard time remembering to do anything with social media. When I do remember (or I’m reminded), it’s never, “Oh, I have a cool thing to post,” it’s, “Crap, I haven’t posted in a while, I should post something.” At that point, it just feels forced. I hate writing anything that feels forced, whether it’s a book or an email or a 280-character Tweet. If I could just remember to post the good stuff when it occurs to me, then I wouldn’t end up sitting there, staring at Twitter, my mind a total blank.
When we started setting up social media accounts for the book (meaning for me, as the author), I deleted all of my personal accounts. I’d hardly posted anything on them in the first place, and there was no way that I was going to try to maintain two of each. I have too much to do, too little time to do it in, and social media (Twitter in particular) drives me nuts.
If you’re wondering why I’m worrying about it at all, it’s because of The Lecture.
Yes, there was a lecture. A lecture that went something like this: “If you’re going to self-publish, then you have to promote yourself.” There were a lot more words involved (a laaaawt), but that’s what it boiled down to. It ended with what sounded like an afterthought.
“Oh, and stay away from the political stuff.”
That sound? That was the sound of my head exploding.
I’m not built to stay away from political stuff. My bloody degree is all about political stuff. My whole backstory is saturated with politics. Hell, I have what could have been an excellent supervillain origin story, and that was heavily influenced by politics. And we won’t even get into fiction as political speech, because that’s a thing, too.
Coincidentally (except not, it’s really just the universe trying to drive me crazy… er…), around that same time, a whole bunch of successful authors started tweeting about this very thing. They talked about how authors are told to stay away from political topics, and about why they shouldn’t. There’s stuff about taking a stand, leading the way, and not being silenced; there’s also a strong thread of, “So what if you lose readers? You probably didn’t want those readers in the first place.”
Often, the people who warn authors away from political discourse are worried about losing sales. From that perspective, alienating potential readers is a bad thing. But there are always people who seem to think that becoming famous somehow means that you lose the right to voice an opinion in the political arena, which is patently nonsense. “Stick to acting/writing/whatevering” is very much like saying, “Stick to being a plumber/construction worker/doughnut salesman/whatever.” They’re all just jobs, peeps, and most people don’t launch directly from cradle to stardom, bypassing “real life” along the way. Harrison Ford was a carpenter. Madonna worked at Dunkin Donuts. Julia Roberts scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Brad Pitt wore a freaking chicken suit in front of a restaurant. They may be rich and famous now, but they weren’t hatched that way. It’s a twisted world if achieving the things that so many people dream about suddenly disqualifies you from having opinions, or the right to express them.
Sure, it’s entirely possible that a person might get rich and famous and then go all wack-a-doodle and completely lose touch with reality… but you can do that when you’re not rich and famous, too.
None of this applies to me, of course, as I’m unlikely to become either rich or famous.
So, here’s my political stance on basically everything:
Don’t be an asshole.
Let people live their best lives, whatever that means to them.
Oh… and fuck the Nazis.