My Journey to Become a Writer 03/22/2024 Post #82

Informative Image

Today’s Quiet Friday question from Al Watt is:

As your protagonist, write for five minutes, beginning with the following: “I will be free when…”

It’s ironic to me that I’d just asked Alan a question – or maybe it was more that I expressed a statement – or confessed a bit of a tailspin about trying to remain free from the pressure to perform on social media.

I used to think that once I graduated from school I’d be free from the pressure to seek out people who would like me and doing things to make that happen.

That’s a lot of what my memoir is about; but how ironic is it that now that I’m grown up, that pressure to “be liked” is still in front of me.

Agents are saying, “You have to establish a following before you can sell your books”. I shrink at that – I don’t want anybody “following me”. Yes, there is that Bible verse about “Follow me as I follow Christ,” so there is some precedent there; but as far as “Followers” and “Friends” everything in me shrinks and wants to flee for the comfort and safety of anonymity.

I was the kid who could make the word “bathroom” stall a verb. I wouldn’t call myself a Swiftie by any sense of the word (I don’t even know for sure how to spell it); but Taylor Swift will always have a place in my heart for her portrayal of the girl eating lunch in the school bathroom, because that definitely hits home:

Here she is in “Mean”. She has 57 million subscribers on YouTube alone; but she knows better than almost everybody that kind of following doesn’t exempt her from “not being liked”.

I’m not someone who watches awards shows; but I remember hearing the buzz about what happened between her and Kanye West back at the VMAs in 2009, so I looked it up. I believe she was seventeen years old at the time, and my heart totally sunk for her:

I can imagine the internal chaos when she’d reached that pinnacle, had him take away the microphone and heard the confusing boos erupting from the crowds.

I’m also not an SNL watcher; but Taylor’s monologue was making headlines, so I looked it up, too:

The way she came back from the hurt of the VMAs with humor and courage is very commendable.

I appreciate how graciously she’s handled fans and critics; but would never want the weight of what she has. I wonder if there are times when she’d rather hide in a bathroom stall for a bit than face the cameras and applause.

I don’t imagine I’d ever have her fan base, so this is a question I’m asking on a much smaller scale; but I wonder if I could do some sort of Social Media experiment and stay pretty much removed from it. Perhaps I could just stick my manuscript out there and see if a readership could grow on a grassroots level.

I say that as I’m sitting here blabbing on a blog. So much for protecting my own privacy.

I think the answer to all of this is to just do what I’m going to do and not do it “to be liked”. That feels like freedom.

And do it without fear.

“The fear of man brings a snare”.

How’s that for rambling…

Which reminds me of the word “preamble”, and wasn’t the writing prompt supposed to be about being free?

Okay, I’m random; but that’s where my mind went…

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I did Day 82 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab.

I wrote this, and participated in Quiet Friday.

For today, that feels like enough – at least for the sharing part…

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan

Some people do all sorts of things to be liked, and then it backfires. Face tattoos could probably be categorized as a pretty epic social fail and pressure at the same time:

Don’t worry – I didn’t do it.


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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