Taking a break from social media. #amwriting

I’ve been fighting with my manuscript, probably longer and harder than I have with any other manuscript. It’s to the point now where I’m starting to question a lot. Is the story working? Does it still speak to me? Will it sell?

Ah. The old “will it sell” question. I’ve been pondering that one a great deal.

I’m currently in one of those “my writing career is shit” moods. I’ve tried so hard to stay positive, and usually I am, but even I can’t keep it up forever. I’ve received so much encouragement from my readers (my real readers, you know, those angelic creatures who have actually bought,  read and often reviewed my books.) They are my strength.

And yet I remain in this slump.

I figured after writing a few books, it would become easier, not harder. However, each time I begin a new story, I second-guess myself at every turn. Why? Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned more as each book has been crafted. I can critique myself better. I recognize mistakes as they occur.

They seem to occur a lot right now. I’m distracted by everything. I’m happier washing dishes than writing right now.

One thing is certain. I have to finish this book, even if it’s the last one I ever write. I know that sounds extreme and I have no plans to stop writing but it’s tempting sometimes to wonder what it would be like if “Rosanna Leo” just stopped.  The romance industry boasts so many authors and books. Would mine be missed at all?

Okay, okay, I know I sound ridiculous but we writers are insecure people. Indulge me a little. It’s been a lean few years.

I hope you’ll pardon me for sounding like a Debbie Downer. It feels as if there have been so many hurdles lately and my legs are sore from trying to leap over them.  They haven’t all been writing hurdles either. Life has been stressful in many ways. I’ve tried to throw myself into my day job with renewed force recently as well and even that has been a disappointment. Something has to give. I’m finding it very hard to “spark joy.” Hell, I’d settle for sparking a couple of plot bunnies. (That’s not true. I’d probably torch those bunnies out of rage.)

I’m constantly questioning my writing and publishing choices lately. I know I made them with the best possible information at the time, but times change. The industry has changed. I worry I’m not keeping up. People tell me I’m not keeping up, that I should do this or that. That’s all fine and dandy but not everyone changes paths so easily. For some of us, it’s a monumental decision.

I used to log onto social media with glee because it was a chance to connect with my readers. However, considering the state of the world right now, even social media brings little joy and I don’t think I’m the only one feeling it. I’m tired of being disappointed by the news (I can’t even bring myself to watch it anymore) and I’m tired of putting out positive energy only to see it lost in a sea of negativity. And no matter how much I try to be a force of light online, it doesn’t seem to translate to book sales or reviews. I feel as if I’ve become everyone’s “favorite author they’ve never read.”

So I tell myself I need to take a break from social media and then I immediately debate the soundness of that decision. After all, if I take a step back, I risk being forgotten altogether. Who will remember my writing if I don’t keep my name “out there?”

I suppose there’s really only one way to find out. My peace of mind has been too rattled. There are so many distractions and not all of them good ones. I think I need to get back to basics and lock myself in a room with this damn book. Every day, the end seems further away.

Venting over. I hope, when I return to social media in full force, that I am once again the bright and shiny being some of you know and love. I want to be that person but until I can recapture a sense of fulfillment and pride in what I do, I need to take some time away. So I’ll be over here, busy with my matches, trying to spark joy. By all means, drop me a line. You’d make my day. I wish you only greatness and happiness and I know you wish the same for me.

Thank you for reading.

Photo via VisualHunt.com

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12 thoughts on “Taking a break from social media. #amwriting

  1. I hear you. The effect of all that negativity can be cumulative.
    I’ve taken to fasting once a week. Every Friday, I turn off twitter and email and television. I figure if the world ends, someone will let me know. Everything else can wait a day.
    I’m glad you’re not taking a break from writing!

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    • Thank you, Evelyn. I’m glad the fasting Fridays is working for you. Love this idea. The strain is cumulative and hits you when you least expect it. It’s so easy to forget that all the noise can wait. Happy writing!

