I feel a bit guilty about not writing more about 2014. There is a non-trivial part of me that feels I should have shared more about my adventures in the moment.
There is absolutely no arguing that 2014 was an EPIC year for me. It was my first year of marriage. I traveled the world, met more amazing people and lived in Japan. I admit that I’m a bit impressed that I was able to pull it all off. There were a number of times when I thought it was all going to fall apart.
As amazing as last year was, it was also hard. Impossibly hard. And impossibly hard to describe because it was impossibly hard to do. Hard in ways I couldn’t have even imagined before the fact. Hard physically – on average I got on a plane every four days. I only slept in my own bed for three or four months of the entire year. I have a chronic illness that requires It was emotionally draining – when I was in Japan the only person I could really walk to was Will (who is great, but can’t and shouldn’t be my everything). When I wanted and needed to see friends and family I had to do so in giant tours that I was so exhausted by only a few stops in that I couldn’t really enjoy my time with them fully. I never felt like I really had a home. I couldn’t quite get comfortable in Japan – I was away too much and even if I had, I would have had to just given it up shortly anyways. And that would have been for the second time in two years.
2014 was amazing and utterly exhausting.
Talking about it while it was all happening, without some perspective would have been terrible and I’m glad I didn’t though I did take endless notes so I could later. And it’s starting to be later. It’s still too soon to talk about some things though there are things about last year that I could go on about for ages. For instance, the joys of the Japanese rail system. I’m not much of a train fan, but even I could see the beauty of that system’s precision.
Having an introduction to the blogging of my last year seems impossibly dramatic, even for me – but the truth is, I need to take this slowly. I need to process this with time – which is exactly what I couldn’t do last year.
I’m back in NYC for a few days before I head back on the road and I feel very odd about being here.
I’m staying with my in-laws, and while I love spending time with them, it’s very odd to not be heading back to my old place after dinner with them. It’s not like I haven’t stayed at their place before while living in NYC, but for this to be my home base…it’s just a little off.
I’ve been having late second thoughts about all my traveling. It’s so much fun, but it’s so damn exhausting. I’m running pretty ragged after my fabulous weekend in Chicago and I’m wondering/worrying if I should try and keep this schedule up, but if I don’t what will I do with my time? Keeping busy and moving around helps me avoid the fact that Will is living on a continent that I’ve never even been to. If I stop, I will find a squishy bed to hole up in and not get out of it until Will gets back. This is pathetic. I know it is. But it’s also the truth.
Jesus, it’s a good thing that I left the half case of Thin Mints in Chicago.
I was at Smofcon this weekend in Toronto and had a fabulous time. Saturday I was on the ‘Song of the South Ate My Life’ with Colin Harris and one of the questions caught me completely by surprise.
The person, whose name I have completely forgotten (I’m not actually sure I ever knew it…) asked me if my work on Social Media for other conventions had negatively impacted my own personal levels of interaction with Social Media. Basically, do I still post on my own feeds anymore?
Well, clearly the answer when it comes to blogging is yes. I have so much less time to document my thoughts, or hell, even spend the time to fully form them because something is always going on with one of the conventions on social media that I need to be monitoring. Some people are surprised by the idea that it takes so much time to properly keep track of the various accounts I run. “But it’s just…Facebook! How hard could it be?”
The average person in the United States spend between thirty minutes to two hours a day online on Social Media sites. That’s for their personal stuff. Think about how much time it takes to stay up to date online and to post and read everything you do. Now multiply that by four. The way that I manage the social media accounts for the cons that I work on demands just as much work. Now, yes, I could manage them in different ways, but I think those other time saving management styles wouldn’t be as good for Worldcon, and since this is a rough time for conventions with social media, time and attention must be paid.
But I do feel the pinch, so to speak. Weekends I take off are especially sweet because I can monitor my own networks and not have to worry about others. Con weekends are especially sweet because I can ignore it completely and talk to people. I have officially declared that 2016 is the last year that I will be working on Social Media for conventions. Kansas City is near and dear to my heart, and it’s important to me that they get it right. So, if you have any desire to learn how to work on Social Media for Worldcon, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to teach you. Hell, if you want Social Media advice for any level of convention, I’d be more than willing to help you out. I’ve been doing this for coming up on three years now, and by the end of things, I’ll have five years of experience that I’d love to pass on. Maybe I’ll write a (very short) book about it.
