I Heart Cheerleaders (Day #81)

In high school I was proud of it.  In college, I hid it.  In law school, I laughed about it.  Now, I sometimes forget about it all together.

See that girl on the far right of the second row?  That’s me.

I was a cheerleader.  (No, I don’t know who let me out of the house with a headband and that forehead.  Mom?)

Back then, I used to wonder if our presence on the court mattered to the players for whom we were cheering.  Did our Rah Rahs and You Can Do It and Go Teams! really make a difference?  I never knew, because I was always the cheerleader, never the player (if you’ve ever seen me try to dribble a basketball or hit a tennis ball, you understand why).

But these days, there are moments when I feel like the star player.  I’m not sure how good my team is (we’ll know in 20 days), but right now, that doesn’t seem to matter so much.  People are cheering for me anyway.  With your comments and your Facebook messages and your tweets.  Does it make a difference?

Absolutely.

And I don’t mean in some vague, intangible sense.  I mean practically.  Concretely.  When I get an encouraging comment/message, it makes me work harder, right then.

Which is why, as of yesterday, I’m now obsessed with Twitter.

First, a caveat:  I am still Twitter illiterate.  I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be tweeting or what all the different symbols people use mean (#?  Anyone?).  But the tweets I’m getting? Coolest things ever.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why are you on Twitter if you’re supposed to be in the midst of crunch time? (And why, pray tell, are you writing a post about Twitter when you’re supposed to be pounding out pages of your novel?)

I have answers to both.

I’m on Twitter because I’ve decided that it’s the least time-intensive social media outlet.  You don’t have to click around and there aren’t scores of photos to distract you.  Tweet and be tweeted.  That’s all there is to it.  So, while I try to power through the last six pages of this novel, I’ve decided to skip Facebook and limit my email activity.  I just keep Tweetdeck open on my desktop and go about my merry way.  And then, as has happened several times already, when I’m struggling through a difficult scene or trying to calm a difficult baby, wondering how the heck I’m actually going to finish this thing, I’ll hear a DING! and there it’ll be.  Some encouragement.  A dose of You Can Do It! And suddenly, I remember that I can.

It’s like having my own little cheering section.

I’m writing about Twitter because I realized yesterday that I am a Twitter nerd.  I don’t think I’ve yet encountered someone with fewer Twitter followers than I currently have.  And yet, 50+ followers feels like a lot to me!  Or, it did, before I realized that 50+ followers pretty much puts me at the loser table.  How the heck normal people end up with 1000+ followers??   Is it crazy for me to aspire to that?  Do I lack the je ne sais quoi that makes someone follow-worthy?  (If the answer is yes, please don’t tell me that today.  Wait til Day #101).

This is not a plea for you to follow me on Twitter.

(Okay, that’s a lie.)

But it’s not only a plea for you to follow me on Twitter.  It’s also a recognition of the fact that your comments/tweets/messages/texts/emails/phone calls matter.  They make a difference.  They have kept me from throwing in the towel on more than one occasion.  So, thank you.  To those of you who have reached out.  To my cheerleaders.

I heart you.

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(Okay, let me hear it – your thoughts on Twitter!  Love/hate/don’t get it?  What do you use it for?  Do you follow more people than follow you or vice versa?  What makes for a good tweet?  Were you a cheerleader?  Do you sorta wish you could wear a cheerleading uniform everyday like the Cheerios on Glee?)

OH!  I promised you a word count.  As of right now: 62, 162.  I think the novel will be about 100,000 total.  So… a little less than 40,000 to go.  That’s 2000 words a day.  I wrote 1500 yesterday.  Aiming for 2500 today.

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