Last week I did something I don’t usually like to do. I posted a book review on Wednesday – the day I tend to post more craft- or writing life-related content.
Things like book reviews, awards, internet memes I try to keep to other days of the week. Especially because Wednesday is the day for this blog, ever since I decided slow blogging works for me.
But last week I didn’t, and now I feel guilty.
I had good reasons of course (it was the last day of the month to post an August review; no other content was readily available) but I still feel like I punted.
Social media is flexible, but sometimes that flexibility can bite you in the ass. That’s why we are told to have a blog, post regularly, and no matter what, don’t stop.
Other writers, far more successful in both blogging and publishing than me, like Elizabeth Spann Craig, Jody Hedlund, and Roni Loren have all talked about the demands of social media and ways they’ve balanced promotion, writing, family, and (gasp!) personal time.
Elizabeth Craig had a post today on this very topic, Juggling Social Media and Writing, about how she balances her social media demands, with some helpful tips we can all use.
Jody Hedlund also offers up some ways to protect your writing time in When Social Media Becomes a Time Suck. She also has examined the amount of involvement writers at all levels should have in How Much Time Should Writers Devote to Social Media? – I’m probably in the B-C range, based on her definitions.
Roni Loren uses blogging and other social media obligations as her version of Julia Cameron's morning pages. And in fact, this is often something I do too, where I’ll draft a blog post before starting my real writing or editing work for the day.
The good news -- there are ways to harness social media to your advantage and keep it from taking over your life completely. The bad new is social media will take as much energy as you give it and still want more from you. Which makes it that much harder to walk away from it sometimes.
If I’m feeling the pressure now, I can only imagine how it will increase if/when I transition from an apprenticing to a professional writer. When platform building transitions into promotion. And what of the spread of social media outlets? Facebook and blogs, and Twitter and Tumblr, and then Goodreads, and now Google+… There’s pressure to have some sort of presence on all these sites (and more still to come). When will enough be enough?
I still feel guilty -- about something that means only as much as I’m willing to let it, as much as I’m willing to buy into it. I think this dynamic is worth puzzling out – but that’s a post for another day.
What ways have you found to banish social media guilt? How do you balance your social media demands?