Friday, July 27, 2012

My Little Facebook Vacation

I haven't gotten so much writing done in weeks. In just two days, I've written more than I had in two weeks. It's amazing. How have I done this? By taking a vacation from Facebook.

I know Facebook is a necessary evil in this world of high social connectivity where, if you want to gain more fans and network more effectively, you have to have a presence. However, lately I have found that Facebook is just one massive depot for negativity and frustration with the crippling ability to stop even the staunchest writers from getting much traction.

So, I have taken a little vacay from Facebook Land, and let me just say, the water's great here. My creativity burst back to life, and I've been a writing fiend, whereas before I was struggling to find my mojo. Ideas are flowing like a flooded river, overflowing the banks, and it's great. I'm loving it.

The good news is that I haven't felt the need to log in to Facebook for two days. I love my fans, so I do miss them, but I know I'm doing more for them while being off Facebook than I was doing for them on, because if I'm not writing, I'm not giving them anything to read.

What's more is that I have a friend (she happens to be my editor) who is constantly reminding me that my goal is to reach a writing status on par with J.R. Ward, Kresley Cole, and Gena Showalter, among others. She keeps me focused and always asks me, "Do you see J.R. Ward posting on Facebook all day, every day?" She'll say, "You don't see J.R. Ward doing such-and-such or this-or-that." In other words, she's reminding me that I need to emulate that which I wish to become so that one day I can become it.

Yes, J.R. Ward has a Facebook presence, but you don't see her on every day, all day, posting in groups and engaging in heated discussions about emotional issues that have nothing to do with writing or her next book. She still keeps connected with her fans without becoming distracted by the low-hanging fruit of negativity. She keeps her nose clean, and she keeps her fingers on the keyboard, and her mind focused on her current WIP or next book. And she gives her fans what they want. This is what I need to do.

So, while I see the merits of maintaining a bit of a heavier social presence for now, while I'm still a "newbie," the message is clear: If I want to become the kind of writer I aspire to be, I will eventually need to ween myself away from the heavy distraction of Facebook. I may eventually dispose of my profile and simply maintain a fan page, which seems to be the logical progression. I won't make any decisions for now, but this sure seems to be the direction I need to look toward.

One thing is certain: getting away from Facebook certainly does have a positive impact on my writing. If I can write 5,000 words and complete the hard copy proof on an entire manuscript in two days off of Facebook, imagine what I can accomplish in a week. A month. Even longer. Removing myself from Facebook has allowed me to focus not on what everyone else is doing and saying, but on my own work and my own thoughts. It has allowed me to focus on what is truly important while letting me relax.

And isn't that what vacations are all about?

Happy reading and writing.

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