Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two social media steps forward . . .

I've been absent.

And yet, I've been more present.  

Yes, I have limited my Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Twitter, OhMyGodMakeItStop time because I had this sinking suspision it was, how shall I put this, making me a crazy person.

And it was.

The first week of school came and went and right about when I should have begun to regain control of my house, my life, I felt like my head was about to explode.  Why?  Because I was coming off the BlogHer conference where I learned I needed to post to my blog page at least 3 times a week if not 3 times a day.  Because I attended a really insightful SEO workshop that suggested I craft great blog photos to later post on Pinterest throughout the day and to different groups (note: I don't participate in any Pinterest groups and my photos are so-so at best).  On top of all this, I decided that a.) I needed to invest in my freelance career so I signed up for 2 freelance services - one that helps you find work and connect with other freelance writers and one that helps you understand the market.  Then I went behind my own back and started doubting this line of thought.  I sent my resume out for part-time PR work.  Yeah, but that's not the crazy.  The crazy is when I pulled my applications from said businesses because I wanted to a.) work on my freelance writing career and b.) finish my damn MFA thesis!  Oh and those two services that I paid for . . . I hadn't visited either website in weeks.  I was too overwhelmed.

At this point, I took a giant leap back and surveyed the damage:  I was a complete mess.

If I was going to get anything done, whether it was writing for publication or writing my damn thesis or even performing well at a job, I needed to invest time and focus to it, whatever it turned out to be.

So I clocked out of Facebook and Twitter and OhMyGodMakeItStop status updates.

Know what?  I felt invigorated!

The week after I renegged on the job applications, I wrote my first article for a local online publication (I now have 3 more assignments). I also started putting in 4-5 consecutive hours on my thesis (and finished the first draft, which I sent off to my mentor).

Suck on that social media.

I'm not saying that I'll never participate in the sharing and tagging and threading again, but I've scaled waaaaaaaay back.  I check in for a few minutes a day, maybe post a photo or an update, but I'm not chained to it.  I'm not a huge fan of Twitter or Instagram, so I barely log in.  Pinterest, that's another story.  I like my pictures.  Plus, it actually helps me plan projects and gift-giving.  And it's relaxing.  And ocassionally there are hilarious photos that make my day.  That's a huge difference from feeling obligated to comment on every friend's baby photo (and don't get me wrong, they ARE cute).

None of this is revolutionary, I realize that.  But instead of pinning photos of quiet places where I'd love to drink a cup of coffee or tea if only I had time away from the computer, I'm now actually having a cup of coffee or tea and enjoying the quiet space in my brain.  I may even invite you to join me to sit down and relax sometime.