Tag Archives: fear

Romantic Shorts v. Facebook

I have a confession.

I, unlike a happy half-billion other people on the planet, including most of my own household, cannot, for the life of me, master Facebook. Apparently, I did not inherit the gene that makes that facet of the Internet clear to me. I don’t understand the draw. I can’t make sense of the interface. I have no envy for those who have conquered the realm in any way whatsoever. I am not in denial of the fact that I have so few friends that I must catalogue them online. Yet I have lived a full and productive life without ever ‘liking’ or ‘friending’ anyone, much to the embarrassment and consternation of my husband and teenagers.

Until now.

I have discovered my achilles heel and, given my now excessive ineptitude, flagrant mistakes, and hopeless potential, I am now confessing publicly to my humiliation.

Because now, this matters. And it matters because, though I never personally had any interest in participating in the Facebook phenomenon, my position regarding Romantic Shorts is a complete contradiction. I recognize the value and necessity of presenting Romantic Shorts via Facebook. I understand, and truly desire the benefits of such an interaction. I have every intention of introducing Romantic Shorts to the world through its very own FB page, and welcome the potential and possibilities that can result.

Unfortunately, for all of the learning I’ve done over the past almost two years – SEO optimization, HTML coding, WordPress.com/WordPress.org, site migration, posts, comments, ping backs, stats, tweets, domains, media files, CSS, tags, and ram – none of it has adequately prepared me for the world of Facebook.

Surely, I cannot be this stupid. How – head in hands in frustration – could my kids, at the age of eleven and twelve, with such a diligent mother as myself, not only conquer Facebook, but keep it all a big secret from me? Okay, wrong question – duh. How then, can my husband, who asks my help with every single document, file, photo, download, and song, have such a rich and fulfilling Facebook experience, while I struggle so painfully?

Do you see my point? He is an online dud. I am a master by comparison. And yet I cannot seem to match his proficiency. And though I detest the use of the ‘F’ word – I warn you, here is comes:

It’s not ‘F’air!!!

He doesn’t need Facebook! I do!

Okay, enough whining. But I did need to vent.

And so, I commit to my attack. I will win this little war that Mr. Zuckerberg has forced upon me. I will prevail, and Romantic Shorts will enjoy a long, happy, and productive Facebook life. I will look back at this obstacle and laugh. Out loud! And I will wonder why and how I could have been so very challenged by what will inevitably become a mere hiccup in my journey. And all of Romantic Shorts’ friends/fans will surely think that I am just a writer with a keen sense of humour, since, obviously, Romantic Shorts will then have the most amazing Facebook page ever! Ahh ha ha!

I am off now, to learn more about my problem so that I can succeed where I have yet to be successful. Time is no barrier. I will keep at it until I win. I am strong. I am woman.

I will go warm my cup of coffee first… This will likely take a while.

Alex.
(In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I am certainly open to a little guidance?

I started a FB ‘page’ – (blue logo) –  because I didn’t have a personal ‘profile.’ And a company – Romantic Shorts  – must have a ‘page.’ The ‘page’ (blue logo) did not seem to be ‘doing’ what I expected it to do… So I finally created a personal ‘profile’ – (Alexandra Brown) – and then attached a ‘page’ – (Romantic Shorts – red logo) – to that. That seemed okay, but it’s terribly confusing as to whether I’m using ‘Facebook as Romantic Shorts’ or ‘as Alexandra Brown.’ I was going to delete the ‘blue logo’ ‘page’, until I realized that I then lose the 24 ‘likes’ it has – which would allow me to create a Facebook name (or almost). I also just happened to Google Romantic Shorts today and discovered a whole bunch of links to the ‘blue logo’ page, and a new ‘purple logo’ page that I don’t recall ever setting up but seems to be part of The New Writers site and pulls my Facebook feed from the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’ So I cancelled the delete on the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’

Now I have three bloody pages and no clue as to what to do with them. Is it any wonder I’m confused? Really, can you blame me? And, if you do have suggestions, while I welcome them, please keep in mind that the mere mention of the words Facebook, page, profile, like, and friend, have the same effect as someone pointing a gun at me. Complete shutdown of all things rational. Except that I’m pretty sure I would lose my self-control and bitch-slap the guy with the gun…)

 

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought, What's New @ R.S.

How To Start Your Own Company

OR

Challenges?
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Challenges!

So here I am once again at some ungodly hour with my brain spinning at break-neck speed, spewing countless ideas and plans for Romantic Shorts. What to do next. A new curve on an old plan. A tweak in the grand plan. A new goal. A new and improved goal. The next post for Romantic Shorts HQ.

Which brings me to the point.

I started this venture – can I call it a company if I’m working from my dining room (having recently lost my office)? ; I’m still hesitant at throwing around the ‘Publisher’ title; it’s not really a business until it’s making money. So I like the word ‘venture.’ It hints at adventure, challenge, excitement, fulfillment. I like it….

