I’d like to start this post with a quote from my favorite musician, role model and all-around refreshing fella, David Archuleta:
“You may end at the same destination whether you fail or smooth sail the whole time, but something about pushing through and fighting the good fight makes the entire journey all worth it–perhaps even greater than the destination itself that you were moving towards.” (Social Media Break, 2/6/15)
I did some thinking last night. You see, after eating too fast during dinner, I had briefly gotten sick. For fifteen minutes, I put the tablet down. I put the phone down. Focusing on my breathing and the washcloth on my forehead.
It’s strange that in those moments, I feel grateful to not be looking at a screen. One other time I had commented about social media in trying to distance myself from it. Recently I took Twitter off my phone for a couple of days. I understand the need to be connected to your fellow writers, groups you follow and readers you will have one day.
But do we really need to be “on” 24/7? Do we really need to keep looking at these screens on our phones, laptops, iPads, whatever we have a couple hours a day so we don’t fall behind or feel “out of touch” with whatever news or trend is going on that very day?
Since this past year, my dad has been watching CNN. I too have watched a few hours a day.
But was I happy? Not really. In fact, time I should have spent writing was put towards these games on my tablet that aren’t the end of the world if I don’t reach a certain goal that very same day. Time was focused on the current political atmosphere with so many opinions, thoughts, beliefs and so on. Books on writing, books on my to read list whether physical or Ebook, untouched on my writing shelf or tablet.
I shared the quote that I did at the beginning of this post because David himself was discussing a social media break. He too was feeling overwhelmed by the opinions everyone seemed to have about his music career, his personal life, etc. Who could really blame the guy! If I were him, I would have felt the same.
Not every path we take will be smooth. A lot of the time they are messy, bumpy and even an absolute nightmare that you feel you will never get out of. But there are things left undone. Things that should be accomplished, needs that should be met.
Instead of saying “I know I shouldn’t be on this phone for so many hours”, if you can, just do it. Turn it off for half an hour if possible. Remember what is around you. For us writers, it’s remembering our books to read, our writing guide books and even our pens and papers.
Being a writer can be difficult no matter your experience. That doesn’t mean you should give up. Today, I had that wake-up call I was waiting for. I just had to take, and make, that first step.
Social media is great for our writing platforms, but it shouldn’t be everything. Don’t beat yourself up if old habits come back. You can try again.
In the end, it will be worth it.