Monday, August 22, 2011
Social Media as Addiction
Hi. I'm Sue, and I'm a (recovering) Social Media Addict.
Instant gratification, the incessent pull, the warm, fuzzy connection with real, live human beings who understand your writerlyness ... all without leaving your house? Seriously, it's a wonder more people aren't hooked on the social media drug. But don't get me wrong - I LOVE social media and connecting with people and sharing with other writers. I just love it a little too much. And then there's that whole thing where writers are told You must have a platform and You need to build a network and Who is your tribe? All of which is varying shades of actual importance, but misses the most important thing.
I am a writer.
I did some soul-searching and fear-confronting and found that the most important things to me were: 1) my family and 2) writing. The time for those things needed to be sacred, and everything else had to come after.
Just like losing weight and exercising, this is a lot easier to proclaim your intention than to put into practice.
Things are changing quickly in the publishing world, and social media is going to continue to play an important role in people's lives, as well as in the publishing world. (See my Notes from the E-Revolution series for some of the latest goings on). I want to be a part of it, but even more than ever, writing is the thing that makes the difference in a successful author's career - writing quality, writing consistency, writing production. These things are only possible with a singular focus on butt-in-chair time and constantly pushing one's self forward in learning the craft.
Social Media Standard Operating Procedures
I've been reading a lot of non-fiction e-books lately about Author Branding and the Self-Publishing Revolution, but Bob Mayer's Write It Forward finally put all of it in perspective for me. Among many other things (like confronting your fears), he suggested writing a social media Standard Operating Procedure, so that you control your social media usage, rather than the other way around. Of course I didn't have a SOP for social media, so I wrote some. It didn't take too long, but definitely put things in perspective for me. My SOP say things like, Use a Timer, and No Checking During Writing Time, as well as a list of places I want to make sure I visit and participate in (like this one). They also forced me to think about what kind of interactions I was seeking on Twitter, Facebook, Kindle Boards, and all the others. If you find social media adversely impacting your writing time, I highly recommend an SOP to help you focus.
Which is not as easy as it seems.
I have 18 minutes left on my timer. I think I'll stop by Twitter and chat with some tweeps a bit, find a couple cool blog posts to RT, and then pop by Google+ to see what's new and cool there. Plus I need to tweet, facebook, and Google+ my own blog posting today, where I'm recommending a friend's awesome self-published Christmas book (Rick Daley's The Man in the Cinder Clouds).
That will probably use up all my time, after which I will shut down my browser and write. No email checking. No twitter updates. Just a solid chunk of quality time with me and my WiP.
Because I'm a writer.
Do you find your social media usage changing?
Posted by Susan Kaye Quinn at 6:00 AM