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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just Say "No!" or Why This Blog is Going Inactive

Today I came across this great article, The Many, Many, Many Things You Should Should Say "No" to at Work, by Kristin Muhlner is the CEO of NewBrand Analytics, which helps companies monitor social media chatter about them.

Nancy Reagan had it right? (From wikipedia)

Read the article for her explanations of each, but here are the things this social media expert says we should NOT be doing.

1. Anything where our presence isn't essential.
2. Anything someone else is/should be doing.
3. Networking. Yes, you read that correctly. This social media expert says don't do the networking thing! (I think I love her.)
4. Don't answer email.
5. Philanthropic work.
6. Being inauthentic.
7. Don't jump right into everything! Hold out.
8. Chaining yourself to your desk.
9. All-nighters.

It really is worth reading her explanations of each of these and how they're time-sucks that don't get us anywhere. But of course, it's #3 that really caught my eye.

I've always had mixed feelings about my "networking" activity on a glut of SOcial MEdia (So-Me) outlets: Facebook, two blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, 4 email accounts (really, how many email accounts should one person have? Yahoo, my original, but then it got wonky, so thought I'd migrate to Gmail, but realized I could selectively migrate by types of email, as something of a filter, so kept both, plus have my work accounts, one for UMUC and one for TTC!), and whatever else I've forgotten about.

If I have mixed feelings about it, why am I so active? Am I that self-absorbed? (Arguably, yes, but not in that way.)

The common wisdom in the writing community is an author MUST have a social media presence. My mixed feelings come because in my mind, the whole idea of author networking through social media was bastardized and twisted from, "an author should have a social media presence to reach readers" to "one has to have a social media presence to get readers so you can get published." That whole platform question that I blogged about (against) here and here.

I've been in the process of streamlining my life recently. I've finally gotten around to hitting "unsubscribe" to the hundreds of junk-mails that work their way into our mail streams as we click our way around the internet. I've stopped renewing memberships in organizations that, while I support what they do, I really don't have the time to read any of the emails, magazines, newsletters, alerts, etc that I'm flooded with, and I wonder what good I do in the big scheme when it costs them more to generate and mail all the printed material I receive than I contribute to begin with.

A little neater than my own desk.

My biggest motivation for simplifying and ejecting some forms of social media from my life is that it takes away my valuable and limited writing time. In the hour or two I've carved out to write each day, I send a few 140 character tweets, write a blog post (as random and rare as they are!), keep up with friends, acquaintances, and strangers on Facebook, posting pictures of what I'm thinking of doing (rather than doing it) on Pinterest, and check my various emails. Leaving me exactly 10 minutes to write.

Has any of that resulted in new readers? Maybe. I don't know. Certainly not in the hundreds or even dozens.

So, I'm going to do what I suspect I should have been doing all along: focus on my writing. Not email writing, not tweeting, not Facebook and blog posts, but working on my next novel. For now, I'm going to try to limit my So-Me presence to my static website, and one inactive blog. I may keep Waterblogged going with an occasional sea creature post because that's fun and I can tie it into my teaching.  I don't know if I can go inactive on my personal FB account without my author page, Marina Melee by Lynne M. Hinkey, getting disabled, too. We'll see.

And hopefully, I'll see all of you every now and then on Waterblogged or on my FB author page.

Hopefully, my next post will be announcing that The Un-Familiar is done, edited, accepted for publication, and will be released on...

So long for now, and thanks for following!

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