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  2. I’ve scaled back my “book reading/reviewing/participating world” for the summer (or longer) to find the spark and joy of it all over again. Wishing you the same. Please don’t stop writing! Enjoy that hydrotherapy doing dishes and anything else that makes you smile inside. I’ll be at a summer country concert if you need me, ha! Hugs and love (and prayers) to you, Rosanna!!

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    • Thank you so much! I love the idea of looking at dishes as hydrotherapy. Why didn’t I think of that? LOL I think sometimes life is just too busy and we all need to scale back here and there. I hope you are enjoying the summer and seeing lots of good bands (I know you are from Instagram.) Hugs!!

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    • Thanks, L.D. You are certainly not alone and my prime objective in writing posts like this is so other writers understand they aren’t in it alone. Our worries marginalize us sometimes. We think, “Everyone else seems to be so successful and happy. What am I doing wrong?” The fact is, I think we all experience these feelings of uncertainty. I know we will surmount these issues, just as surely as I know I will write my next page (eventually), but it can take time. We all need a little break here and there. Hugs!

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  3. I hope your break works for you. If you get some reading time, you might check out BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. It gave me some good food for thought on the creativity questions I was having. Good luck!

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    • Thank you, Maggie! I’ll have to check it out. So much of what I’ve been reading lately has been dark. Perhaps that is the problem. Lol

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  4. I have cut back my social media participation a lot except in certain sectors. I usually skim FB once a day, ignoring political crap and focusing just on anything of note about my friends/family I need to know about then I run away again before the ugly creeps in too much. My normal Twitter is largely ignored these days because too much ugly there, but my gaming Twitter I keep up with because those I follow there keep the political crap to a minimum. I feel a bit guilty about doing an ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach to current events, but, yeah, just can’t pay it too much mind without going insane or berserk with rage or both. So I isolate and put my fingers in my ears so to speak and spread hugs around where I can when needed. So….HUGS Rosanna.

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    • Thank you, Michelle. And hugs back! I think the ostrich tactic is absolutely necessary these days. I like to stay informed but I don’t need to know every last scandal in the White House either. I have to remind myself to tune out. I didn’t look at FB once last night and I have to say it felt pretty good. I do still like Twitter and have a few prescheduled tweets ready to send here and there but I hear you. It can be toxic at times. And I know it’ll all still be there when I get back anyway. 😉

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  5. Me too. I quit FB because it was a time suck. I wasn’t engaging with readers. I wasn’t gaining new readers. There weren’t any “likes” on my page. No requests to join my Author group. And worst, no reviews to boost visibility. Social media isn’t always the best method to find and engage readers, unfortunately despite the ease of use and instant gratification. I’m in a slump. I don’t know if I will ever publish in the genre again, but I keep trying to promote the ones I’ve written so I can make some return on investment…but it’s slowly killing me to not gain new readers or change the dial on the reviews. I’ve been stuck with the same number of reviews for over a year regardless of promotional offers for books in exchange for reviews. How the top sellers are doing it is beyond my realm of understanding. And while they say that you need to write a good book, I don’t think my books suck. The limited reviews I have say they liked the story. So Debbie Downer 2.0 here too. I wish I had words of encouragement. But the only thing I keep going back to is keep writing (after you read good books, articles, engage in another craft, visit places, and spend time with family). I’m no longer living for the writing, but enjoying time with myself.

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    • Hugs, Rosemary. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we can’t live for writing (and the various time sucks it entails). There is more to life and it’s very easy to lose sight of that when you’re occupied with getting likes from people who have no intention of ever reading our books. Social media can be great but it was killing me to constantly connect with people who, despite being lovely and encouraging, really weren’t interested in my work. After all, that’s why I initially turned to social media. I will say my little break, short as it has been so far, has helped a bit, if only to gain new perspective. I will keep writing and I hope you do too. I guess the trick is to remember we need to do it on our own terms. I wish you all the very best.

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