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Giving up for Lent

10th March 2019 |

As a child who was brought up in the Church, the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday, which took place on 6th March this year, was a signal to give up a favourite treat. One year it was crisps, another year it was biscuits. Usually it was chocolate so I would look forward to Easter Day when I could indulge myself again. And what is it about Easter Egg chocolate that made it so irresistible? Or was it because I’d spent forty days without chocolate?

The money saved was given to a charity. This year? Salty snacks of any kind are out of bounds- anything from Bombay Mix to cashew nuts and all types of crisps.

What though if as well as giving up something, I made a decision to take action. I’m notoriously bad at social media. I never think anyone would be interested in me. I post once or twice a year on Facebook, even though I’m very responsive with my likes and supportive comments on other people’s posts.

And yet isn’t that what we are supposed to do as authors? Cultivate a serious online presence? Blog, Tweet, Instagram, Pinterest etc, etc. It takes up time. And is it enjoyable? Or does it come under the long list of Things I Should Do?

A recent piece of advice I read on using social media and avoiding overload was to focus on one form. It means it doesn’t take up too much time away from other activities.

I was a keen user of Twitter. I liked the challenge of constructing 140 character snippets of text. So why not give it another go? My idea is to spend Lent revitalising my Twitter account.

Will it rekindle my enjoyment of Twitter? Who knows?

I certainly won’t be pushing my books, but rather finding ways of linking Tweets with writing and the writerly life. Bring on #iamwriting, #iamediting and others like that. And if there is the occasional comment on the passage of the seasons, it may help someone to discover that the purple violets blooming at this time of year are perfectly co-ordinated with the colour of Lent.

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