Saturday, July 21, 2012

taking a break from social media

Payette Lake--McCall, Idaho
I love summer in the mountains, especially by a lake and with a book.

A couple weeks ago when I was hiking in McCall, I realized an addiction: Facebook! It wasn't enough to enjoy the cool air and scent of pines, to watch a bald eagle soar on an updraft, noooo I had to interrupt this solitude by posting it on my home page, thanks to the i-phone in my backpack. Then later while at the lake reading--contentedly, I had thought--I kept checking my cell see if anyone had "liked" my post or commented.

What a wimp! I never used to be so needy.

One of my best-selling Dear America books with Scholastic, The Winter of Red Snow, was written in 19 days (after months of research). We had moved to a new town and had no friends yet, no TV or Internet, no daily newspaper. Our sons were in 4th & 6th grades so after I walked them to school I had a chunk of time. Also, it snowed a lot. I stayed inside and wrote. Two-dozen books later I'm still trying to duplicate that lovely, productive isolation, to no avail.

Fast forward to my current middle-grade novel. I've been at it for more than a year, with a self-imposed deadline of yesterday, but am barely at the half-way mark. Aaaack! What happened? I blame myself for diluting my days with happy interruptions and distractions, but I also realize that trying to be hip with social media (Twitter, Goodreads, etc.) has taken a toll ... at least for me. I spend more time thinking and talking and posting about writing, than actually writing.

Maybe it's not possible to find the same solitude as those 19 days, but I'm going to try to regroup, to tighten the belt so to speak. I'll miss seeing everyone's news, updates, and photos on Facebook, but will check in now and then on my author page:

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