The Anti-Social Network

Suggested Audio Jukebox ☟

☞ Nirvana “Lithium”

☞ Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”


And to think they call it the social network. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my four years as a scribe, then it can be anything but. During that time I’ve made many friends, lost almost the same amount, and been subjected to more judgement than at any other time during my life. It’s funny how fickle a thing friendship can actually be and also how short memories are once the mud begins to fly. When I started out my chief priority was to write with honesty and integrity; something that I believe whole-heartedly I have done without solitary exception. There have been times when I’ve been desperately low, indeed, on the verge of capitulation, but the simplest gestures of kindness have reminded me not to throw in the towel. Some of my proudest work has come as a result of pain and suffering and it has always been my thing to transform that into something positive as opposed to bringing those around me down. Granted, there have been times when all I could do was react to distortions and mistruths flung about with gay abandon by those who have felt aggrieved but I trust that everyone has their own minds and felt little need to defend myself against whatever the accusations of the week may have been. I’ve got nothing to hide and those who truly know my soul appreciate such.

I’ve never seen the sense in using social platforms to amass enemies as it just seems so counter-productive to me. Besides, I’ve been in the school yard and had my shoulders barged by my fair share of bullies over the years, and it never ended favorably then so the last thing I fancy is reliving such miserable memories or making any more come to think about it. Should I have met someone whose intention it has been to destroy me at all costs, then I’ve cut ties accordingly purely out of self-preservation, never once malice. You see, what I’m doing here is way too important to compromise, as writing is the only thing keeping my head above water. Non-profit writers such as myself accept payment a different way than artists on the payroll. If somebody takes the time to scroll to the foot of each article I post and press the LIKE tab, or better yet, donate a comment, then everything I do stands for something. Does it happen? Far less often since I learned how anti-social the network I use really can be. When said piece of work took an entire day to produce, it’s hard to remain upbeat when it feels like your blood, sweat and tears is simply not appreciated. This drop off in interest has been gradual and I’ve had a fair idea both where it has been headed and what has caused it in the first place. The saddest thing is that those dashes of inspiration bring the very best out of me as an artist and it’s hard to engage one’s boundless imagination when you feel so grossly undervalued.

Fuck woe is me, that has never been and never will be my angle. That’s not what I’m looking to achieve here. But I’m an honest scribe by trade and feel it only right that I vent my frustrations on rare occasion in the hope that others who may be going through similar, can know that they never need feel alone. Mine is not to judge others and it seems ludicrous to me that social networking should provide anyone this kind of platform. Many I converse with via Twitter I’ve never had the privilege of speaking to in person, and to me, that makes me unable to form an opinion over their character and the same should apply vise versa. If my work raises a smile or resonates in some way then I’ve done all I can be expected to do unless our paths should cross personally in the future. To entertain and enlighten has always been my motto and, having fashioned 1700 pieces of individual literature in just 48 months, I feel I’ve generally kept up my end of the bargain. Yet still I feel quiet, simmering judgement. As a result of this, I waste my man hours on unnecessary rants such as this. You want to know why I deem this unnecessary? Well I could be working of fiction, creating as opposed to debating. It just feels so painfully extraneous.

However, this unusual tool of mine can be used any number of ways, and I remain bloody-minded in my belief that it can still help make a difference. The one thing I’m never culpable of is questioning my ability when it comes to the gift I’ve been donated. Any bouts of writer’s block that have come about over the past four years have been the result of a dearth of motivation. A chef may be well aware of his culinary expertise, but if his restaurant is no longer considered desirable, then some damn good food is going to waste somewhere down the line and there’s plenty of starving children in third world countries who would have something to say about that if they could only get their voices heard. I’m sending out plate upon plate of mental protein here and seasoning each dish with whatever visual and audible garnish I can possibly conjure up; only to bare witness as another lovingly prepared platter goes to waste. So what do I do? Cease writing? Accept that some things are simply out of my jurisdiction? Get a dead-end job and live comfortably? Do I fuck! Have I ever offered any indication that the Keeper of The Crimson Quill rolls that way? If there’s a good fight to be fought, then someone’s got to do the dirty jobs right? Cue motivational audio methinks.

Okay so before we go a solitary step further, we really need to talk about Twitter. You see, while this is now my sole promotional platform, the blue bird seems to have developed a distinct disliking to me over the past few months, curiously in tandem with certain revelations tarnishing my reputation as a writer. I used to mail out my work individually but this is considered spamming by the powers that be, thus many of my tweets never actually make their intended destination. I’ve often heard it remarked that my communications simply disappear from timelines over a short period of time, and unless a select few known Grueheads juggle these tweets, they soon become lost in the vast twitterverse never to be seen by another living soul. As a result, I no longer know what to do when I release a piece of work, other than attach a single photo tweet to my timeline and pray that somebody will happen across it. I even tried setting up groups for direct messages and even this is considered bad form by Twitter and punishable by instant muting. So you can see I’m kind of caught between a rock and hard place here. But am I down and out? Did you even read the last stanza? By hook or crook, I’ll fly my flag, and if not another bastard on this planet can see that shit, then I bloody will, Twitter can’t take that away from me (yet).

I’ve grown used to hoarding my work and currently the count is over eighty drafts strong. The sole reason why things has gotten to this point is that I have no idea whatsoever how to promote myself anymore. Having tried everything and found no way of changing the tide, I’m out of game plans and left sitting on an intellectual goldmine like some paranoid mother hen. The plus side to this is that I’m never short of fresh content when the motivation to write dries up as it has more recently. I know of a handful of people that read and enjoy my work and these are my gifts to them first and foremost. Meanwhile, doing what I’m doing now releases the valve so to speak and it’s my job to use that to guide me towards some place more beneficial for all parties invested. That one masterpiece that you’ll be remembered for years after you’re dust need only ever be a solitary written word away and I hold onto this even more stubbornly during my darkest hours. We scribes often deal in pain and the true souls amongst us know how to channel that with passion into something that duly provides pleasure. I’ve said my piece here and the only sane thing to do right now appears to be taking this sound advice and losing myself completely in creative prose. It’s all I truly know how to do, the one place I can soar freely, and the most social network I know. You see, we’re all friends here. Peace and love Grueheads, whoever and wherever that may be.

Click here to read Abracadabra






  1. This makes me sad that you feel this way, Rich. I would recommend G+ as another platform to share on but lately some of my colleagues there have been reprimanded for spamming or posting too much. What is funny to me is that social media allows people who blog every single day (sometimes more than once) to post but yet they ban people who post once a week but do so to multiple communities. I don’t get it.
    As for Twitter, I don’t know what happened but I have followed you on WP so I will continue to check in on your work. I enjoy what you do. Keep writing as I know you will.

  2. “Fuck woe is me”. Amen to this! It’s easy to advise and listen to endless podcasts but the moment you see clearly and ruffle up your feathers with strength, THAT’S the moment you start winning.

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