On the 21st I mentioned I was going on Twitter vacation. I’ve seen a few articles from people who go on social media diets. They come back from down the hill to with their wisdom.
-The most obvious effect is that I’m a lot less distracted. I have ADHD, and I wrote about my last productivity hack on the blog (4 Hacks I’ve Used To Focus Harder While Writing on a Computer), but declaring I’m off social media publicly, while logging out of it and deleting all apps from my phone… has boosted productivity more. I’m super booked up right now, so this has been nice. I’m not wondering what’s happening because I know it’s not even a thing.
-Although productivity for my freelance and writing work is boosted, I only have so many ‘golden hours’ a day where I can throw myself at work. I’m not a machine. Twitter wasn’t using up all of those. Logging in to special working desktops let me partition out things over the last month or so. But I was flipping through twitter a lot in my down time. So I’m finding that, even though it’s only been 11 days, I’m redirecting my down time. I’ve managed to fit in more reading, which is good for the creative soul. I’ve started to blog more. Instead of responding quickly on twitter I’m storing up observations and making notes of them.
-Dragging back the time to read a book was awesome. I listen to a lot of audio books, but I was falling way behind on eyeball 2.0 reading. I wasn’t *not* reading, but I was way slower than I like. Getting two books read over the last 11 days feels more like my proper place. And those books gave me lots of ideas and fed into the ferment from where I will draw future inspirations.
-I can’t entirely escape social media. People who direct message me go into my inbox as I don’t want to miss those. That’s meant logging on to reply, albeit fast and briefly.
-Most people following me on twitter have absolutely no fucking clue I declared a twitter vacation or that I’m not on twitter anymore until October judging by the @ notifications unread number I saw when I had to log in quickly to respond to a piece of writing business.
This last one is the one I find the most fascinating. Right now I’m talking to writers and a ton of people are under the impression that it is *required* that we get on social media.
I keep saying ‘don’t do things you really hate doing.’ I say this to writers of all stripes because I truly believe the following. a) if you succeed at doing something you hate doing, you’re then stuck doing it, if not more, from then on. If you want to do something you hate doing, there are probably more lucrative things than writing you could grit through. b) if you hate it, I think it eventually comes out or shows through.
When I told one colleague about my plan to take a 2 month break, they were like ‘woah, man, that could be dangerous, you need to keep a presence!’
Sure. Maybe. What I also need to do is write more novels. In fact, that’s my primary mission.
But the fact that everyone missed my announcement, and talking about this break, and so on, indicates just how fucking full of static twitter is. You’re following so many people, who’re tweeting so many multiple times a day, that people have to post multiple times and risk annoying followers just to remind them that they have something important to get out (see book launches, etc). And then, even then, afterwards people will say ‘what, you had a new book out. I missed that!’
And the kicker is, I ended up having more of a presence on twitter by getting off of it. Because I wasn’t on twitter on the night of the Hugos batting reactions back and forth, when I saw the ballot I wondered what the alternative non-Puppy ballot was and quickly pulled it together. That link got 12,000+ hits on it, almost all of them from the link shortener t.co.
Which is to say: twitter.
I’m not leaving twitter forever. I will finish this current spate of deadlines. I love and miss you all and I will be back.
In the meantime, drop me an email. Or if you have my number, text or call me.
I’m still here.