Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Social Media: Useful Tool or Recyclable Waste?

Lately, my creativity has been locked in an airtight box hidden in my mind somewhere. As frustrating as it is, I have hope that if I take the right combination of vitamins or start mowing the lawn, or that, perhaps, just the right look at a double rainbow, it might spontaneously open. I remember the days where I'd blog, and even make it somewhat interesting, about why I line my own toilet with toilet paper before sitting down.

What’s to blame? Unproductive time spent on Twitter, Facebook, blogging? I just read a statistic, on Twitter of all places, that our time on the internet now exceeds our time spent watching television. No surprise, but wow, how do we get anything accomplished when we're hovering over our computers like information addicts anticipating the next tweet which goes something like this, "Good morning! I ate scrambled eggs for breakfast." How do we get sucked into this? How am I supposed to write, or study, with all that chirping looming over me begging to be read. As if the magpies on my roof aren't enough! In an effort to organize all this chatter, I downloaded a program, Tweetdeck, which manages all my tweets and tweeters and peeps and facebook status updates. Simplification? Nah - Pandemonium!

I have to be frank, it's nearly as addicting as an engaging book - it lassos me in and drags me to the trough. I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I'm an information junkie, and that keeping tabs on publishing industry, autism moms, long lost cousins, and favorite authors are just a tweet away. But is it using time productively? That depends.

In lieu of my sudden realization that my rear end may have increased in size and my laundry seems to mate, reproducing multiple offspring while waiting to be folded, I've taken a lent-like vow to decrease my time using social media. There I said it in public - I must adhere! I’m living my real life, signed up for class, and I'm contemplating writing another book. I’ve been agonizing over what to write for months – until yesterday. I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office when I heard something that burst that box in the back of my mind open so wide, I thought I might lose it while I scrambled to find a pencil and paper.

So I wake up this morning and I’m not sure the idea seems as great as it did yesterday sitting in a room full of sick kids. But I think I’m going to run with it. We'll see what my literary agent thinks about it. Maybe it's just a pipe dream. But then again, how can I have pipe dreams when I'm too busy tweeting or re-posting "important" links on Facebook.

Especially when I never know when the box of creativity might once again...slam shut.

Okay now, I'm very interested in hearing your ideas for the next book...Let's see if you're even close.


Bo and Nell said...

Well, I am not sure on a title, but anything by the creative, local-Malad grown author would be exciting to read! I loved your first book and look forward to anything that you publish!!!!

Daniele said...

"Rantings of a Mad Woman"
Oh wait that's my next book! I hope you don't stop blogging all together. I like hearing your stories about bobby banjo and all the laughter your brood comes up with. Your a breath of fresh air to me!

Cindy said...

Ditto everything Danielle just said. She said it perfectly. Make us laugh!! I love your blog! Your style of writing is so creative and funny.

But let's see. You were in the doctor's office. A pediatrician. You already wrote your own story. How about the story of a boy genius? Or the story of a mother with amnesia? Or just a mother struggling to remember herself while raising her husband and children? (Yes, I did say raising her husband. :) Sometimes, that's just the way it is!)

sandy said...

You can try weaning yourself off blogging, facebook and twitter... but I bet you're still checking your email for blog comments! =))

heather said...

I agree on the social media addiction...it sucks you in then spits you out along with a load of unending laundry and bedraggled kiddos. Love your writing!

Trish said...

Not sure what your next topic is, but I'm sure I'll be looking forward to it as I just read this book in one sitting Saturday night.

There have been several things happening in the last few days that have really restored my hope for my son's complete healing (and for my marriage to come through intact as well!), and your willingness to share your family's story has definitely been a part of that.

I totally agree on the social media issue and am actually taking the next month to get more involved in my real life again. I'm sure I'll still be online, but not as much and not under any type of schedule or pressure.

I'll stop rambling now, and just say how nice it is to "meet" you. :)