On Simplifying Life. Or: Cutting Down What Overwhelms You. Even If It’s Supposedly Beneficial.

A quick note here: I have a blog post up at the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society! We were tagged for the Writing Process Blog Hop, so it’s my installment this week.

It’s been a weekend. Quite the weekend. With both its ups and downs. The main ‘up’ was my birthday. My brother played photographer all evening, though. I’ll be getting pictures from him on Wednesday, so hopefully I’ll have a post up with some of those this next weekend!

The main ‘down’ was… the air conditioning. Which went on the fritz two hours before my party. It was rather warm in the house that night.

It’s still being moody, but is working most of the time right now. I’ll get a mechanic out here soon… but I just… I really need things to STOP BREAKING. I have too many things to take care of right now. The car. Building a new chicken coop. The air conditioning… sigh

Somehow, it will all get taken care of.

There is a little something in the works, though. I’m just not quite at liberty to talk about it yet. But it’s something I thought was off the burner permanently, so I’m pretty excited!

On #WriteMotivation…

I didn’t sign up for June. I was torn on it for a couple of weeks. I have plenty of things I am trying to mark off of various lists, but I just… couldn’t find it in me.

Part of it is discouragement. See the recap of the weekend above. It seems like every time, lately, that I publicize any of my goals, things sweep in to make them nearly impossible to complete.

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I’ve gotten to the point I can no longer take things a month at a time. Sometimes not even a week at a time.

I need to take things one day at a time right now.

I love my #writemotivation peeps, but I don’t need #writemotivation to stay in touch with them. With many of them, we’ve truly become friends, not just people doing the same thing, and I’m so very glad of that. It made this decision a little easier.

Taking a Step Back…

I have… a lot on my plate. I love blogging, but I feel like the platform-building side of blogging frustrates me and ties me down so much that I’ve come to avoid it.

Certain well-known people in the writing blogosphere say that you need to blog every day, especially when you’re first starting out. That you need to have a presence on every major social media site.

One specific person (who I’ve learned a lot from, but makes me feel constantly overwhelmed, so I’m not going to name names here, but some of you can probably figure out who this is) specifically says social media is fantastic for introverts because they don’t have the face-to-face interaction and therefore it doesn’t take as much energy to keep up with it.

That may be true for some introverts.

Not me.

Between blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and God-only-knows-what-else, what’s a little introvert to do?

I’m currently only trying to stay afloat with the blog, Facebook, and Twitter – and occasionally Google+ – but I’m so overwhelmed with it all.

I’ll also give you a hint here – I’m an INTJ. We value meaningful interactions more than we value the quantity of interactions. I would rather sit down with my friends and family less often and have more things to catch up on than discuss what we had for breakfast every single day.

Can you see why Twitter makes me… well… twitch?

I’ve tried things like HootSuite and TweetDeck. They either won’t interface everything (like Google+), or just make things more complicated overall.

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And… well… you have to be on Twitter a LOT to remain visible. And I just don’t have that much time.

So, I’m obviously considering eliminating some (most?) of my social media presence. Some might say this is “writer suicide” but… when you’re not getting your actual writing done because those things take up too much of your time, does it matter?

And, as I stated above, they take up too much of my energy. I know all too well that social media interaction is interaction with other people. And that automatically makes it a high-emotional-energy drain, because people.

I like blogging a lot. I just don’t like trivial attention-grabbing a lot. And very little of my traffic comes from social media. So it’s hard to see it being worth the effort.

But before I make any permanent decisions, would you answer a little poll for me?

I may have a post devoted entirely to Facebook itself later in the week. In the meantime, I’ve been working on THIS post since 9 am this morning and somehow it’s already 3:30 pm. So I’m going to go do something else now.

Have you had to scale anything back, either online or in everyday life, lately? Do you find yourself relieved, or missing it, or a little of both?

14 thoughts on “On Simplifying Life. Or: Cutting Down What Overwhelms You. Even If It’s Supposedly Beneficial.

