Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rethinking Social Media Time for Creatives

By Suzy Leopold

How are you doing with social media [SM] during these unprecedented times?

Is SM supporting your reading, writing, and creating goals? For many creatives, SM can be a distraction as one attempts to stay informed with issues and concerns during a global pandemic and a call for kindness and respect for all.

I notice when I step back from social media for short, frequent pauses I find more time to do what matters to me. I’m not planning on giving up on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts completely. However, I’ve found these social media breaks impact my life in positive ways, including more reading, more writing, more creating, and most importantly more family time. I am thankful for the connections I’ve made with like minded writers I’ve met online, from trusted critique partners to friendships. 

Taking conscious SM breaks provides more headspace for creativity to show up in new ways.
I picked these flowers for you!

Social media and smartphone use are destroying attention span.

We’ve become a distracted world. Research shows our attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. Research shows our attention span is becoming less. Check out the research in this info gram:

We are interrupted by notifications, reminders, and alerts almost all day long.

Often we interrupt ourselves to quickly check email messages, Facebook posts, create a tweet on Twitter, and/or scroll through Instagram. “Just checking in” derails deep, concentrated creative work and usually extends longer than just a five to ten minute quick look.

The human brain needs twenty minutes to resume and get back on task after a distraction.

As a writer, having an online presence somewhere is important for followers and a reading audience. However, one doesn’t need to be everywhere, all of the time on line.

Social media impacts our creativity in positive and negative ways.

Social media and searching the Internet can spark creativity. There are valuable emails to read, blogs to learn from, and FB posts written by like minded creatives. Many of these posts share information, inspiration, and encouragement for readers, writers, and creators.

These online communities can push your creative boundaries. However, there needs to be a balance. Spending too much time on SM can derail your goals.

The Internet and social media offer resources to writers and illustrators and can be an excellent tool.

There may be times to step away from online communities and engage with people in your community to bring fresh ideas that you won’t find on your FB feed.

Talking and reading about writing are not the same as actual writing.

“Social media groups for writers practically beg us to talk about our work, and it’s easy to spend our designated writing time talking about writing instead of actually writing. It’s important that we balance our desire to connect online with our need to guard our work time.”
Jess Townes, Co-Regional Advisor for the Kansas-Missouri SCBWI

Revisit the SMART goals you created at the beginning of the year. Make adjustments if need be. Push your writing to the next level.

For more information about goals click SMART goals. An additional post can be found by clicking more SMART goals.

I picked some more flowers for you

“Don’t wait, write. Take an hour a week, or twenty minutes a day. Or a four day retreat. If writing is something you love to do, then just do it. Plain and simple. You can do it. Don’t wait, write.”
Amanda Zieba, Children’s Book Author

Balance your desire to connect online with your need to set aside valuable time to read, write, and create.


In the comments below share a tip about how you balance your creative time with social media time to be eligible for the giveaway. If you follow the instructions, I’ll put your name in a hat and draw two winners. Each winner will receive a hand crafted bookmark painted with watercolors. U. S. Mail only.

The two lucky winners will be announced on the next GROG Blog on July 22nd. Good luck!

23 comments:

  1. After spending a half hour creating a FB book giveaway for my upcoming book...yeah. I was drawn to this blog post! Even...or especially while marketing my upcoming three books, I need to be intentional to pull back and make time to WRITE!

    The bookmarks are lovely! Maybe I'll even get to see one up close! :)

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    1. Annette: Social media certainly has its pros and cons for writers. I certainly agree. It’s important to make intentional decisions.

      Do hope the time spent on your FB giveaway is successful. All the best with your three upcoming books: THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, THE LAURA INGALLS WILDER COMPANION, and ABOUT OWLS.

      Thank you for the compliment about the bookmarks. Good luck with the drawing!

      Delete
  2. Wise advice, Suzy. I need to do more actual WRITING. Thank you for the post and as always, your lovely flowers!

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    1. Just a friendly reminder for writers to understand one does not need to be everywhere all of the time on SM.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed the flowers.

      Thank you for sharing this post on SM.

      Delete
  3. I have been thinking about this very topic. I have found something as simple as leaving my phone in the other room gives me more creative time at the table. Thanks!

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    1. Your idea, Debbie, is excellent.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Good luck with the giveaway.

      Delete
    2. Your tip to leave a cell phone in another room is brilliant, Debbie.

      Good luck with the giveaway.

      Delete
  4. Great post! Yes...distracted...and it takes so long to get the train back on the track!

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    1. The research is interesting . . . During 2002 an attention span was twelve seconds. In 2015, it dropped significantly to 8.25 seconds. I wonder what that looks like in 2020.

      Thank you for your comment, Angie.

      Delete
  5. I so agree with you! I get distracted with all the connections and posts I SHOULD be creating, instead of spending more time writing and editing! So, although I am on six social media platforms, I post only on 2-3. As for perusing my social media, I dedicate 45 minutes at the end of the day to catch up and repost/comment on things I am passionate about. Thanks for the flowers, Suzy!☺️

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    1. My pleasure to share flowers with you, Jarm.

      Your suggestion to allot a specific amount of time for SM is excellent.

      Delete
  6. Wow! So much truth in the post. Thank you!

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    1. You are welcome, Jean.

      Thank you for reading the GROG blog today. Your comment is appreciated.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for this post Suzy. I've been struggling with balancing all the media and my creative time. I have days where I just walk away from it all. Your flowers are beautiful and so are you. Thank you for this restful moment to reflect.

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    1. Hi, Charlotte! Walking away is a good idea. I, too, have experienced days like that.

      Your kind words warm my heart.

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  8. Thanks for this post, Suzy! I, too, have found that leaving my phone in another room and turning off alerts keeps me writing instead of scrolling. This pandemic is giving us some valuable time to create--let's be sure we're using it!

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    1. Julie: As the saying goes, “Out of sight; out of mind”. Turning off alerts is key.

      For some, the concerns of the global pandemic stifles creativity, making it difficult to read, write, and create.

      I’m thankful for the many online opportunities, including the SCBWI digital events.


      Delete
  9. Suzy, you hit the nail on the head and shared what many of us are feeling. This is a good reminder that balance is key. Thank you!

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  10. CEEcrets is the best Secret sharing social media App. It is anonymous group App for interacting secrets in a group.

    ReplyDelete