Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. She has written for Focus on the Family, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and numerous other publications. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW. Married 30 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. Deborah recently completed her first novel. You can contact Deborah at: Visit her blog at

Diary of A Crazy Writer

The Dance

I’m still struggling with the marketing aspects of writing, especially when it comes to Facebook and Twitter. I’ve found both of them quite difficult. How are we supposed to know whom to accept as our friends and the proper way to communicate with them?

I recently received some new followers on Twitter—folks I don’t know. Others in the same predicament might have automatically followed back, but I couldn’t. I have issues.

As I’ve done in the past, I checked one of the profiles, even involved my husband to get his opinion. I don’t need any more trouble in my life, thank you very much.

The man had no followers listed, so I inspected his Tweets. The string of obscenities there, let alone the racial slurs, could have lit up the countryside on a dark, cloudy night.

The nerve.

I blocked him—then prayed for his soul.

The other new follower, a fellow writer, seemed to be a nice guy. When I checked his bio, I discovered he wrote horror novels. Okay, not my favorite, but I can handle it. But after I observed the pictures he had posted there, which would give serial killers nightmares, along with some obscenities on his posts, I decided not to follow him.

See what I mean? This isn’t easy, let me tell you.

On the flip side, some people have ignored my requests, and a few have stopped following me altogether. The little lamb chops kicked me to the curb without even saying good-bye.

Because I hadn’t posted obscenities, let alone any other vile material before they discarded me, I asked myself what I had done wrong. My pea-sized brain couldn’t conjure up anything of significance, so I went to my beloved.

“Do you think I offend people, honey?”

Talk about a loaded question.

“What do you mean?”

“All this Twitter and marketing stuff. When I don’t talk to anyone, I’m not being friendly. When I do? Well, I just don’t understand. Maybe I’m too friendly.”

“No, Deb. That’s not it.”

“Like I said, I’m not friendly.”

“No. You’re, um, open—out there with things. Other people have the same thoughts as you do, but you just blurt them. They probably have a hard time with you, especially if they want to convey a certain image.”

Wow. Can’t even take me out in public. Thanks, my little dumpling. I feel so much better now.

“So I’m supposed to pretend to be someone I’m not, just for the sake of appearance?”

“No, honey, you’re not.” A spark lit his eyes. “Hey, remember the guy you told me about, what’s his name, the one who was the head of the publishing company?”

I didn’t understand what this individual had to do with the topic. Focus, honey. Focus.

A few years ago, I felt impressed to send this prominent person an encouraging e-mail, right before the economy took a downward spiral. His reply was most gracious, which I had immediately reported to my husband.

“Why don’t you pitch your book to him?” he said.

I shook my head. “No.”

“Why not?”

“I didn’t even tell him I’m a writer.”

“Deb, this could be your big opportunity.”

“No. If I do, it’s going to take away from what God wants him to have. All he’s going to see is yet another wannabe author trying to get her foot in the door.”

“Oh . . . you’re right.”

My jaw dropped. The man said I was right. I wanted to do a happy dance across the kitchen.

I tapped my toe on the floor, still not able to figure out why my husband had brought this man up. What did he have to do with my followers on Twitter?

Nothing, in my humble opinion.

Then I recalled a certain agent I had recently followed. Soon after, I un-followed him. (Sorry, Mr. Agent.) It was only because I wanted to send him a manuscript and didn’t want him to think I was trying to rub shoulders with him beforehand.

So I followed one of his associates instead, thinking I could keep up on the current news with his agency.

This marketing business is way too complicated.

But why was I thinking about these two men?

Wait a minute. My husband. That’s why.


I pondered how I treat others. As soon as my new friends showed me kindness, especially a brother or sister in Christ, I was off and running. My lips flapping in the breeze as though I’d known them my whole life. It didn’t matter if they were a famous speaker, author, editor, or agent. I chatted away because I felt comfortable around them.

But I didn’t stop to consider they might not feel the same way.

Blasted man is right again. Perhaps I should sew my lips shut.

I blamed it on my past. After being in an abusive relationship years ago, I got to where I was afraid to say anything to anybody, which is the reason it took me so long to get on Facebook and Twitter. Now it was as though someone had loosed my tongue. (I don’t think this is what T.D. Jakes had in mind when he said, “Woman, thou art loosed!”)

Or could it have been because of two of my older brothers? The men can chat with a fencepost. Maybe I got my socializing skills from them.

No matter how I tried to color it, I had to find a balance in all of this.

Just because I’ve found a new friend doesn’t mean I invite him to Junior’s bar mitzvah, laugh at something, which might not have been meant to be funny in the first place, or deliver my snarky personality in narcotic-like doses. Okay, so I’m not Jewish, and there’s no son named Junior, but you get the idea.

Please pray for me as I learn this new dance. With Twitter and Facebook thrown into the mix, one can have many partners. I just have to know when to sit out and when to excuse the partners who step on my toes, which means I’ll have to excuse myself first.

Like I said before, this marketing business sure is difficult.


Chicken Soup For The Soul: The gift of Christmas