It’s been two whole months off twitter now and my mind has settled back into the rushes and lulls of everyday life, without it lurking around to distract and upend me. I’ve learnt a great deal about myself and about other people since and as always, I’m using my blog to reflect and share.
In those two months, maybe two or three nature and conservation names have actually bothered to get in touch with me. As I’ve said before, this shows what you actually ‘are’ to these people. You’re an opportunity for them, in supporting you, to promote themselves. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum – those that expect and extol your love of their own work and then don’t even bother to read yours. Two massive names in writing said no to writing cover comments on Bird Therapy; one replied with I don’t want you to think I’m being a dick etc etc – but said they would sing from the rooftops when it was published… they didn’t. I’ve also learnt that unless what you are doing, in some way features someone else (like an upcoming work with lots of these people in, which I was going to be in but wormed my way out of when I realised the hypocrites I’d be sharing the pages with) – then why would they even bother with it? This has been evident in the lack of interest in my teaching pack; especially now there’s going to be a natural history GCSE – which I’m hugely sceptical about anyway. What a shame that a tried and tested resource, which is free, only gets minimal coverage. Add to this, the massive number of organisations I contacted, merely to ask if they’d help spread the word; who said no or just didn’t even bother replying. The same old people, post the same old self indulgent and self-promoting shite on twitter, this isn’t going to change. I get that you kind-of have to, when you’re promoting something, or if it’s your livelihood at stake, but it doesn’t half look rank from the outside. I started an Instagram account again – I like photos – but even on there already, I’m purposely seeking interaction and engagement. Thankfully not praise or validation any more though, which is emotionally positive – I’ve broken the ludic loop. As soon as I made it, I blocked a tonne of people who’d let me down, which felt good. All of the celebrity nature names who had done just that, basically. I’m lucky though, that Bird Therapy and the work I’ve done with the book and now the teaching pack, is not my job, so I’m not reliant on its success. It’s heartbreaking to see that I can’t seem to make a go of it without twitter, although indicative of the social media-driven society we live in now. I did all this to help other people, which I know it all has, not to chase status like some think I did. So it’s wonderful that I’ve been able to skip away back into my everyday life, our beautiful daughter and the career I love without having to constantly whore myself out for validation. I feel, free as a bird.