The Twitter-Virgin Syndrome

I’m going to write for a living. Yes I am.

Let’s see: create a Twitter account as a good place to begin. Start small, build up steam, expand into blogs, submit to online forums and news magazines, develop meaty content. Get a following, an email list, write an eBook and sell on-line courses. Instagram my cat pics with hilarious captions. Perhaps jump to video and a YouTube channel to grow my audience.

Be an influencer!

Somewhere along the way, drop the corporate job and start writing from the beach house.

There are hundreds of books and on-line courses on how to do all of the above. Indeed, most on-line content seems to be how to write on-line content (and cat pics). How hard can it be?

So, that was over 5 years ago now. My journey began: I created my Twitter account.

Step 1: Check.

Unfortunately, that’s where the wheels came off. To be honest, came off, exploded and mysteriously sank in quick sand, never to be seen again.

Despite writing fairly copious amounts of content for my day job, I could not for the life of me get past the first tweet. Should it be funny? Full of meaning and wisdom? A commentary on some current affair, or perhaps a timeless truism that made readers stop and ponder how I’d got so much perspicacity into 140 characters? [Yes, I looked up “perspicacity”]

The account sat but I returned to it frequently. Over time, less so, and eventually the dust settled and I visited it no more. It festered.

Corporate life wasn’t so bad, was it?

It wasn’t a writer’s block as such. It was more a fear of entering a new realm, of exposing myself online (and yes, a more talented writer would have phrased that better), of jumping into something new, albeit that a simple tweet was less than a slight nudge on the scale of things. I didn’t want to solicit criticism, or worse, attract the hoard of “haters” who scan cyberspace looking for the weak and uncertain, ready to pounce and decimate.

So, the 5 years passed, my Twitter account stayed dormant, and I remained in my old, safe world.

In writing this, I tried to log into Twitter and got the electronic equivalent to your High School friend’s “I think I remember you, you had glasses and ugly braces…?”. It wanted me to re-verify who I was. How embarrassing.

I’ve since classified this as the Twitter-Virgin Syndrome.

The inability to commit and share thoughts and ideas, believing them to be less worthy than those of others, opening the door, gazing in, but staying forever on the threshold.

There’s likely an official name, a recognized designation for me and those like me. It is not, I’m sure, called Twitter-Virgin as Google strangely wants to show me a certain airline’s social media feed. Odd.

Whatever it is really called, it is a shame. A great shame. Everyone has a story and insights and wit and humor. I’m not saying that everyone should be able to make great wads of money from writing, or that they deserve millions of readers, but we should all feel comfortable to share and partake in the great social experiment that is the internet.

Especially in 2020, when “real” social interaction (you remember? The person-to-person kind) is so hard to come by, and hampered by masks and distance and walls of disbelief (or disdain) at political differences.

Anyway, I’ve given up on Twitter. It is not for me. Thankfully, I did make the leap in other forums. It could be that age moved me into the “I don’t care what people think” camp, or that I discovered an untapped vein of confidence. I’ve certainly adjusted my motivations from monetary ones to gaining satisfaction in crafting the words and sharing my viewpoints.

Whatever it was, I thank you for your time, patience and willingness to listen to a small snippet of my story.

I’d be happy to do the same for you.

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Family guy, software developer, photographer

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David Metcalfe

David Metcalfe

Family guy, software developer, photographer

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