Thursday, May 15, 2014

Social media--blessing or curse?

Social media. Is it a blessing or a curse? I'm not sure if it's either. Actually, it depends on how you look at it and really how you use it. At one point, my journey towards publication relied on it. I craved it. I looked forward to it--everyday. It was a community for me. I can't say it's entirely bad. I've made a ton of connections and friends to which I'm so so grateful for.  I've learned tons and tons. And have gotten so much support from many folks I've never met. A blessing. Plus, you can find anything you need without leaving your house--research. Bonus.

On the other hand, social media can bring you down. For a few years, I was on it a lot and what I began to realize is social media became more like a cursed object. So much information was thrown at me I didn't know what to process. It awoke some things in me. My depression demons would whisper negative thoughts into my head. It brought me down. Way down. I would compare myself and see tons of things happening to others and nothing was happening in my corner of the world. What was wrong with me? Could I not learn? Or even keep up?  I became numb and distant. I was angry at writing when it should make me happy. I got frustrated and fed up. I pushed myself but what I was writing was forced and not thought through. I wasn't enjoying it. Any of it. I wanted something, badly, and I was so caught up in social media, I couldn't focus on me. It definitely held me back. It created a mindset that spiraled me backwards. Confidence dropped and I felt that I was so below everyone, I'm never going to get there.

So what happened. I stopped. I stopped blogging, I limited my FB time, twitter time and all around email. I stopped checking my email every five seconds for responses from agents. I didn't want that to rule my life. I can't control what they want so I shut it off. It can be a distraction and overwhelming. I wanted to keep up but I kept putting myself below everyone because I wasn't there. Why would I be accepted if I'm just a writer? Bad thoughts from not so nice demons. Once I limited things, the weight on my shoulders started to lift. I stepped back and instead of trying to keep up with everyone else, I'm only trying to please myself. It's okay to say no and it's okay to take your time. It's okay to limit things, and guess what, it's okay shut it off for a while. The whole world doesn't need to know every single thing you do. You're writing. That what counts. You're thinking about how to change a problem child in your story. That counts too. There's nothing to keep up with only with yourself.

So where am I now. Still querying and not trying to think about it too much. I'm also revising my fourth novel and prepping it to query one day. And writing my fifth novel. Keeping busy and keeping me happy. I've decided to take my time with this next manuscript and see where it goes. I write because it helps me escape and one day I would love to share it with others, but I need to think clearly and move forward with out looking back and to the side.

I think in the end, social media is what you make it. I think you have to decide the best way to use it and focus on it. I think for the longest time, I did, but got lost, and now, I'm jumping back on the tracks and moving forward.

Hope everyone is well!

What are you working on?

Have a great day!!

6 comments:

  1. We can let it consume us or we can work it to our advantage.
    I'm stepping back a bit so I can complete my next manuscript. Naturally I got Blitzed this week and am still working on returning comments...

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  2. I'm revising my 7th novel and starting to think about the dreaded query letter. I actually took the month of December off from blogging to work on it, which worked out well.

    Glad you're still writing :)

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  3. Christine, right now, I come home from school every day and get sucked into something -- whether its social media, a writing MUST-DO, answering emails, or whatever. I hope that when I hang up the teaching cap and retire, I can find a way to balance social media so that I get the benefit (the community, the pick-me-up, the information) without the detriments (time suck, envy, soul-crushing negativity).

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  4. It's always a good idea to take a step back when social media harms rather than helps and drains rather than feeds. I find that my involvement ebbs and flows. More often than not, I step away for periods when I find it has become a handy procrastination tool. :-D

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  5. It sounds like you've achieved an optimal balance with your social networking. I'm not there yet, but I think I'm close! :)

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  6. I can completely relate. I got sucked into social media at first. I tried to read everything and my writing suffered. Now I have a better balance.

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