May is here

It’s been AGES since I’ve written here, but as per my last post, jétais trés busy being sociable and maintaining a steady diet of literary talks and workshops.

I’ve offset my months and months of self-imposed solitude with a month of mayhem, and by doing so, I’ve regained balance – of sorts. I hope to carry some of that sociability through to May with me, and will continue to set aside some time for friends, and also head along to some writery events throughout the month (I’m starting a new course on the short story in the morning and did someone mention Listowel…), though nothing on the scale of April,  which didn’t see too many words written but gave way to tonnes spoken and shared and enjoyed.

From Farmleigh, to Poetry Ireland to the Gus Martin talk in UCD then Maynooth University to the Dublin Writer’s Museum stopping off at Hillsborough Festival of Literature and University of Limerick’s Writing Festival to boot, with a second trip north to Bangor for a lunch, I’ve been getting around. I’ve listened to some fantastic talks and readings and met some wonderful people en-route. I attended some kickass workshops given by the brilliant Rob Doyle and Sarah Maria Griffin in Maynooth a few weeks back, and last weekend was lucky to attend a workshop given by the amazing Doireann Ní Ghríofa up in Hillsborough. I’ve been published in another three journals. I’ve learned a lot.

BUT… it’s taken its toll, and my writing schedule flew out the window. I’ve flexed my Twitter muscle a tad too much for my liking and now feel that I’m verging on the point of grainnedaly.com:oghamstonejouranltweet-promiscuity. Working pro-bono as content creators for Twitter has become de-facto in our culture. I make it a priority to compliment people on a job well done, and if an event or a book has been good, I’ll tweet about it. I’ll like tweets that are fecking good. I’ll retweet really really good ones. I support good people trying to promote their work or those making positive contributions to the world. But at what point do the lines blur and I revert to being a social media freak? I gave up Facebook for that very reason a few years ago. It’s got a sick, obsessed sub-culture to it and I feel that Twitter is becoming more and more affected with the same undercurrent of trolling, small-minded, discourteous trolls, with nothing better to do than involve themselves with strangers via their platform of choice. I love the camaraderie of the Twitter writing community and I find that I discover a lot about events and launches and general ‘stuff’ from being on Twitter, but it’s a window through which we stare at others, invite them to stare at us. We rush to offer our opinions, are often very quick to rebut the opinion of others. I have come to the chasm at which I now embrace it and loathe it, in equal measure. It’s become a standard tool in a writer’s online presence, but there are writers who are minus Twitter accounts and if I’m very honest, I’m quite jealous of them.

Anyhow, it’s 24 degrees in Dublin, and a beautiful bank holiday Monday it is indeed. From my desk in the library, I can see a confetti of pink petals form a mat at the base of a huge cherry tree. Sometimes, it’s so nice to just slow down and take in the world at your own pace.