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Twitter & Missing Out

This year has been a difficult one in a lot of ways, but a busy (in a mostly good way) one, too. Which means I haven’t spent endless hours scrolling through Twitter like I used to.

Gratuitous autumnal Allegany State Park shot of a beaver swimming toward me.
Gratuitous autumnal Allegany State Park shot of a swimming beaver.

This is definitely not an anti-Twitter post – I am so grateful for what it’s made possible! I’ve met so many amazing writer friends and critique partners through Twitter, through contests and writing groups. In fact, I think I’ve met all of my CPs, past and present, through Twitter one way or another.

And the supportive writing community is immense. How encouraging is it to know, as a writer, you can peruse Twitter at any hour of the day or night and find others around the world also writing, editing, struggling with a draft, and celebrating over a finished scene? Even if you’re not interacting personally, hashtags like #amwriting or #amediting or any of the thousands of writing groups out there are such an unbelievable source of encouragement we’re privileged to have access to right now.

However.

Because this has been a really crazy year for me, and because I’ve committed to accomplishing more this year than in years past, I’ve not spent time on TweetDeck and kept up with the fifteen columns I have on there like before. I check in maybe once a day, sometimes once a week, and have a look at my top three lists for a minute, and that’s it. Occasionally I spend more than a minute – just now I scrolled around for about five, and instead of feeling enlightened about whatever topics are being discussed or who ate what for lunch, I felt like I was missing out.

This post is basically me having a stern talk with myself.

It’s not just that I’ve not had time therefore I’m missing all the info-sharing and friendly banter . . .  that’s been a constant for the past year for me. I also felt I was missing out because everyone on Twitter is telling me the good stuff – their book deals, their agent signings, their book tours, their awards, their cover reveals.

I want to keep up with it all, and I want to celebrate with them, but if I don’t religiously check in, I’m sure to miss tons of this news, and by the time I see it, I feel like a jerk for not having commented sooner. And yes, I do feel the temptation to compare where I’m at with their fabulous news. But I just can’t. Life is too short. Life’s too short to spend all of it on social media – but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. When I do check in, I love seeing what’s making people laugh and what people are excited about. It’s the greatest way to be involved and encouraging and encouraged without even leaving the house, and sometimes, you just can’t.

This is everyone on Twitter celebrating all the good stuff.
This is everyone on Twitter celebrating all the good stuff.

 

This is me.
This is me.

But everyone’s day is different, everyone has different priorities, and if it’s a choice between spending 6 hours editing my current manuscript, getting to the gym, and having dinner with my husband and maybe meeting up with a friend, or being online throughout the day but not meeting my work goals, I have to choose the former.

I wish I had an extra hour a day to spend solely on the long-distance, never-ending conversation. Especially as one who has emigrated from her home country to a new one. The vast majority of my friends are still in the U.S., and I have to be online to be in touch with them. But that’s the struggle (if it’s a struggle – I think it’s also a blessing that we’re *able* to keep in touch across such distance in such an immediate way) that comes with moving around in the world.

All this to say, if you’re anything like me and maybe you’ve been choosing to spend more time on your own work, and on your immediate circumstances, it’s okay to do that, and to not feel guilty. I envy people who seem to be able to do it ALL: get the agent, the book deal, write and edit all day, go to workout classes, spend time with their families and friends, AND get online and have a massive community around them to engage with – daily.

Until I figure out how to fit all that plus sleep and me-time into 24 hours, I have to accept that there are choices to make, and most days – until I get the book deal and need to be promoting, that is (*heh*) – I need to mostly focus on the immediate work in front of me.

Second gratuitous autumnal Allegany State Park shot.
Second gratuitous autumnal Allegany State Park shot.

I know I need to make more time for the online relationships I’ve been grateful to be part of. I certainly don’t want to lose them! But I think social media stress is A THING, and finding that balance between nurturing relationships vs. living solely online and slashing productivity is a real challenge.

If you have any suggestions or tips on how to balance this stuff, feel free to share! 🙂 Until next time x

 

 

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Version 2

May Motivation

Straight ahead, people. That’s what I’m talking about!

Hello!

So I meant to actually do this yesterday, but wedding preparations (and avoidance of related chaos) stole another evening away from me. In 3 weeks, I will be Mrs. Campbell, and while most plans are in place, of course last minute things . . . happen. Anyhow, onwards and upwards!

I recently stumbled across the #Writemotivation group & hashtag on Twitter. I haven’t a lot of experience with hashtags, although I use #WIP, #amwriting, and #amediting from time to time, to check in on others doing the same. But #Writemotivation . . . It has the word “motivation” in it, and while I’m dedicated to my purpose of writing, as the thing that excites me and the only activity I do where I don’t feel like I should be doing something else, I am also a terrible procrastinator, and additional motivation is most welcome!

So I discovered K.T. Hanna’s #Writemotivation group just days before the May Roll Call, which I managed to get in on, and I’m still feeling my way around a bit but I’m really intrigued. Everyone’s been so welcoming and friendly on Twitter already, and I’ve hardly said more than a few words so far.

Here’s what I publicly declared I would aim to achieve this month:

1) Rework few small sections of 1st novel based on recent feedback.
2) WIP: finish 2nd draft of first 7 chapters.
3) WIP: finish outline.
4) WIP: write 3 more chapters.

What’s that you say? I’m getting married in 3 weeks and I’m crazy for attempting to get all that done? Yeah. But the thing is, April, while the coldest April in the UK on record in the past 100 years (and also the dreariest, I would wager), it was the least productive for me in the writing realm in months because of all this wedding stuff. So now that the plans are finished, I’m determined to get as much of the above done as possible! Even if I’m doing some work on the honeymoon . . . 😀

My fantasy WIP that I’ve been excited to write for over a year now needs completion. I’ve had the idea and characters hanging around and have a half-finished draft, so now it’s time to kick it into high gear and get one draft completed, whether it’s utter rubbish or not 😉 Just to get it done. Nano helped a great deal with that, but I spent so many words just trying to puzzle together some semblance of a plot that I now need to revisit them and finish the second half.

Time will tell, but I’m getting around to following all those listed in the May #Writemotivation Roll Call on Twitter and their blogs, and hoping to get to my cheerleading duties in the next few days. In the meantime, thank you for stopping by, thank you for cheering me on, and just knowing you’re out there working hard on your own writing is motivation for me. 🙂

Happy Wednesday, and keep it up!

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