Right. So I started this venture, seriously and with conviction, about a year and a half ago.

One of the biggest incentives of diving into this, was pure and simple distraction it provided to one of – okay, the most difficult personal challenges I’ve ever faced: my oldest child began making really bad decisions, forcing me to make decisions as a parent that drew on a strength I didn’t yet know I possessed. Watching him struggle beyond hope has been the most unbearable experience I could imagine. How many times I wished him dead – both for his own sake and ours – I can’t begin to count – immediately thereafter being knocked over by a wave of guilt, remorse, worry and pure, cold, fear.

I’ve heard about challenges. I grew up with a dad who was a dreamer. He never really accomplished anything he set out to do. But he was always doing something. And we were constantly bombarded with one inspirational speaker/book/movie/idea after another. As a result, I, too, am a dreamer. But thanks to Mom and an incredibly supportive husband, I am also a do-er.

And so I know about challenges.

“Nothing’s worth doing if it’s easy,” “Bumps in the road,” “Sticks in spokes,” and all that.

What I didn’t realize 18 months ago when I committed to Romantic Shorts, was the variety of form and severity of those challenges. I had no idea what was truly in store for me.

And frankly, if some of the things I’ve muddled through recently are typical of your average business start-up, it’s no wonder so many don’t make it. I get why, if building your own successful business is the (North) American dream, not everyone manages to accomplish that. Nor do they even want to.

A slight stroke of luck led me to my hometown Hamilton’s new McMaster University Innovation Park the other day. We have an entrepreneurs support centre called Innovation Factory and I snagged a meeting with a couple young fresh minds the other day. Amidst all of the ideas and advice (and kudos!!) they shared, was a reminder that the Internet can be a big barren wasteland of connections. And that success will at some point require a more personal touch.

In my vast wanderings and wonderings of late, I had lost sight of that.

All of my most successful posts and ‘reaching-out’ campaigns have come from my heart. Straight from the person who’s doing all the work. I had forgotten that.

And now I share with you this post. And warn that it will be followed up with more about the day to day challenges I’m facing and sometimes even overcoming. That’s both therapeutic for me, and insightful for you, a reader whom I invite to return to enjoy our stories, or to write a romantic short story for us, or to contribute in a way that you feel might benefit all.

I’ll probably return in a bit to lament on the various challenges I do face. Not the least of which is the current crash of my beloved MacBook Pro, who has been with me every step of the way and whom I miss terribly right now as I type this on my husband’s laptop. (Again, an unbelievably supportive man.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to run. I have the incredibly overwhelming task of leaving the house at this still-ungodly hour to pick up said son from work. And I do not have the time right now, or the strength to hold back such forceful tears of joy at the pride and love I feel for this young man, knowing where he’s been, and seeing where he is now – back home with the love and support of his family, working and going to school.

Challenges are meant to challenge us. We don’t have to like it. We just have to do it.

Dream Big,
Alex Brown.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought

Unexpected Rewards

Having just spent the last few days announcing competition winners, tweeting like crazy, emailing new Romantic Shorts Authors, and doing my best to keep everything straight and my excitement in check, I was caught off-guard yesterday by a budding phenomenon that I could have never anticipated.

It was great fun to be able to give good news to so many people. Notifying writers of their successful competition entries, and authors of the acceptance of their manuscript submissions was, as I had expected, a very emotionally satisfying activity. As I tweeted their kudos, and posted their details, I couldn’t help but feel, almost recognize, the pride, enthusiasm, and excitement I expected to feel at this point.

But as I continued my tweets through the day, I began to see something else.

Writers that I had communicated with through the day were now talking to other Romantic Shorts writers! They were connecting, @mentioning each other, sharing URL’s and FaceBook addresses. Conversations were developing and the seeds of friendships were planted.

I’m not sure yet exactly what feelings this is bringing out for me – they are all new. There is a sense of awe and wonder in the growth of something I hadn’t intended. A feeling of excitement and anticipation as I realize that there’s a lot more to all of this than I had planned. And then there’s a wave of responsibility and obligation as I begin to understand my role in changing my life, and those of others whom I have never met, in ways that are yet to be clear to any of us.

With a growing impression of the potential of Romantic Shorts, I am heading into summer with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. There is still much to do in the remaining weeks before we launch in August. But in the end, ready or not, here we come. And if things aren’t quite perfect, well, we’ll just fix those things when we get to them. I have always been of the mind that planning is crucial to any project. But at some point you have to just jump and get started, working out the kinks along the way.

A dear friend once told me that the most difficult part of designing and creating her own leather coat was the first cut into the insanely expensive material with a pair of scissors. After that, everything else is manageable.

And so, with scissors in hand…

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Filed under For Writers, Just a Thought