Me And My Cave

I live in a cave. A social media cave. Called WordPress. You may have heard of it. It’s my safe place, my sanctuary, a refuge where I’ve been able to lick my wounds and heal. When my confidence was at an all time low two years ago I discovered it. It was a new beginning. A chance to start afresh and tentatively expose my writing to a new audience. An audience which I’ve watched grow beyond all expectation.

I would say my WordPress experience has been 99.9% positive. I’ve met some amazing people along the way. Oozing talent, telling their stories, bravely opening their souls to all and sundry. Bloggers encompass a kaleidoscope of genres, interests and values. A more eclectic bunch I’ve never seen. Yet at their core, runs a common thread of goodwill and kindness. Bloggers aren’t nasty. End of.

2019 has necessitated me stepping out of my comfortable, dank cave into the glare of other social media platforms. This has been a disorientating experience. I feel like it’s my first day at a new school and I’m standing in the middle of a packed playground, stark naked. The cool kids point and stare. I want to run away, back to where I belong. Back to WordPress and steady, stable ground.

Instead I find myself on Twitter, an old stamping ground I find baffling and infuriating in equal measure. Everything is a million miles an hour. My efforts at securing a toehold are largely ignored and I’m lost in a screaming melee of other wannabe authors, desperate to be seen and heard. Twitter is me, me, me, the land of the selfie. It’s also possibly the angriest place on earth.

There are a lot of very angry people on Twitter. They have an opinion and they want to share it with us all, and woe betide anyone who dares to think differently. Arguments erupt left, right and centre. A minefield of bitterness and bile. Politics, religion, sexuality, it’s all there. And it’s often the so called oppressed minority groups who reign supreme, bullying and baiting the rest of us into submission.

It’s not a place I want to frequent. The blog appears there and I skirt the edges of its writing community. But I’m wary of fully immersing myself. Before too long, I’m beating a hasty retreat back to my cave and my tribe. WordPress is my online home. It’s where I go at the end of a long, hard day. It’s where I feel appreciated, valued and wanted. It is the antithesis of Twitter. It’s where the good people are.

Then there’s Facebook. My authors page was launched there yesterday. ‘Real’ people now know about the book. People I see every day. I have no idea how they will react to this news. Will I become an object of scorn and ridicule? I hope not, but I worry some may see this as an opportunity to mock and belittle me. It makes me edgy, anxious and defensive. It makes me want the security of the cave.

It takes courage to step out of the cave. Courage I’m not sure I have. But here I am, nonetheless. At least I know, if it all comes tumbling down, I have somewhere I can retreat to, I have people who ‘get’ what I’m doing and will rally round when the wheels come off. I hope that time never comes. My period of hibernation is at an end. I stumble out of the darkness and into the light. It is time. My time.

65 thoughts on “Me And My Cave

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  1. You saved me a blog writing this. I was contemplating this past week about WP. I had a conversation with some friends who look down on blogging, but in my heart, I was thinking, it’s great to have a community where we all seem to find likeminded, supportive people who understand and engage, the Sam way we do.

    Different people connect in different ways, but this blogging experience has, by far been the “realest” way of connecting I’ve come across. It’s ironic, really, because the connections are “digital”, but they resonate.

    Thanks for sharing this! 💕

    Liked by 7 people

  2. From all I see, this is your time. You have stepped out of your comfort in so many ways and have grown so much closer to the person you want to be. Let those who scorn and mock do so. Shame on them for having nothing better to do. Theirs is truly a dark and scary cave of their own choosing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This is captivating Stephen. Yes, getting out of the cave is hard. I find that too. I launched my poems on Facebbok a long time ago. It didn’t go too well. Tbere seemed to be, underneath the smiling shrface, a kind of rush to be the top poetry dog! If you see what I mean. I never had family or friends on Facebook, as I don’t have much family, and my friends there are just internet friends. I gsve up on Facebook a long time ago. I tried Twitter but hated it. Could never understand it or get the hang of it. I agree with you about WirdPress. It is good. We all want to see you succeed Stephen. Good luck and God bless

