Be Careful What You Wish For

Several lifetimes ago I was a proper geek. I built. I programmed. I suffered. (From eye strain mainly). But, even as I punched endless lines code into the touch sensitive membrane keyboard of my ZX81 or listened to the banshee like scream of the data transfer, I knew…I knew that the day would come when this would not merely be a lonely, sunless Geekdom.

With the arrival of email I felt as if the ‘global village’ was, finally, just around the corner and when Facebook came on the scene it was as if I was actually living in the future. I had/have a dubious flirtation with Facebook and have found, to my dismay, that it lacks any real sense of immediacy. The connections I made, with one or two exceptions (and they were really re-connections), still felt remote, unreal and ultimately unfulfilling.  But then came Twitter…

My experience of the Twitterverse was, to begin with, also quite disappointing. I followed a couple of minor ‘celebrities’ and the very few of my acquaintances (gregariousness and I have always regarded each other with some scepticism) that tweeted. My followers list remained in single figures for many months. I was on the verge of consigning my laptop together with my youthful optimism to a dusty corner of the attic.

Then I began a promotional exercise for a crowd-sourced novel called, Paradox: The Curious Life and Mysterious Death of Mr Joseph Wheeler and subsequently a short story called, The Familiar and, within a week, my Twixperience had changed beyond all recognition.

With the aid of Blog Guru and Twexpert extraordinaire @zencherry, (I have a mountain of superlatives that I could apply – but I do not wish to embarrass said Guru) I witnessed the Twitterverse’s equivalent of a Quantum Singularity. I was now reading blogs, ebooks and short stories from all round the world. It was an embarrassment of riches and exactly what I had hoped it would be all those years ago in that darkened adolescent hideaway.

“Yay Hay!!!” We all cry in ‘virtual’ unison. ”All is good”.

Well…erm…not exactly!

I am indeed now surrounded by more like-minded people than I could ever have hoped for. (Cue futile stick waving.) But I have quickly realized that this is somewhat of a double edged sword. The talent, the imagination, the wondrous variety is simply stunning. For someone like me, with such crushingly low self belief, this new world presents a challenge to say the least.

Well onwards and upwards (paws forlornly over an unfinished short story) well onwards anyway.





  1. Nice post. Just kee ppushing on and you’ll get there, no worries. Lots of people will to help.

  2. Mr. David sirrah! Your talent is extraordinarily good. The Familiar was astounding in its depth and the talent portrayed. Paradox was fun and your chapters were AWESOME!

    You, (yes you), are a professional author/writer/awesomesaucier. Swing that stick baby. Swing it hard and all the fence posts in the world will come crumbling doooown. 😉

    (Hugs) Thanks for the mention, but it’s all you hon, all YOU. 😀

    And btw…the my Twitter feed rocks ’cause you’re on it.

    • Thanx M, you are always very kind to me. I think we both know any success I may have in the future is due, in no small part, to your encouragement and inspiration.
      Reet the M’Lady (bows and scrapes reverently)Oi must away to me chores. Them blogs wont read ’emselves y’know!

  3. *arrrg not ‘the my’ Just ‘my’! (Makes note to visit eye doctor)

  4. Dave,
    you are right about the very marvellous Zencherry, but you should not be put off by those around you. I take your point though. Several years ago I joined a photo website which was free and a great place to put your pics and get critiques. The quality of the feedback was generally very good and worth having, but the quality of the work was something else. By and large it ranged from good to outstanding – and I found that very intimidating.

    What I also realised was that the vast majority of photographers were all doing the same thing. This made me realise that to stand out among such competition I had to do something that other people weren’t doing.

    As you know in the arts, to be original is a rare thing. So all I could do was to follow my own intution and desires. I don’t think this has done me any harm and certainly made me focus on understanding what I was trying to achieve and how this was different to other people. Whilst I don’t pretend to be extraordinary, at least following my own goal meant I was not following the crowd – and sometimes that’s as good as it gets. I’m happy with what I do and how I do it, so the story has a happy ending.

    I think the same goes for writing. We’re all at different levels and stages. Some people seem to be able to use words and crafts stories better than others, but that doesn’t mean us lesser folk should stop. We can’t all be Cormac McCarthy or Stephen King, but we can try! And you don’t have to be either to be a success: there’s thousands of books in print that should never have been printed – I’m reading one now! 🙂

    So there’s hope and room for us all. 🙂

    • Mick,
      Thanks for the comments. I’m sure you’re right. I’ll just keep plodding and keep my fingers crossed that people enjoy what I write!

  5. Just a hello to wish you a happy holiday and lots of feasting! 😀

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