Social Media Character Creation

The silence of snow, thought the man sitting behind the bus driver. If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called the thing he felt inside him the silence of snow.

But this is a blog post, starting off with a quote from Snow by Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Nobel Prize winner in Literature.

As I sit in my living room, trying to put words together, I pause to wonder, what is it that makes great literature? What is the process of crafting words to create a piece of art, and not just something like a blog post?

On Sunday, I am planning to go up to Boston for the launch of my daughter's book, Don't Make Art, Just Make Something. Making something is the starting point to making art, and perhaps a writing a blog post can be the starting point to writing a literary masterpiece.

But how often do we get stuck and just write a blog post? There have been years in a row that I've put up a blog post every day. Some were good, so were just going through the motions, doing the exercises. Of late, I haven't had time to write as much and that's frustrating. But I still wonder, what would it be like if we were pursuing literary merit in our blog writing?

It is hot in the living room as I write. There is a fan blowing and snow is far from my mind. Instead, my mind wanders further afield. We create our digital identities online, in blog posts, in updates on Facebook and Twitter. We are creating a character, perhaps a close replica of who we are when we see someone face to face, but perhaps not. What if we created this character with the same diligence of a Nobel Prize winner in Literature creating a character for her novel? What if we were more deliberate with our words?

Perhaps there would be less flame wars, less trolling, but perhaps not. Some of the most memorable characters in literature are curmudgeons, shysters, villains and many other sorts of less savory characters. Still, is that the character you want to create to portray yourself?

I sit back and look look at this blog post. It doesn't come close to painting a picture of the online character I wish to create. Perhaps it isn't art, but at least it is something.

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