    Liked by 3 people

  4. So true. I get more likes on WordPress. I have many friends on Instagram and Facebook but they never read my writing. I’ll get 200 likes on a photo but 8 on a blog post if I’m lucky. I love writing so I will never stop. Great article. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aww. This is so lovely! I feel the same way about wordpress. It really is such a nice place, always such a beautiful sense of community, no judgement in sight. 🙂 Twitter, on the other hand, is absolutely the land of the ‘cranky pants’. It always has me frowning, so I figure short stays there are best. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I too have recently entered the Twitter world. I admit i use it to link back to my blog and post my poems on it daily. I find it so confusing and overwhelming but I need to learn it. Hope your trek into the broader world of social media goes well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re a brave soul…it will be a while yet for me if I ever decide to come out of the cave. For me however, it was opposite – I did really well advertising my blog on facebook and I’m a very small voice (groan…I couldn’t help myself) on WordPress indeed. Maybe one day I’ll step back into the spotlight, but my sensitive side can’t face it just yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow! Just wow. I could feel my smile broadening as I was scrolling down. The post was just so real and beautiful! Loved it! And, oh! Congratulations and best of luck 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Stephen, you shared interesting thoughts in this post. I gave up Twitter 3 times and will not go back. It’s a platform for angry people uninterested in what anyone else writes. And yes, WP is a refuge. I can choose whom I will engage and not care if they disagree.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If you choose to put promotional links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other overloaded, ephemeral social media sites, that’s okay. Just don’t put too much time into their cultivation, because their soil is arid and barren. Especially don’t put your creative heart there: that rightfully belongs to your books and your blogs.

    Preen your fine, newly fledged author’s feathers, and let the neglectful or hostile activity on social media roll off you like water on a duck’s back.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post. I’m currently doing an Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and my next class (called Finding and Reaching an Audience) wants us to explore our author platform to include WordPress, Facebook, and sigh, Twitter. Your post is a perfect articulation of why I have previously hesitated to enter the Twitterverse. I may just have to tell my class about your post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t care much for Twitter, for all the reasons you’ve outlined here. Facebook is much better since I have unfriends the drama queens and negative vipers (sorry, but I had to for my own peace of mind). WordPress is still my go-to fav, again, for all the reasons you’ve outlined here. You have my support in all your endeavors – don’t let fears keep you from keeping on. Best of luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I don’t care much for Twitter, for all the reasons you’ve outlined here. Facebook is much better since I have unfriends the drama queens and negative vipers (sorry, but I had to for my own peace of mind). WordPress is still my go-to fav, again, for all the reasons you’ve outlined here. You have my support in all your endeavors – don’t let fears keep you from keeping on. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the photo. I hear you about FB. I’ve started being over here more. Here I’ve made new friends. FB is people I’ve known through all points in my life journey. I’m glad I met you here and see you there!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I wish you the best of luck on the other platforms. I left fb five years ago and will never go back. I’ve tried twitter a time or two and closed that a year ago. My last step is closing my Instagram for good as well, which I am getting close to doing. I had a blog years ago and decided last week to try a different type of blog, which I started last week. I have no plans to ever return to the others. A blog still seems like the last frontier (social media-wise) for true writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. For me WP is me stepping out of my cave and it can be scary, to leave yourself vulnerable. I’ve never been on twitter and FB I am on it, but it annoys me. I still have no idea how to find people on here, it is frustrating but in time i will learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I feel safe here in Word Press. There very rarely is judgement..mostly praise, or support or compassion. I’ve been through a lot..I have slowly backed away from social media, it is nothing but drama. I find a lot of peace reading your blogs..they always seem to express similar feelings that I’ve had.

    Like

  18. Please if possible don’t ever stop blogging. Reading your blogs is like a sense of home in an otherwise cruel internet sphere for me. I applaud you branching out into other realms despite your discomfort. You are an encouragement to me and others that you have to face your fear head on but always have a place to retreat full of love and support.

    Like

  19. While I have had an WP account since 2016 it has been a struggle for me to blog regularly. Recently I expended a lot of effort to bring things up to date. I had 35 incomplete blogs that needed publishing first.

    This time I have really got up to date and started searching the contents of WP for my interest and I have found a relaxed group of people (based upon the style and content of the blog and comments made) who are all very interesting in their own blogs. The wide range of the subjects has also impressed me.

    So my initial requirements of ‘recording the facts’ in public has been satisfied, but it has extended greatly by having good content available.

    I am still new to it all, but I find the WP world good.

    Like

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