The Universe is testing me. I put the word out last week that "Confessions of a Serial Songwriter" is up for pre-sale on Amazon. It's the news I've been anticipating sharing for over a year. I want to scream from the roof tops that I was able to accomplish the impossible. Now I can have some fun promoting it, sharing chapters, and kvelling. So then what happened?
Well, first off, a funny thing happened with Facebook. Last week, when I tried to "boost" a blog I shared about my book (in other words, for a small sum you can ensure more of your Facebook friends get it in their feeds). I received a (cheery) email from the Facebook Ads Team saying that my boost wasn't approved because the image I used contained profanity.
What? They must be mistaken. I responded to "Facebook support" saying WTF? (I didn't actually say WTF—I explained that they must be confusing my post with someone else's.) They acknowledged the mistake. But then, after placing test boosts on subsequent posts, I continued receiving the same message: Boost denied; contains profanity. I ask you: does this picture look profane to you in any way? (To be safe, I even blurred out the writing on the book covers because too much text in a boosted post is not in accordance with guidelines).
But there have been other strange daily occurrences as well :
Tweets that I thought I tweeted aren't showing up. Threads from texts I'm sure I sent literally disappeared. My handheld phone battery died in the middle of an interview. Mail is suddenly asking for computer passwords before it will send email. Hmm.
But I digress. A colleague suggested that perhaps someone (or something) is trying to silence me on social media. After all, the declined promotions began after I started sharing (heavily) about my advocating for copyright law reform in Washington D.C., which doesn't sit well with the tech industry. But seriously? Little ol' me? I am a speck of dust compared to coalitions and lobbyists. But my colleague felt it was entirely possible. She's seen it before. Internet trolls. She was very convincing.
My husband said it was a crazy notion. (He already thinks I am a conspiracy theorist.) Admittedly I was feeling a little Erin Brockovich. Only thing is, why would Facebook turn down my money unless they were taking more from someone else in exchange for not taking mine? Oy.
All I know is it feels like my communications are being blocked, stalled, delayed, derailed. And trying to get through to Facebook is like talking to the man…or the robot…behind the curtain.
What if Facebook never resolves my issue? My daughter suggests that Facebook is over. That Snapchat is the new Facebook. Really? I don’t think so. My people are on Facebook. They are.
I am beside myself.
Is the Universe trying to tell me something? Some would say, bah humbug. A Universe can't speak. Maybe so. The Universe however, has energy. Perhaps that energy is simply a reflection of what we are unconsciously trying to tell ourselves.
So...what is the Universe saying? Well, if I had to guess I'd say it's saying this…"Stop. Take a break. And a deep breath. Go to the beach. Read a book. Facebook is what it is. You've made some quality virtual relationships. They will have your back. They will stay connected regardless of whether Facebook turbo-charges your posts. You've been forthcoming and honest. Trust the groundwork you've laid. If someone is trying to silence you that means you're important. If it's a software glitch…well, then it's out of your control. So forget about it. Move forward. Tell the truth. Write what you feel. Don't wait for things to get fixed."
I hear it.
I'm going for a run to clear my head. I always feel better when I move. Tomorrow, I'll get in my car and head toward the beach. I'm going to wrap myself in blankets and watch the waves and wait for dolphins. It's my favorite thing to do. And I haven't done it in months. I'll start that book I've been meaning to read for a year. Lord knows there's no time to read a book when you're writing one.
Then I'll come back home and resume my life. Hopefully, communication-as-usual will recommence. If Facebook adjusts its quirk—great. If not, life will go on. Just like it was before I ever knew about boosting posts. And life was just fine.