I finally have taken the plunge and set up my account on Twitter.  It’s still amazing to me that I have successfully avoided the Twitter craze for as long as I have.  It also amazes me how ignorant I am to how it all works.

Setting up my profile was very easy to do with the hardest part being the process of deciding on a username that wasn’t already taken: JamesAlexander – No, James_Alexander – No (How many of me are out there?), Alexander_James – No, JAlexander – Of course not, I even tried James_Alexander1979 – No again.  At that point I banged my head against the keyboard, mashing all the keys and leaving strange indents in my forehead to get username laksdjfajofiwej and guess what?  If you guessed it wasn’t taken, you’re right.  But why would I want that for a username?

In the end, I wound up with JAlexander_2012.  I know – not extremely original, but better then laksdjfajofiwej.

With all that out of the way, I proceeded to upload my photo – which I had to resize multiple times to get Twitter to accept.  Proud, I leaned back in my chair admiring my handiwork.  And there it was.  The number 0 staring back at me for the number of tweets I have made.  I needed to take care of that immediately!  140 characters are all I need.  That should be easy!


OK, 140 characters and NO followers listed.  What do I tweet about?  I never realized I’d have that dilemma.  So I thought to myself, Really?  C’mon!  You can do this!


Finally, with no genius ideas coming to mind, I decided I’d do what I do when I write and hit a wall of self-doubt or a block – just write anything!  This is what my first tweet was (Get ready!  It’s amazing!):

“This is the first tweet of my life!”

Yes, lame.  I know.  But it did get the ball rolling – at least until my next tweet.  So there is my writing tip – buried in this post.  If you don’t know what to write or are in a block – write.  Who cares if it’s garbage?  It can always be edited later.  True, in my case, my first Twitter post will haunt me forever, but I’m proud of it.  First, I’m on Twitter, which I never thought I would be, second, I pushed past my First Twitter Post phobia, and third, I can’t post any worse of tweet than that.  So my only way is up from there.

I’d love some followers on Twitter where I will be posting news on my current work as well as cool things about my projects I have already completed.  Who knows – maybe someday I’ll post something witty!

I am very excited about the thought of releasing my book “Conduit” on Amazon in the very near future. Yes, a little nervous, OK a lot nervous, but still excited. I hope that people will enjoy my story as much as I enjoyed writing it. So with my energy high, I made the mistake of opening up my web browser and searching the internet for self publishing tips. Of course I was bombarded with different viewpoints from those expressing how wonderful self publishing is to those telling me only losers self publish. Of course on the one site explaining how I’m loser for self publishing my book, the thought ran by of posting a note explaining how some very famous authors started their career by self publishing but I forced myself to close the window and vent silently causing some indigestion.

Knowing self publishing my story was not going to be easy, I still made the decision to go for it. I had read some articles before making my decision, but not a lot. Just enough to get me knee deep in it. That’s the way I tend to do things. I dig myself a hole, seeing how far I can go and then, in between panting for breath, look up wondering how I’ll get out. I do end up finding a way out at some point, but I always find myself thinking that I should have listened to more advice. But where’s the fun in that?

At this point, I have my story ready to go. The cover is almost ready. I have a website with a blog, a facebook page, and even a google page (which I haven’t had any time to add anything to). In between thinking about how to manage all of these things, I’m thinking about how much more I can spread myself out. After all, who doesn’t want to hear from me? I need to get to everyone! Next up, Twitter so I can tweat like I’ve never tweated before! Watch out Twitter! Oh, I can’t forget I’ll need an Amazon page too.

So here I am, sitting in that hole I dug, taking a breath for a moment, my trusty shovel propped up next to me while I sit and stare up a the clouds above.

I understand now why so many people have tried the self publishing venture and gave up at some point along the way, running back to trying to get a publisher to notice their work – all to finally give up on their dream completely. The fact is though, even if an author finds a publisher to publish their work, this day in age an author cannot afford to skimp out on social applications, or at least new authors can’t. There is still a lot of work an author needs to do even when working with a publisher. Many publishers scour the internet to research authors submitting work, to make sure they have a web presence. My argument to those who shun self published authors is this: Neither route, self publishing or traditional publishing is a walk in the park. Publishing traditionally means that the author may get some boost in marketing power, but self publishing means most profit goes to the author.

There. I’ve proved to myself I’m on the right track. Maybe if I keep digging, I’ll find my way out?