I’m a huge fan of Big Think, and I click through to read almost all their posts. This one about Powering Up Your Brain nudged me a little further down a thought-path I’ve been treading for a while: what can I do to foster my creativity and boost my writerly productivity?
I’ve tried setting word-count goals and doing early-morning free writing and playing with short story lengths and dozens of other “techniques” to feel around the edges of my writer production. Since I fancy making writing my career from here on out, figuring out my own methods for writerly production is much more than an idle goal.
How does this relate to Social Media?
The Power of Social Media – Connection
Being connected isn’t a requirement in today’s world, but I think the benefits can be enormous. I can’t even count the lessons I’ve learned, opportunities I’ve garnered, and rewarding friendships I’ve made, being a part of the connected world of social media. Two examples from just this last week:
These things simply wouldn’t happen if I didn’t invest time in being connected.
Collaboration helps us adopt smarter, more creative solutions in
less time than it would if we attacked every problem in isolation. That’s why
(Princeton Neuroscientist Sam) Wang believes that one of the best ways to
confront a tough task is to cross paths with colleagues.
The Danger of Social Media
The problem, of course, is that you can’t spend all your time hanging out by the virtual water cooler with your friends. I love the Indelibles, but sometimes the email barrage can be overwhelming. I’m a regular hanger-on at the Kindle Boards, but the lure of hanging out there can easily soak up all my writing time, especially in the summer when there is precious little of it.
Then there’s the addictive nature of social media, when you start habitually checking your sites for updates and information. When checking your email and updating your FB status becomes not just something that you make time for, but something that’s so ingrained in your life that you start to get the shakes when you don’t have access to WiFi (and by “you” here, I mean “me” and “OMG what is my problem, it’s just FB, I can live without it, really!”)
Forget about balancing work and life, balancing sociability and productivity is the new “life challenge” of the 21st century – and those who find a balance that works for them will be more successful than those who don’t.
In that spirit, I’m taking a two week break from the interwebs – partly to prove to myself that I can do it (!), partly because I want to enjoy the summer with my kids before it escapes into the fall, and partly to have less distraction from my writing (and see what the effect is on my writer production). It’s an experiment! 🙂 But hopefully, unplugging will help me to find that elusive balance that will keep me in the game for the long haul.
Wish me luck!
p.s. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves in the comments – I’ll be off-line by the time this posts.