Hashtag! You’re it. #Betterthanchocolate
This week, I took my Twitter app out of a folder of apps I never use. I decided it was time to use it. I always post Onceafatgirl there. But honestly, I have it set up so that WordPress does that for me. All I have to do is hit “publish,” and each post goes out to my social networking sites. Easy-peasy, as the kids say.
But now I have decided I wanted to use Twitter to hone my comedy writing skills. And I don’t know what has shifted, but I am suddenly not afraid of it anymore.
When I started writing Onceafatgirl, a friend told me to get on Twitter, and start using hashtags to grow my audience. It was good advice. I did it, but I didn’t do a very good job. And then I gave up. I wasn’t ready. Partly because I didn’t have an audience in the beginning and I didn’t know who they would eventually be. I didn’t know what this blog would end up being. I didn’t know that I actually wanted to hit the blogosphere big time. Really, I just wanted to share my story. But also, and importantly, I didn’t understand Twitter. And that made me fear it.
I didn’t want to feel foolish. Or worse. People on the interwebs can be vicious. Especially when they don’t have to look you in the eye while they tear you down, beat you up, and bully you. And this is a brutally honest blog. Brutal for me. It can be intense to admit some of the things I think and say and do to a group of friends and strangers. It is a deeply personal look at myself. Stretch marks and all.
But I am feeling better about Twitter. I have been tweeting this week, and it has been a confidence-boosting experience.
One of the things I really came to appreciate when I got my eating under control, is that boundaries are a fantastic catalyst for creativity. I put some serious rules around my food choices and portions, and ended up with more enjoyable meals than when I could eat whatever, whenever, wherever. 140 characters is an exciting limitation in the same way. I have loved being forced into brevity. It is a delicious exercise in how to put the entire context of a joke into the joke itself. It is an invaluable lesson in editing for a particularly wordy person, like me.
But I want to try something else too. Because this is a very personal blog, I have been protective of myself. I love the feedback I receive, but I am not sure how much I should do about it. I have noticed that I haven’t responded to any comments on any posts for a long time. I have felt uncomfortable with the idea of constantly saying, “Thank you. That means a lot to me.” It’s not a lie. It does mean a lot to me, but it is starting to feel hollow after 3 years.
So I have registered a hashtag. #Betterthanchocolate
Peace is #Betterthanchocolate is the tagline of this blog. For me, it’s about the gifts that I got when I started taking care of myself and stopped hurting myself with food.
Now I want to know what you think. And not just me hearing from you. I want to create this conversation.
If you are a sugar addict like me who has given up sugar, let me know the gifts you get every day that are #Betterthanchocolate. Here are some of mine:
Not being afraid of a flight (or 6) of stairs is #Betterthanchocolate
Dancing the night away without wanting to die is #Betterthanchocolate
Having shoelaces not be an issue is #Betterthanchocolate
But even if you are not a recovering sugar addict, let me know the gifts you get from taking care of yourself that are more important to you than eating. Or the things you love to do that are #Betterthanchocolate.
You get the idea. Let me hear from you! Let you hear from you! You can post them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or wherever you are using hashtags.
And if you want, follow me on Twitter @onceafatgirl5