On being on Facebook when I’m trying not to be

Everything got off to a wonderful start on New Year’s Day and Bank Holiday Monday.  I went for several walks, spent hours away from the internet, read loads, cooked great food, laughed at my husband’s jokes, listened to my kids’ music, generally hung out with the family, wrote some new poems.

I’ve enjoyed some wonderful walks so far in 2017

Then I got stumped on a poem.  The first twelve lines seemed to leap into my notebook but then I didn’t know how to move the poem forward without making it look a badly edited movie.  You know the kind of thing, one moment you’re in bright sunlight in a swimming pool, possibly in California or Florida, the next second you’re in a graveyard in a northern English town.  How to make the transition without a bad jump cut?  Should I sit and work this out or switch on Facebook – just for a little while?

You can probably guess the rest and you now have some idea about the kind of things that go on inside my head.  So, a failure by Day Three but Day Four dawned and I resolved to start again. The walking was still going very well, even in the rain and frost, and I felt so much better for it.

Image: Anita Taylor, The Philtre I, ink on paper, 36 x 26cm

On Day Five, I thought that I should probably do some advertising for my Poetry from Art workshop at Drawing Projects UK, Trowbridge,  on January 21st (10am – 1pm).  So I created an Event on…. you’ve guessed, it Facebook! Because how else am I going to advertise? And, within minutes somebody else had booked onto the workshop. So this isn’t doing much for my resolve to be less facebook but it is good news for spreading the word about what I’m up to.

I guess, all things in moderation, that’s the answer. Be realistic about why I’m on Facebook and how long I’m spending there.  Facebook is a very helpful means of sharing news, there’s no doubt about it even though I’m creating other ways of communicating (see below re my newsletter). For some reason, more of my contacts in and around Wiltshire are on Facebook, whereas friends and associates in London and further afield tend to be on Twitter.

Anyway, my plans for my Poetry from Art workshop are coming along beautifully.  I absolutely love researching and assembling poems for workshops.  I like to investigate other poets and provide poems as helpful reference points and stepping off points for participants.  I’m gearing up for writing some poems in response to Anita Taylor’s drawings as well.  I think it’s important to do everything I expect my workshop group to do – and I like to test my own workshop activities.


One exciting point, which is probably obvious to everyone else, is that writing poems after artworks lends itself to writing sequences of poems.  I’ve noticed that Pascale Petit does this in What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, for instance.   There are different viewpoints, different perspectives and different personas to adopt in each work of art.  Perhaps I’ll write more about this after the workshop.

Another thing I’ve done this week is  set up a monthly newsletter (using Tiny Letter) for Trowbridge Poetry News.  I need to develop my presentation skills but this is another, more targeted,  way of sending out news to people who might like to know about local poetry events.  If you would like to receive a monthly newsletter the address is https://tinyletter.com/JosephineCorcoran – do please let me  know if this works/doesn’t work!  So much of what I do is trial and error.

One more thing, there’s a Trowbridge Stanza Poetry Society meetup tomorrow, Monday, 9th January 6pm – 8pm at Trowbridge Town Hall.  Details here and here.

I hope you all have a great week, on or off Facebook or anywhere in between.


11 thoughts on “On being on Facebook when I’m trying not to be”

  1. Sounds like you’re doing well. I have had awful problems trying to shut down my FB account completely. I wish it would just go away but somehow it’s still there in spite of about 20 attempts to close it for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only dilemma for me (although it’s hardly a dilemma) is that ANOTHER person has booked after seeing my ad on fb! But I’m sure you can close your account! Robin (Houghton) has posted about a wikihow article – unless it’s your own willpower you’re referring to?? Good luck, in any case! 🙂


      1. Oh I’ll check Robin’s post out. It’s not will power. It’s that they don’t seem to think that one knows one’s own mind about leaving and put you on hold, so to speak … or maybe it’s just me!!!
        Thanks for the tip.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Josephine and happy new year. I have done the same, so I sympathise. It is all a bit cold turkey at the moment -no blogging, no Twitter, and no FB. The latter is most easy for me to give up as I pretty much threw in the towel after the last election in 2015. But I’m not even using my work account either. Someone texted me to say did I get their message on Twitter. That was exciting. For about a moment. Then the world kept on spinning without me. Like you I have been re-discovering poems, reading and writing. Who knows how long I’ll last? I certainly feel lighter without social media. As ever with good wishes, Anthony

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anthony and Happy New Year to you, as well! It’s still new, I think. I’m sure you will find you have more time. In fact, rooms and houses of time will open up to you, that’s the biggest change I’ve noticed. I’m freelance, as you know, so I can’t ignore the benefits of fb for ‘marketing’ my workshops. I hope that, this year, I will be able to use social media to my advantage when I need it but have enough discipline to walk away from it at other times. One thing to say to you, the work that you’ve shared widely on your blog is available for us all. You are not removing any of that good work by not blogging. Perhaps now is the time for you, after putting in so much good work, to attend to your own reading and writing more closely and selfishly. At some point in the future we (people who read you, people who are interested in what you write) will undoubtedly benefit. All good wishes to you, – Josephine 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks so much Josephine. That’s a lovely thing to say. I am feeling quite selfish about it at the moment. I’m just going to go with it and see how long I need. All best as ever, and thank you, Anthony

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I’ve made too many promises vis a vis my blog, so there’s no chance of the Sunday routine changing in the foreseeable. And Facebook keeps me up to date with readings, as well as letting me share publicity at the touch of a button. And there’s the NHS, the Labour Party…all the alternatives to mainstream ‘news’. I think my only solution is to get up earlier and make my own writing as much of a routine as the public stuff. Anthony’s served his time, and done the hard miles. Good luck to his studio album now he’s stopped touring. Is that an apt analogy? In any case, a happy new year to both of you. Good luck xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life without Facebook is better if you use it for merely the purpose of staying in touch. I found out the hard way that even if you have hundreds of people on it, only the ones who you are in touch with regularly will be there for you.
    Apart from that – I rechristened it as ‘Fakebook’ because everyone is faking it, pretending to be happy when they are not or pretending to be someone they are not. And then of course, it like Twitter has become a nice medium for Cyber Bullying as well. So I quit it this year. And I don’t regret it!
    But if you have a business/wish to promote something you should be on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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