Friday, August 24, 2012

The Tweeter

I had to think on this week’s question as my first impulse was to have my assistant, some over-qualified, very bright young man or woman with an MFA from some prestigious institution of higher learning, fetch my daily Hoyo de Monterrey or Partagas moduro-style cigar and short dog of whiskey from Jack’s Liquor (which has a walk-in humidor) in nearby Koreatown – for use during happy hour you understand.  But that would be a waste of their talents not to mention I vary my selection of cigars more than the two brands just mentioned so that’s a task best left to be completed personally.
"Does this crown make me look wizened"?
But how to best utilize this eager acolyte?  I know.  My assistant will become me on the cyberways.  I can barely get it together to do my every other week blog post for Criminal Minds let alone tweeting, Facebooking, pinteresting, being a pinhead, or whatever the hell else it is writers are supposed to do now on a daily basis to be witty and maintain a presence among their readership and potential readership.  To do as those various articles advise writers to use social media to connect with their fans in a meaningful way.  Of course nothing says luv like someone buying my book but one must not be naked in their desire for such.

The way this could work then is my assistant every two hours or so will tweet something wry and sardonic, but good-natured, from me after we’ve had a brief discussion about current book news or some riff on something of a pop culture nature.  Given I’m a lefty, it’s probably better I don’t go into rants as some of my fellow scribes left and right have a wont to do on Facebook.  That can be a bit much, don’t you think?  But leave me not go on about that at this juncture.  Figure at least twice a day my assistant will peruse my Facebook stuff and respond with a quip here or observation there. 

As the years go on, I will emerge less and less from my sanctum sanctorum. – hitting those keys, sweating phrasing and pacing as I knock out the work, be it a short story or magnum opus novel.
Salinger-like, I become a recluse, only known through those clever, literate social media burst that float out there regularly from my assistant.  In a reversal of how poor assistant Tom Courtenay was verbally abused by the odious aging actor played by Albert Finney in The Dresser, my assistant will have subtly stroked my ego such that he or she has convinced me that to build my mystique, I should be seen less and less in public and let my work speak for me.  He or she will attend to all these distractions and I should be left to tend the vineyards of my writing, my gifts to the world.  Deep down I will know there’s no way I can live up to those artful postings as over time, the assistant writes in their voice.  

I become the shell, my assistant the full-bodied personality.  Quick I say, bring me my make-up.  


Meredith Cole said...

A cautionary tale, for sure! Perhaps you should stick to doing your own tweeting and blogging, Gary, just so we don't lose you...

Reece said...

Nice post, Gary! [Insert sardonic but good-natured quip here.] Sent by Reece Hirsch's Assistant

Tony Chavira said...

It just so happens that I know a guy who developed a series of apps to time-delay facebook/twitter/etc. responses. So that's pretty much how I do our company's social media: once every two weeks for a solid hour and a half of group brain-storming/preemptive posting.

Otherwise, hire a Singaporean virtual assistant to post on fiction blogs for you while you're working on other, more important things. Trust me, it works like a charm.

Gary Phillips said...

Hmmmm, virtual assistant, eh?

Vicki Delany said...

Who knows where stroking the ego will lead. I think Gary is better off being himself, even if the world has to do without the true breadth of his brilliance.