Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from all of us at the Kill Zone and welcome to 2020! Here’s to a new year that is both productive and fulfilling for everyone’s writing career!

As usual I have many, many, resolutions – some writing, some fitness/life-balance related but one new resolution of mine – to be kinder on social media – came out of an experience with a wonderful online community that I joined late in 2019. This Facebook group is devoted entirely to collies – and, of course, as an avid collie owner I had to join – even though I had no real idea what to expect. As with everything online, my previous experience with Facebook and other social media groups had always come with some cautionary caveats. We’ve all experienced online ‘discussions’ which (inevitably) lead to arguments, bad behavior, and (more recently it seems) the hurling of insults. For a while there it seemed no topic or group was immune to this, until I discovered the joys of the American Collie Facebook group which exists for the sole purpose of celebrating and cherishing a beloved dog breed and (perhaps more importantly it seems to me) being kind to one another. No one says anything disparaging, no one sets up any discussion just to draw people into an argument – all you get a wonderful, upbeat posts about collies. No one makes snide comments or insults another owner and for every photograph or video posted you see tens (sometimes hundreds) of likes and loves. It’s the way social media should be…or could have been in an alternate universe…and I love it! For me, no matter how many Facebook posts I see where friends rip into each other for their beliefs or twitter rants I read, I know there’s this wonderful safe haven I can visit online. I view it almost like meditation – only with Lassie:)

So this year, no matter how crazy the world gets, or how horrible people can be online, I’m going to follow the example this group has shown me…I’m going to kind. I’m going to ignore the posts that infuriate me and focus on the likes and the loves rather than the hate.    I’m going to know that even in the worst of times, I’m able to belong to a group of people who have their priorities straight – where it’s all about life, love, and a good dog by your side:)

I’m going to be like my own collie, Hamish… (here he is in his holiday post for the Facebook group:))

So TKZers what are your hopes for the new year?



20 thoughts on “Happy New Year!!

  1. Totally agree with you. All I do on Facebook is scroll for funny memes to share on my own page, and check up on my kids. I don’t expect that to change this year.

    • The only reason I’ve stayed with FB is it lets me keep up with friends and family in Australia – otherwise I feel like scrolling through there is like walking through a minefield!

  2. I started weaning myself off FB last year. It wasn’t just the time-suck aspect. It was the negativity (mainly political-centric) that was wearing on my psyche. Now I check in there only periodically to keep up with friends and fellow writers. And I post only when I have something important to tell — like my nasty bout with poison ivy over the holidays. (From FB, I learned the Girl Scout mantra “see three. let it be.” (ivy has three leaves). I also post pix when my dogs do something cute.

    My head may be in the sand but I’m thinking that is what is keeping it from exploding. I’m not alone, I’ve found. Just read a big story in the NYTimes business section this morning that says social media viewing is down so much the tech companies are getting worried, even as they push new apps that monitor and curtail your social media time. Talk about passive-aggressive.

    An online collie club sounds great to me. My only resolution is to read every day. Read ONLY from a real book. What a concept. 🙂 Happy 2020 all.

    • Another resolution I have is to read more as I have definitely found online media has made me much more distracted – I’m glad to hear social media viewing is going down (I need to be better at this myself – weaning off it is a great idea)

  3. I developed a sudden aversion to Facebook a year ago, so 2020 won’t be about social media for me. 2020’s gonna be all about published-author stuff like not getting mired in the middle of my novels, hanging out on author sites (hi!), and pretending to be hard-boiled about money.

  4. The only group that sounds like it would be more cheery than collie fans would be a golden retriever group. Fewer attempts at being herded, and lots of tossed objects and water involved. Grin. Since I’m not longer slogging my books and all the people who matter to me do things like call and email me, I don’t do Facebook or Twitter. My sister updates me on what’s happening on Facebook for the cousins so I rarely feel the lack.

  5. Yeah, social media can be—beyond the time suck—a depressing and unkind place. But I’ve learned to navigate it. Personally, I’ve categorized my social media activities into these groups: (A) Keeping up with friends around the world (Facebook, Instagram); (B) getting ideas (Quora); (C) promoting my creative efforts (FB, IG, Quora).

    For 2020, I’m planning to write, design, and publish my next book. And keep learning from this amazing TKZ community. Happy New Year! (and a great looking Hamish!)

  6. Hamish looks like a great fellah… (and I’m not particular about breed… I just love dogs… though English Springer Spaniels and Goldens will give me pause… in a good way…)

    I have resolved again to have no resolutions… just keep my head down and my spirits up…

    Happy New Year all, it’s good to have y’all “back…”


  7. Oddly enough, one of my goals for 2020 is to spend more time interacting with people over the internet :P. I.e. I’m finally launching my blog / email list, decided I need to stop lurking in the shadows and actually help out a little by interacting with other blogs, and need to get a better handle on the workings of social media. (I do avoid the nasty political fights though.)

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