Sunday, April 13, 2014

Social Media Sundays

Writing to create a novel and writing for social media are two different animals.

Working on my novel requires solitude and silence. I write when the kids are at school and my husband is at work. There is no television, no radio, no interruptions other than an occasional meow from the cat. There is no one standing behind my chair asking for the last Chobani yogurt or to know where I hid their tablet.

The work of writing requires that I get lost in the story. It doesn’t happen only inside my head, but I feel the story happening everywhere within me. It’s like a movie on the big screen in a dark theater, all my senses are focused on the unfolding story. Trying to watch a movie while other people continually talk and interrupt is frustrating. For me, it is worse to be interrupted in the middle writing. If I can’t be assured of silence, I don’t even try to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, stepping out of my writing cocoon of silence does not stop me from thinking about the storyline. I welcome the time of day when I have to close Scrivener and head out to pick up the kids from school. I love being completely immersed in a storyline and then stepping out of it to see it from afar. Writing happens in the background of everything I do.

Social media isn’t so focus intensive. As long as no one is wrong on the internet, because I sometimes make futile efforts to argue with them, I can usually type out a post or two with a room full of chaos around me. If the post needs introspection, I can manage to find a few minutes of quiet time to complete it.

If I have too much time to spend on social media, I tend to over think it and agonize over every word on twitter. That isn’t how social media works best. It is thoughtful, real, and in the moment. It is the perfect thing to do in the center of chaos.

By Sunday, I am craving time to write my story. I have two or three scenes that I have plotted out in my head and I need to get them down. But, the chaos doesn’t allow it. So, I use the little windows of relaxation time to write small entries, words, and sentences to share with my friends and followers. It fills the need to write. It fulfills my obligation to be present in social media. It gives me a chance to connect with people with whom I can relate.

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” -M. Scott Peck