Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Writing and (or?) Digital Fun

I may be an old-school literary writer and die-hard fan of paper books, but ever since I started my webpage in 1999, I have been enchanted by the empowering and creative possibilities of digital media. 

BLOGGING: I started this blog, Madam Mayo, in 2006, and have kept at it steadily ever since, although the why of it has undergone significant evolution.

[Writers Blogs (And My Blog): Eight Conclusions After 8 Years of Blogging]

PODCASTING: In 2009, I started making podcasts with Apple's GarageBand-- and now host two series, Marfa Mondays and Conversations with Other Writers.

[Listen in to my podcast about how I started podcasting.]

DIGITAL PUBLISHING (KINDLES): Shortly thereafter I wrangled my way through an open-source program called Sigil and made some Kindles

[Here is everything I can tell you about that particular odyssey.]

VIDEO: And I took up making videos with iMovie. Apart from a few book trailers and whatnots, I mainly think of my videos as a souped-up GIFs, that is, visual appetizers, meant to enhance a text. 

My two latest videos are Scenes from the West of the Pecos Rodeo (3 minutes) and of Calera, Texas (1 minute 20 seconds), a Trans-Pecos ghost town that, surprisingly, has a nicely kept nondenominational chapel. Both videos are apropos of my book in-progress about Far West Texas.

IN SUM: HUH? Yes, making these pages, posts, podcasts and videos is more fun than playing with Play-Do. Yes, my blog, podcasts and videos bring me a larger audience and more visibility for my books. And yes, these endeavors steal time from writing. 

Instead of making two videos the other evening, I could have worked on my book. But just when I am about to feel crummy about that, I remind myself: if you're going to use GarageBand and iMovie, it really helps to do small projects on a frequent basis, or else you'll get rusty and lose the ability to do any at all. 

Or is that just a pretzel of an excuse?

On the other hand, I really do believe it's crucial for me as a writer to be able to handle digital media. (I've had it on my to do list for over year to make a proper trailer for my latest book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution and its Spanish edition,  Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana. And I really should put my Marfa Mondays podcasts onto YouTube as well. Oh, and... suffice it to say that it's a long to-do list that's just getting longer there in my fat little FiloFax...)

In sum, after more than two decades at this "business" of being writer, I'm still figuring it out. 

OH, AND SOCIAL MEDIA: At least I got off FaceBook. (It's been a few weeks since I deactivated my account and whew, that is still a palpable relief.) 

I still haven't made my mind up about Twitter. Most of it strikes me as drivel. But I don't find it as addictive as FaceBook and once, maybe twice a week something blink-worthy does happen in there.* (Follow me @cmmayo1.)

*For instance, I tweeted that I loved the cover of Cluff Hudder's book, so he sent me a copy! Here are my writing assistants with Pretty Enough for You. (Yep, I tweeted that.)

> Your comments are always welcome.