I *think* this is probably a common problem among writers. We are excited about our projects and social media gives us an immediate audience (and feedback). Both the audience and the feedback encourage us to share, but at the same time, sharing kills our drive to do the hard work of writing. It’s a Catch 22.
I am a reluctant Twitter user for this very reason. My Twitter account is really all about writing, though I sometimes throw in random things about my dog and working out in the gym. I don’t have a lot of followers, and I’m okay with that because I don’t do the hard work of cultivating a following. I don’t post multiple times a day. I count myself lucky if I can think of even one thing that I think is worth posting on any given day. The minimalist in me rebels against following a bunch of people because, frankly, I don’t have time to read through all of that. Moreover, the time I spend on Twitter means I have less time to sit down and write. What I do tweet tends to be really vague about what I’m doing, writing-wise, because, well, Facebook has taught me that I need to be.
Facebook is where I connect to family and friends. I’ve moved a lot, so I have friends from various cities and states where I have lived. I was a teacher, so I have some former students friended. I was somewhat of an activist for some education type reforms, so I have some other activists friended. My Facebook is an eclectic assortment of people from all eras of my life, but all of them know I write. Some of them have read what I’ve written. Several of them ask me for updates on current projects.
At first, I was flattered and relatively uncensored in discussing my work. I’m still flattered, by the way, but now I don’t say much about what I’m doing, because when I do share, I find my will to write diminished directly proportionate to what I’ve shared.
Maybe I’m the only one who has this problem, but I suspect that I’m not. I’m betting that lots of writers spend hours cultivating their social media accounts and get less writing done as a result. Maybe that’s the curse of the times – needing an online platform, but the platform also takes a serious bite out of the ability to work.
I’ve found a compromise I can live with, as imperfect as it may be.
Go forth and write!