Social media sucks the life out of me. I was going along just fine, writing my book on my typewriter, minding my own business…
Then bam! I read an article by Jerry Jenkins about the importance of self promotion via social media if a writer realistically wants to get published. This made sense to me. The publisher would logically want to ensure the writer has a voice and platform. So I started blogging - again. When I went to get this blog started up, I noticed an old blog I used to run, Lead Yo Fam, still has some decent traffic, though I hadn’t posted to it in several years.
I had this brilliant idea. Why not just run two blogs!
Plus, you have to support the blogs if you want anyone to ever see them. You have to create social networks. So I started a twitter page, an instagram page, and a facebook page.
Then after doing it for a week, I started feeling that oh familiar tightness in my neck and shoulders. I couldn’t focus on conversations, or the people I love. I simply started feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility to build up my networks as quickly as possible.
On another wave of thinking, I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs about the importance of story structure, the importance of outlining your story. Wanting to be a good writer, I went right along with what I was reading. I stopped being a “pantser” and started trying to outline. Whenever I went to the typewriter to bust out another chapter, I’ve been overwhelmed with guilt about not doing it “right”. I’ve felt like my stuff will never be worth reading if I don’t do it the way everyone is saying I need to. I’ve been completely ignoring the fact that the stuff I had written up to that point had been created without an outline, and I am really happy it - in a rough draft kind of way.
I’m no fool, at least I pretend not to be one. I am the kind of person who loves finding information and putting it into practice. However, I’m starting to think my process might just be different than other people. I’ve never been the kind of person who is a good planner, per se. I’ve always been especially good at simply “feeling” where to go and going there, especially when it comes to art.
In my academic papers, believe it or not, I’ve never been able to successfully use outlines. I just start talking, then add research on the topic from one angle, then a little more from a different angle. Then I see where it points; that’s the thesis statement. I know I’m weird, right? It’s worked though, I have two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree. My G.P.A. wasn’t been too shabby either.
I’ve been taking this week sort of half off to reorient myself. I know all of the aforementioned subjects are important. I know story structure is completely vital, especially in the Thriller genre (the one I am using for my writing). However, maybe I can achieve this - nay, need to achieve this in a different way than other people. I’m trying to find balance with the need to market and network and simply living life and doing the things I love.
Have you ever wrestled with these problems? What were some of the solutions you found, or is it a problem for which you have found no solutions to date?