Is Social Media A Help Or A Hindrance To Your Creativity?

A creative block prevents you from engaging in your creativity.  These blocks can be thoughts (I don’t have enough time, I’m not really creative, Nothing I create is worth anything anyway), or they can be material (too much clutter, too many distractions).  A couple years ago when I first started becoming aware of my creative blocks, I would have told you hands-down my biggest creative block was the television.  “Down-time” in the evening meant watching T.V. and since this was really my only free-time of the day, it was easy to let writing fall by the wayside.  I didn’t “have time” to write.  Now that I’ve realized how much precious creative time I was throwing down the drain (not to mention yoga time and reading time), T.V. is not an issue for me.  I love one show and one show only – Gossip Girl!  What’s not to love about a scandalous group of social elites living it up in the Upper East Side?  Thankfully, this show goes on these sporadic and extended breaks so it’s not a regular part of my existence.  My husband and I do watch 1 movie a week together – but this is something we love doing as a couple and it’s been a ritual for us since we got together.  I say that makes it OK.

Unglueing myself from the boob tube felt great and surprisingly the withdrawal was relatively painless.  But now, NOW, a bigger monster threatens to take over…social media!  Facebook and Twitter – two seemingly harmless cousins who can get together and create a lot of mischief and wreak havoc on my writing schedule.

Other bloggers will empathize with me about the need to unplug and how daunting the task can be.  To have a successful blog, you need to spend a lot of time in social media and on the internet, in general.  Reading other people’s blogs, commenting on them, replying to those fabulous comments you receive on your blog, promoting your book/blog/workshop, networking with others in your industry…these are all part of your work day and yet it is so easy to get carried away.

The other day, I found a great link posted by one of my tweeps on Twitter, clicked on it and read the article.  At the end of the article was the website of the author.  Click!  I read a post, then another and then another on their blog.  One of the posts had another link.  Click!  Next thing I knew, almost an hour had gone by and I hadn’t even started my own writing!  That’s a lot of time out the window when the most substantial, consecutive time you have to write in a day is the two hours your daughter is in preschool every morning!

Not to say I didn’t learn anything through those clicks.  There is a tonne of information out there, so many fascinating articles and blogs on personal development and writing.  How lucky I am that this is actually part of my work!  But I can see it now.  It is so much easier to flit about the internet than to hunker down and crank out that piece of short non-fiction you plan to submit in a week!

So, it looks like I am going to have to find that fine balance that works for me.  Does anyone have pointers?  My first instinct is to schedule in social media time and then forget that it exists the rest of the time.  What do YOU do that helps?

 

4 thoughts on “Is Social Media A Help Or A Hindrance To Your Creativity?

  1. It is always so interesting how everyone’s creative process is different. For me it is equal parts “madness” and discipline. So while putting in my hours in front of the computer writing, I am also taking time to feed my creative well. Being an avid consumer of books and movies and life all help my process, though I usually commit to the latter only after I have finished the former. That said, I don’t spend mindless tv time. We might have two weekly favorites we tune in for.

    1. I hear ya, Tina. On my laptop I have a post-it note that reads “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living” ~ Anais Nin. There definitely needs to be fuel for the fire. I’m trying to be mindful of my balance because I know how easily the scale can tip – not in my creative’s favour. I think focusing on how great it feels to express myself will help! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. I can so relate. Although, I have not given up the tv, yet. In fact, being the dynamic multi-tasker that I am, I usually sit in the recliner with my laptop and catch up with my social media in the evening WHILE I am watching tv. I don’t really have choice, though. Other people that live in my house would have the tv on, even if I wasn’t watching it.

    The only advice I can give on how to not let social media take over is to limit yourself to how many blogs you read or comment on in a day. I try to read five and comment on three, and quit whenever I get to one or the other. If there are others that I didn’t get to that I really wanted to read, I bookmark them for the next day.

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