05 October, 2011

WoW - Status Anxiety

It’s that time again and this week’s Write on Wednesday exercise quite excited me when I read it. We get to ‘choose our own adventure’ which means we can go back through any of the previous exercises and do them again. Or in my case, as I came in on WoW after it had been going for a little while, I get the chance to try an exercise I haven’t done before – yay!

I chose the Status Anxiety exercise which basically entails going on to Facebook or Twitter and picking a status update you see as inspiration. Given I’m quite the social media addict, I thought this would be a perfect exercise to choose.

Write On Wednesdays

The status I saw was: “People being happy is ok but when you see an overabundance of posts going 'omg I’m sooo happy and life is gonna be awesome' then you know they're probably putting on a fake smile and not happy at all.”


She sucked down the eggnog like a man lost in the desert, hoping its therapeutic effects would take hold quickly. She stared absently at the tree, trying to look sentimental while avoiding their prying eyes. There were always so many questions edged with passive aggressive barbs.

They were intrigued and jealous at the same time, they thought she lived this glamorous life but the reality was far from it. It was an exhausting and lonely life, at times frightening. Hungry for all the details of her exotic, jet setting lifestyle, they never seemed to care about her. The real her. How she was doing, how she was feeling, what she missed out on.

They thought she was this big shot travel writer who gallivanted across the world on a never ending holiday. If they took the time to notice, took the time to care, they would realise it was an empty feeling perpetually living out of a suitcase, constantly feeling jetlagged and often fearing for your safety in foreign lands and alien cultures.

Realising she had been quiet for too long, she snapped her attention back to the pack of wolves that were her family. Right now thankful for the acting classes her mother had forced her to attend, she plastered a sickly smile across her face and began regaling them with a tale of her latest travels.

It was easier to give them what they wanted, what they expected rather than fight for the truth only to be told how ungrateful she was. How she wouldn’t even know or understand because she was too busy off seeing the world to comprehend what the rest of her family went through, stuck in this small town. It was easier to give in, after all it was Christmas…

I don’t necessarily agree with the status, but it was definitely excellent inspiration for a writing prompt. My other inspiration for this prompt is my ‘real life’ job. I write for a travel website and whenever I say this, people expect that I travel all over the place and get to write about it.

The reality is not so glamorous, I pretty much just re-write information currently available into a more casual, interesting and ‘salesy’ format. But it was easy to imagine what life could be like if my job was like what people think.

5 comments (+add yours?)

spring days, new growth said...

I like this! That sense of being misunderstood amongst those who are supposed to know you best is so familiar to many at Christmas. i love the "thankful for the acting classes"....

Kimberlee said...

Interesting. I think it is an interesting comparison to have small-town family and travel writing. There can be all kinds of conflict there.

Sarah said...

I kind of agree with the status. Much of what is put on Facebook is a projection of how people would like to be perceieved or how they would like their life to be.

This post captures that perfectly. Preserving the illusion while the really story is very different. It also captures as Kate said the way the people who should know you best sometimes dont really know you at all.

InkPaperPen said...

Well, as a person who has always romanticised the life of a travel writer, it was interesting to get another perspective. I like the little insight we get into her thoughts, and then the snap, back to duty, back to performing.

Isn't this is an interesting way to get writing prompts? So many strange but wonderful status updates out there!

No one said...

The grass is always greener, hey?

'She stared absently at the tree, trying to look sentimental while avoiding their prying eyes.'

This line gave me a bit of a giggle. I wasn't sure if you were trying to describe her as a likeable character or not. My gut reaction to her was to agree with the small town folk, her family. She seems very defensive and somewhat contemptuous. If this is what you were going for, you wrote it perfectly!

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