Is your creative mind suffering from social media overload like mine is?

Every morning when I wake up, my brain is spinning with eager ideas and thoughts, and I want to sit down and write, but … first, I have to get the exercise out of the way so I don’t turn into a desk potato with vanishing muscle mass and blooming flab. Next I turn to my author social media platform: answering e-mails, reading posts on Blogs that I follow and maybe leaving comments, getting my Twitter obligations out of the way, etc.

I know for a fact that if I start writing on my next book project or work on a Blog post, I’m not going to keep up with my social media platform.

By the time I’m done, hours often slip and that idea generating eagerness I woke up with seems to have fled into hiding.

For instance, today, I was up at 7:00 AM and started with Twitter, as usual. During my Twitter visit, I retweeted eighty-five tweets for others and fifteen of my own.  That might sound simple, but I also spent time reading Blog posts on someone else’s Blog that I then support by sharing that post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.  I think I must have read about 10 – 15 posts this morning, and I am having a longer conversation with the host of one of those blog posts.

That’s why—as I leave the Social Media interaction behind and start writing this post—the clock struck noon after I had been on Twitter (etc.) for FIVE hours. I have two screens, and when I’m in Social Media mode, one has Twitter on it and the other usually has a Blog post I’m reading on someone else’s blog.

I haven’t written one sentence for my next book project since last Wednesday. In fact, I start a lot of post ideas when an idea blooms, but never finish them because I allow myself to be sidetracked back to that Social Media platform.  After all, someone might have left me a comment.

What about you—do you find your writing goals hijacked by the magnet of Social Media?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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13 responses to “Is your creative mind suffering from social media overload like mine is?”

  1. Hey, Lloyd! So relate to this. I have gone back and forth in my routines, but finally committed to writing first thing in the morning no matter what. It’s when I’m in the best frame of mind to be creative, and that way I’m sure to spend time on what matters most. Then I do social media immediately afterwards. I’m a freelancer, so that means starting my projects later in the day than I might like, but so far it’s working okay. I also try to stick to time limits on social media–not always easy! Thanks for this post. :O)

    1. I may have to reprogram myself to break the routine—the rut—I’ve fallen into and do the same thing you are doing. I don’t see any other way to get more work done on my next book.

      1. Colleen and Lloyd, I think you might be right. It would be best to writing early in the morning when the creative juices are flowing at their peak. Social media doesn’t demand the same concentration that good writing does, so it makes sense to write during the peak period of one’s day.

        1. And it’s working. After Colleen’s comment, I changed my routine so I had morning time to write on a new blog post or to work on my next book, and it is more productive than waiting until late in the afternoon or early evening when the energy and drive to write feels gone and then forced.

  2. Yes! I too suffer from Socialmediaitis.

  3. Absolutely, Lloyd! I try to get all of my US-based social media obligations (and it does feel like an obligation sometimes…!) before starting my 8-hour working day, then blitz through the Aussie social media at lunchtime. Then by the time I’ve got home, walked the dog, it’s 8:45pm before I sit down to write. And by this time, the next batch of Twitter and Facebook posts are coming out from Europe! We determined authors need marketing assistants for this 24*7 world!!

    1. You must be much younger than I am to sit down and write around 8:45 PM.

      When I was teaching—and much younger—I often got up at 3 AM to write for a couple of hours (then went to work), but these days by 8 PM, I feel drained and brain dead. Not yet ready to sleep, I end up watching DVDs (can’t stand commercial TV). I’m working my way through the 7-season series of “True Blood” but I never start until after 8 PM.

  4. I go through this too often and lately having been blocking time specifically for writing. Although I use two screens at work (I’m an engineer), having a second one at home would be too tempting to leave twitter open on it. Try leaving the second one open to google or some research site?

    1. “have been” not having been… darn autocorrect

      1. Yep, I agree—darn autocorrect. It’s happened to me too.

    2. I don’t always have Twitter open on one of the screen—just when I’m on Twitter and it’s hard to say how long because I mix what I’m doing between reading posts on other Blogs and then working on Twitter.

  5. Yes, i do. I feel just like you.
    When I wrote my first book, I just worried about writing, but now I have so many other things to do, that I have less time to write my second book. Unfortunately, unless you have an agent and a leading publisher, I guess you have to do it all yourself.
    But I’m having fun on my journey. There’s no rush. It’s not a race, for me it’s a wonderful learing process 🙂

    1. Not working on my next book project for days at a time, does bother me, but I still enjoy a lot of what I’m doing with social media. It’s a mixed bag. If there was a way to give up sleep and stay healthy, then we might be able to have it all—the writing and social media. :o)

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