Joy! Easter has arrived, we are in the midst of the 8 days of Passover, and my 6-week step-back from social media has passed.
During these past six weeks, a whole season began, happened and ended. Transformations occurred (I’ll blog about those in future posts).
Transformations are always occurring because life is change. I believe that it’s important to sometimes stop doing, to be still enough to notice, appreciate, and respond to what is transpiring. I’ve benefited from this time of solitude. One of the things I recognized is that during this past year, I allowed social media to distract me too much from my central purpose.
Some months ago, while I was doing social media, I received a generous and delightful gift, a touching review on Amazon from someone I deeply respect and admire. I discovered this gift (given in September of 2014) only after I stepped back from social media (5 months later)! Not only did that 5-star review give me a needed dose of encouragement to keep writing, but Shirley Showalter’s careful reading and wisdom-filled response to my memoir helped me clarify, and re-commit to what I’m doing with my memoir, with all my writing, with my very life! (Thank you, Shirley–I’m deeply indebted to you! And please forgive me for not noticing your kindness when it happened.)
I’m not giving up social media but I am changing how I think of it, and I will be spending less time using it. I’m staying with it, however because, although I’ve never met Shirley, and I’ve never met most of you face-to-face, you all have become dear to me (I’m talking about you)!
I found an article about social media by Jane Friedman. I agree with her 5 philosophies of social media for writers, not because she’s an expert, but because her philosophy resonates with my own experience. These five things are true for me.
- Social media ought to be about relationships–about respect and trust. If its motivation or focus is sales and marketing, it’s merely blatant self-promotion.
- For writers, social media ought to be creative. In other words it should be about the process and practice of writing, about discovery. It shouldn’t be about meeting goals, quotas and deadlines.
- If it isn’t fun, don’t bother.
- Authenticity matters.
- There are no rules for social media success, therefore I’m free to make my own rules, or live by no rules.
An interesting note about freedom. The stories of Easter and Passover are both about liberation. There is bitterness, travail, suffering and death. Then God intervenes and sets people free, not to do their own thing, but rather for a good purpose–to be in right relationship with God.
I feel liberated. I’m letting go of the bondage of social media, the expectations and demands. I’m going to allow myself the freedom of just focusing on the goodness I’ve found in connecting with you all.
And so good readers and cherished friends, I’m back, to relate, to create, to enjoy, and to engage. I’ll post and comment as the Spirit moves me.
How have you been and what are you doing these days?