  1. “Certain well-known people in the writing blogosphere say that you need to blog every day, especially when you’re first starting out. That you need to have a presence on every major social media site.”

    NOPE. BS. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    Okay, I’ll back up. It’s true, TO AN EXTENT. If you have done demographic research and know that your customers/potential readers are on a particular platform, or if that particular platform is one heavily used by people in your industry, then by all means, yes, establish a presence there.

    But all major social media sites? Blogging every damn day? Oh hell no.

    The best advice I’ve ever heard for social media is this: Do what works for you. Get involved with the communities YOU like, because the more you enjoy interacting with a particular platform, the more active you’ll be on it. If you don’t like a platform, it’s going to show. And believe me, an inactive social media profile is FAR WORSE than a nonexistent one.

    For the most part, I enjoy Twitter and Facebook. But Pinterest? Bleh. Don’t care. Google+? I do little more than poke around the #WriteMotivation page. (Though that may change.)

    And the best advice I’ve heard about blogging came from a panel at OWFI this year, where the speaker advised people to blog for a month, but not to publish anything. Then, at the end of the month, see how often you wrote something you were happy with. You know, actual good content. Was it every day? Three times a week? Once a week? Once every other week?

    That’s your blogging schedule, right there. Quantity isn’t important, but quality and consistency are. (And of those two, quality is FAR more important. If you’re putting out quality content, people will not give a damn how often you update your blog. Just look at Hyperbole and a Half.)

    So often, I see people getting frustrated with Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or their blogging or what-have-you, because they only have a presence there because someone told them they needed it, and they just hate it. Or it confuses them. Or it drains them to mess with it. And I just want to grab them and shout “NO. NO YOU DON’T NEED IT. Pick one you think you might like and throw the others overboard! You are not a slave to your social media!”

    So…all of that to say, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just kick that stuff to the curb and focus on what YOU like doing. You’ll be much happier and more productive for it.

  2. I find it true that social media makes it easier for introverts to interact with others, but there are still times I find talking to people on Twitter hard.

    I didn’t sign up for Write Motivation again this month because I’m currently utterly lost with my writing and having a hard time feeling positive about it. Which Write Motivation would help with because I do so much better when I have people encouraging me and blocking out the negative voices in my head.

    1. I do agree it’s easier. I’d so much rather skim through someone’s fb feed and ‘like’ a status here or there. Occasionally I’ll have it in me to actually comment. But not most of the time.

      On Twitter… I just… ugh. It moves way too fast for me. I can count on one hand the number of people I interact with there on a regular basis. Even when I do post more, it seems I rarely get anyone interacting with me, and the last few times I’ve even tried to engage new followers of mine, I got… well… crickets chirping.

      *hugs* We can have our non-writemotivation-motivation…ish this month? Feeling discouraged with your writing is hard. I’ve been there. >_<

  3. I’m on scale-back mode right now. My blog is on hiatus for a month. I used to fret when I missed my regularly scheduled posts but now I realize I can’t and shouldn’t do it all.

    There’s something to be said for good mental health. 🙂

  4. Clicked ‘enter’ before I finished. I meant to add that I plan to use Facebook more while the blog is on vacation, but not Twitter. Twitter is too noisy an environment for me. I much prefer FB where you’re not so limited by character count.

    1. “Can’t and shouldn’t do it all.” is precisely where I’m at right now, lol.

      I went through and massively trimmed who I followed on Twitter the other day. It doesn’t move as crazy fast anymore, haha. Which is good for my sanity.

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  6. I’m an introvert, like you, and I often feel overwhelmed by all the social media. Right now, I’m doing the blog, Facebook, and Pinterest and in keeping up with those, I’m getting very little writing done. I’m still working on how to balance everything. I don’t know how some people do it.

    1. I don’t know how some people do it either. Like I said in my post, yeah, I can do a bit more interaction via social media than I might be able to do in person… but it’s still social interaction. It’s still draining. So when people tell me I need to do ALL THE THINGS, I just mentally shut down, lol.

      Finding balance is hard sometimes.

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