In response to yesterday’s “Keep Writing” post, particularly the line that says, “Keep writing because it will feed your soul and preserve your peace of mind,” a (writer) friend of mine replied by saying, “Detaching will do the same. Writers have to know which their souls and peace of mind need: To keep writing or take a break.”
He made a valid point, one that did not necessarily fit with the motif of that post, but one that did align with how I am learning to approach life.
In the wake of Mike Brown’s senseless murder, I, like most of my peers, took to social media, Twitter particularly, to both vent and receive information. As the days continued on and we had more questions than answers, I felt myself withering away. As beautiful as the online community rising around the issues was, it wrung my heart to expose myself to the conversation non-stop. I’m not sure when, but I reached a definitive point where I stopped engaging in the dialogue. I still stayed informed and followed some of the conversation, but I had to break away from active involvement and voracious intake.
This idea of breaking away has become more relevant for me, ironically as the blog grows and becomes more successful.
I am now making a conscious, active and deliberate decision to engage in social media a lot less. I recently made my Instagram account private. It does nothing for the exposure or outlook of my work to have total strangers looking at my vacation pics. There is beauty and peace in vetting who receives access to certain parts of your life. I lost sight of that.
I also transformed into one of those obnoxious people who took to Twitter simply to tell Twitter I would be around a lot less. (It seemed fitting, as annoying of a concept as it is.) I still fully intend to promote my blog via the platform, toss around a few opinions and live tweet ratchet reality television on Monday nights. But, I have seen this year how social media has perilous potential to do more harm than good. I don’t want to be someone known more for irreverent tweets than substantial writing. The goal was never to be a Twitter celeb; nothing about that ephemeral relevance and success makes sense to me.
Many situations that transpired this year could have easily been avoided if I drew back from social media. I finally decided to hear the Universe out and draw back in the name of self-preservation.
Lastly, I am toying with both the content and frequency of my personal posts. This is still, and always will be, a personal blog before anything else. However, I am now in a fortunate position to infuse new voices and highlight other people’s stories; I intend to do more of that in the coming months without sacrificing the personal nucleus of this space. And while I still fully believe in the power of consistency as a blogger and my four-posts-a-week cadence, I am giving myself permission to stray from that schedule if need be. I did not write this past Wednesday and it was OK. It was more authentic not to write in that moment than it was to write. Authenticity above all else.
There are many explanations in this post and I am well-aware that I do not owe a soul any one of them. But, I am always amazed and humbled by the people who stand behind my work. I am so moved by the Twenties Unscripted community and knew that in making some of these choices, I wanted to provide a bit of insight behind them. I wanted people to know that if I do not immediately engage or reply as I so often have, there are reasons. If I do not preserve myself, which I have not always done throughout this year, there is not a blog. If I do not preserve myself, there are not any snarky posts and there are not seasonal events. If I do not preserve myself, there is not a whole and happy person who can share stories, evolve as a woman and succeed as a writer. If I do not preserve myself, there is no Twenties Unscripted and I have come far too close to seeing that happen. I don’t want that life.