Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Stop! Smell those flowers!

I watched a news report on TV recently where a group of teenagers agreed to switch off their mobile phones and not use social media for two weeks. For some it was complete torture and most didn't last the course. Even those with the best intentions gave in before the fortnight was up. The reason they gave for abandoning the challenge was their anxiety at not being 'in the loop' about what was happening amongst their peers.

What I found disquieting was one girl who said she hadn't known what to do with the time she'd freed up! On a more positive note (though still with worrying implications), another said she'd finally got around to reading a book she'd not had time to do so before, because ordinarily she'd be texting or interacting on Facebook.

Writers, especially indie-writers, can become similarly focused with creating their author platform, marketing and social networking, and it's easy to get carried away with the need to be 'out there' at every opportunity. Plenty has been written about the way it can consume time and take over your life.

An article by Joshua Graham on Jan Friedman's blog advocates lists as a way of keeping control and several writers on Ann Marie Meyer's blog give their own suggestions.

Linda Gillard, in her interview on the Alliance of Independent Authors' blog goes so far as to say, "No thanks, I'd rather be writing!" Though she's not completely without an online presence, with a website and her Facebook author page. Read what she says, here.

So by all means get those lists sorted and set your social media priorities but, as the precious and fleeting spring blooms lift their heads, don't forget to give yourself time to "stop and smell
 the flowers!"

The 'Primrose Path' in my garden