Question #38, 1/29/19
“As a Facebook fan of your work, I was just curious as to how you started doing the Thirty Seconds of Zen videos you post on your page?
I’m not the most adept at any form of technology, but over the years I’ve figured out how to post pictures and words on Facebook, and I have to admit that I think it’s enjoyable to stay in-touch with the folks who read my books. A number of years back I reached a point where they wouldn’t allow me to have any more friends and offered me the option of moving my page over to a public platform that had no limitations on the number of friends you could have, the only problem being that you couldn’t post or respond on other people’s pages. I wasn’t too crazy about that, because I think that social media should be a two-way street.
One of the sorriest things I see are the public persona pages on Facebook that are operated for the authors, those painful pages that use all the exclamation points and are only there to try and sell you something. I have to admit that I snooze a lot of those… You can tell pretty quick if there’s the real person on there or not. The other side of the coin are the authors who live on Facebook and Twitter, commenting on everything all the time, and all I can think is, “Shouldn’t you be off writing a book?”
I get on in the morning after I’ve answered emails and messages, comment on things I find interesting or entertaining, post something and then walk away. I’m also a big one for not posting things concerning either politics or religion. I was brought up that in polite society you don’t hammer away at either, and even though I have strong feelings about both, I don’t consider this to be the proper place to express them—there seems to be plenty of that anyway.
As to the Thirty Second Zen posts, I think I was fly fishing over near Ten Sleep on Paint Rock Creek a few years ago, standing there in the middle of the stream and thinking my God what an absolutely beautiful day and spot. I thought about all the people I knew who were working that day, or commuting in traffic, or stuck somewhere they really don’t want to be and thought I’d like to share just a little taste of this with them. So, I pulled out my phone and did. Just thirty seconds worth, not enough to bore the living daylights out of folks but just enough to help them feel good about themselves.
The next Sunday morning I posted it, and everybody seemed to enjoy it, so I kept it up once a week. Sometimes it’s when I’m fishing, hiking, the horses, some repetitive mechanical device, walking the dog, or releasing the many racoons I’ve caught in the tack shed this year…There just seems to be so much ugliness out there when you open up your computer in the morning that I don’t want to add more of that to people’s lives for no apparent reason, and maybe give them a reprieve for thirty seconds.
All the best,