by Amee Bohrer
Starting Unrelenting Amee was the best thing I achieved in 2011, bar none.
I don’t have a press pass or a business card these days, but this blog has opened doors for me that being a staff writer at a daily newspaper never did. And as a free-lance writer, I’m the one “carrying the banner,” as they say in Newsies, one of my favorite Disney movies.
I’m realizing that deleting facebook may win the battle, but not the war.
I want to re-claim my personal privacy, but am in a business fueled by social media. To get bylines, I need visibility.
And I can’t expect to remain anonymous when each thing I publish reinforces my byline. That’s the point.
The sticky reality is this: I’m a blogger and columnist. Unless I’m going to stop writing, I can’t expect to go completely off the grid. Not to mention that social media is a viable source of a lot of news, something that I can’t afford to miss out on.
Writing is an isolated pursuit, but I’m not going all Emily Dickinson with it. Although the fundamental basis of social networking sites irk me, I depend on them to connect with readers and share my work. In 2012, I will do some recon and plan the next step.
How do I continue to build this humble blog without compromising the sacred aspects of my identity? How does anyone do business in the Information Age without being forced to incorporate their personal lives as a “brand”?
I learned a lot through facebook– namely, what not to do. It’s a tool of tremendous power.
I’ll have so much to write about the transition, the long-term changes to come. And it pushes me to strive for something new. What I’ve learned from this endeavor is that I no longer want to use social networking to manage my *personal* life.
Instead, I want to see what else is available, and use social media for professional benefit. I’m on Twitter, though I hardly use it.
I’m starting to feel that today, the relevant question is not IF you’re using social networking– but which ones? Do we need more than one?
I write because I love it, but it’s also an incredible way to meet people. When someone recognizes me as having written a specific blog or column they’ve encountered elsewhere, the feeling is incredible.
And I love my family and friends who check my blog, some vigilantly, whether I’ve posted or not.
But I’m reminded now of why I started this blog in the first place. I had grown frustrated with only posting Notes on facebook, because it was an insular community. Any blogger/writer can relate to this, because what we need to grow is feedback from readers who have no vested in our work because of a personal connection with us.
Only sharing your work in the safe confines of your social network is limiting you. Don’t be complacent.
In 2012, I challenge you– get brave. Whether you like to take photos, make art, write fiction, or whatever your talent may be… take a risk.
Start a blog. Even if you only have the nerve to post once in the first month. Tell people about it. Take pride in your content– edit it, save it as a draft if you’re unsure if it’s not ready or too personal. Employ spellcheck and dictionary.com.
But once you know you feel confident about your intended message, and any possible haters? Post it, baby.
By leaving facebook, I’m challenging myself. What will I find?
Something to blog about!