Weekend Roundup: Self-Promotion Edition (kind of)

There is something about this living in isolation…

I don’t know what it all means yet, but I know it’s right for me at the moment.

How do I know? I don’t know.

It just feels right. You get what I’m saying?

No? Of course not, because that was all just meandering, vague stream-of-consciousness babble.

Moving right along…

solitude man walking by a smooth stream

This past week was a strange one. I had a couple experiences in which I was exposed to other people my age.

To most of you, being exposed to others in one’s age range may not serve as justification for a strange week, but honestly, most of my experiences out in Santa Fe have consisted of me and other people at least 15-30 years my senior.

I haven’t minded. It’s been nice, in a way. There’s a lot less inner drama when you completely remove feelings of sexuality or peer competition.

Yet the fact remains, it’s nice to be around people my age sometimes. I went to a Jiu Jitsu class and the next day found myself at a coffee shop which apparently is the coffee shop in Santa Fe where people go if they’re under 40. (p.s. I do love 40+ year olds.)

And there was this strange outcome of being merely exposed to other “youngsters”—it made me want more of them.

So much so, in fact, that I returned home honestly considering that maybe I should close myself off to such experiences. Perhaps the ease of isolation is preferable to the longing of camaraderie.

But I cannot try to be so controlling of my actions and outcomes. It ain’t healthy.

The fact is: jiu jitsu was fun, and I will return, and the coffee shop was clearly the coolest in town, so I will return there too. Actually, the coffee shop was really too cool for me and honestly I am not okay with paying $3.25 for a tea.

It’s an issue of principle, folks.

The other weird thing about this week is that I had very alternating days of productivity and I’m not sure to what I can attribute that.

Clearly, I was doing something different with the whole “talking to people” thing, but was it only that which threw me off, or was it something more primal like diet or just random hormonal things?

This, I suppose, is part of the discovery I’m undergoing with the monkish life of the creative quest and all that. All that being said, I’ll mention that I did get some work accomplished this week.

Part of that work was eating over half a bag of tortilla chips today alone, but who’s counting…right?


lots of tortilla chips

I don’t at all believe this picture belongs in this blog but mmmmm…tortilla chips…

Anyway, this weekend’s roundup has some Twitter influence, because if you’ve been following my research on useful writer tools, Twitter seems to play an important role.

But it also has some amplified methods for productivity time tracking and self-discipline, some thoughts on bubbles, and a quote that should strike you right in that red beating heart.

So let’s get to it!


The Weekend Roundup: Self-Promotion Edition

1. Crowdfire

2. Marinara

3. Switching it Up

4. Sodastream

5. Quote (that you need)


1. Crowdfire

In my evil premeditative ways, I’ve taken the advice of many authors and worked on establishing a Twitter presence and followers. I like the way SocialQuaint sums up Twitter for authors hereIt boils down to this: Twitter is free marketing.

By the time my book is published, I’ma need that.

Turns out, though, that I’m kind of enjoying connecting with people and making stupid comments and just voicing whatever weird thoughts I have. In fact, can you go follow my Twitter RoadWritten account now?

My technique has been to follow about 50 new people a day, and of those, a nice handful tend to follow me back and I’m seeing steady growth in my Twitter followers. But I don’t want to be that person who follows one billion people and is only being followed by 300, and I don’t have to be, thanks to technology.

There are several tools to unfollow people who aren’t following you, and I went with Crowdfire to remove unfollowers. It shows them in a chronological list beginning with who has not been following me for the longest amount of time. Then, I just click away and start unfollowing people to get my ratio of following to to followers to a difference of about 150.

Don’t be that aggressive follower and don’t give without gettin something backuse Crowdfire.


2. Marinara

Far be it from me to make marinara sauce one of the week’s highlights, but in truth, this is actually another dashboard productivity timer I’ve been trying out.

person with hand in marinara sauce

Is this a food blog or something? I will have to say that this picture is a pretty accurate representation of my mind.

I mentioned the Forest App Chrome extension in a previous roundup, but I like the Marinara Pomodoro Timer much more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a little (fake) forest I get to watch grow based on my progress, but it does have many more options to make it the most useful productivity timer I’ve yet tried.

For one, it has a sound and popup when my time is up, which is a duh thing, but Forest didn’t have it. I click a little icon up by my browser bar, set my timer for 30 minutes and take five minute breaks in-between. Though I prefer to work for longer bursts, I believe it’s healthier for the body to stand up at least every 30 minutes and do some stretching.

I want to be a writer, not a hunchback.

The complaint I have is that it doesn’t block me from visiting other websites like Facebook during the work sessions, so I might have to try yet another (send suggestions my way in the comments!)

Anyway, if you are looking for a way to stay focused on the computer, try Marinara: Pomodoro Timer and tell me if it worked for you.


3. Switching it Up

There is power in routine and habit. In fact, the necessity of pattern is imbedded in us, and if we don’t take control of habitual tendencies, undesirable ones will take control of us.

That being said, I am a very restless and distractible student of habit. Eventually, I give up on routines if for nothing more than to be disruptive.

There is something to be said for this, though. It’s important to test and quit (even if temporarily) the things we try in order to see if they’re really working.

For the past couple weeks I fell off my morning meditation. Maybe there was some unconscious self-punishment going on, or maybe I just was just trying to see if it really mattered to me.

So, I switched it up.

And let me tell youI am meditating again.

There was no double-blind study and I cannot establish an inarguably causal relationship, but last week was not goodHere be dragons.

There was anger and anguish and I’m not sure what all was causing it but I am sure that I wasn’t meditating. Once I began doing it again, peace waltzed right back into my psyche and my abandoned practice welcomed me back with open arms.

So try things, quit them, and pay attention to what happens next.


4. Sodastream

Yeah yeah this is kind of random to talk about in a blog about creativity, but you know what? Whatever.

If you’re like me, you spend all day alone working on your craft and by the end of the day you need some excitement.

You know what is exciting? Water with bubbles.

If you’re also like me, you’re slowing chipping away at your savings and battling desperately the anxiety of running quite completely out of money in the pursuit of a dream that is making zero promises.

So no, I can’t afford enough La Croix to sate my desire for fizz. I mean, I could—technically—but it’s just not in the budget. A sodastream gives you bubbles, cheaper.

bubbly glass of sodastream water

AND it is more sustainable because, you know, no cans. And no plastic 6-pack rings nor cardboard 12-packs.

Yes, you may recycle them. But do you know what? Recycling and creation takes energy and energy takes oil and waste is waste blah blah blah.


5. And I Quoth

But let’s move from the frivolity of bubbles to something deep, y’all. This week I read a quote in my super cheesily-titled book of morning readings that hit home.

I don’t consider myself a terribly unconfident person, but when it comes to my creative pursuits I am definitely a bit sub-par. Low grades also in the love/relationships department, but I’ll save that for my shrink.

At any rate, I’m just going to leave this quote here:


“One of the sad implications of low self-esteem is that in devaluing who and what we are we also devalue what we have to give.”


And I’ll add this little reminder: 

People want what you have.


And there we have it!

Hopefully you found some sort of useful nugget in there and if not, Jesus, throw me a bone. Leave me a comment with what you wish I would have mentioned.

Or just leave me a comment. I’m pretty alone out here.

Photocred: photopin.com

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