I am supposed to be on hiatus still, but I was struck by a number of posts I read this week and wanted to share them with you guys.
The first was by blogger Jonathan Fields and talked about hyperconnectivity being creative kryptonite. For me, the two most important takeaways that have been reverberating for a week now were these:
But when we fill in all the organic in-betweens with texting, e-mailing, DMing and updating, we unintentionally kill the a critical step in the ideation process—percolation and contemplation—and along with it go creativity, innovation and despite your opposite intention, productivity.
Hyperconnectivity gives us the perception of getting more done, it makes us feel like we’re doing more, because we’re using every free moment of every waking hour.
But the entire article is hugely worth reading. Check it out and see how it resonates with you.
This was followed by a fascinating experiment I read about conducted by author Monica Valentinelli, who signed off Twitter, FB, and IM, for a full 100 days. What made this experiment even so compelling was that she had a new book coming out during that time.
The results were fascinating. Again, you should really go read about the entire experiment, but here's a snippet:
The new release that I had hit a sales milestone on the retailer’s website, I continued to sell copies of my e-book, and I sold new stories. In terms of “success,” I encountered zero difference between being online-or-off.And:
MY CONCLUSION: Good content is more valuable to a writer’s career than social interaction.
And then you know how it is, when something really sticks in your mind, you start seeing reinforcement everywhere. Late in the week I came across this most excellent blog post by Allison Brennan on the unrealistic pressures associated with social media.
One of the things I thought she said, but I can't find it now so maybe it was someone in the comment section, was that at RWA National, a panel of editors was asked if they would rather have an author who was able to write three books a year, but not have time for social media, or an author who wrote fewer books a year but was highly active on social media. Three out of four preferred the former.
(Also, it’s not just writers who get sucked into this vortex, singer songwriter John Mayer had some eye-opening things to say about his own experiences with social media, and what it cost him creatively.)
So what about you? If you use social media to unwind after a productive day, much like a glass of wine after work, that’s different and probably nothing in this post applies to you.
But if you’re chasing the social media/blogging brass ring with a sense of panic of nipping at your heels, then maybe you need to reassess. What could you accomplish creatively if you weren’t chasing the social media brass ring?
Does using social media dilute your need to communicate through your work? Is it interrupting the big chunks of percolating and fermenting time your work needs? Is it recalibrating your attention span?
Food for thought, anyway…
And now for the fun stuff! We have TWO winners for last weeks post because Deborah and Wiley & Sons are just that awesome. And the winners are...#20 and #18*! TheArtGirl and LauraC! Please email me** so I can get your prize out to you.
* (As chosen by Random Number Generator)
**(Note, if the prizes aren't claimed within a week I will draw a second round of names.)