More on Smofcon later, but I had a wonderful time. There were many great conversations and I met a ton of new people (young and old) that I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with.
Being sick is humbling. Being sick is exhausting. Being sick is boring.
I’ve been sick for three weeks now and it’s driving me up a wall. The doctors have no idea what is wrong with me and so I spend my time either in pain, hopped up on painkillers or waiting to be in pain again. Every once in a while, I’ll go just long enough without an episode (six or seven hours) and I’ll start to hope that what whatever this is has passed on for good. But it always comes back. It’s like whatever this is enjoys taunting me with the idea of freedom.
I’ve said it elsewhere, so I don’t think it’ll be a shock to anyone who reads this, but I’ve taken a leave of absence from work. Whatever this is, has no respect for deadlines. And even when I’m not in pain, I’m usual loopy as all get out. It’s incredibly boring and demoralizing. I love working, and now not being able to? The first half-day was nice. Just catching up on sleep and etc, but I quickly run out of things to do. Though I have half a dozen craft projects around the house that Will is allowing me to leave out so when I want to work on them, I can. It’s hard to take on work when you don’t know for sure when you’ll be able to work on something. Thankfully my bosses are amazing and have told me that when I’m ready and well – and _only_ when I’m well – they’ll have some non-deadline work to do at home. I’m so lucky to have them.
Going to see doctors day in and day out is difficult. Especially since most of them end up saying flat out “We have no idea what is wrong with you.” The new GI specialist I say this week suggested a new drug this week and it was disastrous. I was on the floor in pain for three straight hours. You know what is worse than the doctors not knowing? Doctors making it worse. It’s not that I’m mad at them. I know they are doing the best that they can with this mystery, but it’s still hard to deal with.
I think the worst part of all of this is how lonely and guilt making being sick is. If I didn’t have friends online that I could talk to every day, I would probably lose my mind. Will is great for conversations, but he’s away the majority of the day and the cat is super great at cuddles, but that’s about it. I miss the people from my office. I miss being in the middle of a crowd. I just miss interacting with people. Will and I went for a walk last night down to the edge of the island which is my favorite place. It’s got a great view of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge and I just love it. There are a few photos from the area that I’ve posted online. It was fantastic to get out and see the beautiful view and get fresh air, but by the end of the walk, I felt guilty. I’m sick. Shouldn’t I be at home in bed not enjoying life? If I’m well enough to go on a walk to see this beautiful thing, should I be well enough to go to work? It’s a hard thing to grapple with. I’m going to see if I can go to some museums in the area that I’ve never made it to before. Things I always said “Oh I’ll do it next time I’m here visiting Will” know that I’d be just as greedy about time with him the next time around. I can go see those right now and Will thinks I should. I may be loopy, but when has that ever stopped someone from enjoying art? Hell, sometimes it helps them understand it better.
This is my life right now, and I have to say, I’m not a big fan.
One of the most important things that I picked up yesterday during the Off Broadway tour at Barkley from Joe Cox was that if you’re serious about working in Social Media, you need to have a social media presence of your own.
Easier said than done.
Why is that you ask? Social Media isn’t that hard, right? You just have to pop in every once-in-a-while and say ‘hello’. It’s fun! You’d be half right, if you guessed that. Social Media is fun. Hell, it’s a lot of fun. But it’s also a lot of work. It requires and hell of a lot of balance. And for someone who already has both of her balance plates full, it can be sort of difficult. Really difficult, actually.
As mentioned, I’m taking 18 credit hours, I’m working at the university about 20 hours a week, and I’m working on LoneStarCon 3. I’ve got a little bit going on right now. And that doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to spend exploring the internet for things to post about. Or, time for learning about awesome things (Like Vine).
If you want a job in Social Media, it’s not enough to just randomly post when you have a spare few seconds. You have to cultive a presence. Post things of relevance. Things that reflect you. It’s hard to do that when you barely have a few minutes here and there to check your email. It can be done. And I’m using every resource I can find to try.
But what do I do when one of my jobs is cultivating someone else’s Twitter and Facebook pages? It’s even harder, in my opinion, to cultivate a presence for someone or something else. It take more time and effort. You have to research the client. Get to know it’s audience. Learn to talk like the group would. You have to become that person instead of promoting the person you already are.
It’s a tough situation. I want to have something like that on my resume, but I also want to have a personal presence on the platform. (Yay for alliteration!)
My solution for now is to not sleep. We’ll see how that goes.