Social Media and Bilbo Baggins
When it comes to social media, I'm a latecomer. I pretty much ignored it until I was out of my teens. I'm not entirely sure why I did this, I suppose I never really felt the need for it.
But now I am a blogger and wanna be author. And if I know anything about blogging and writing, it's this: blogs and books don't market themselves. And because I'd read somewhere that having a couple blogs - or “crossblogging” - was a good idea for those trying to promote their blogs, I signed up for Tumblr yesterday evening.
I should have called it quits and ended my long day, but my tired brain had only one idea: I must join Tumblr. After all, this is about my future. If I have a blog on Tumblr, it will help me market my other blog and that will help market my book. If I don't market that book, I won't be a successful writer, and I will end up selling organic toothpaste door to door to make ends meet. And I don't want to do that, do I? So I must join Tumblr.
I might have called that thought process “driven” once, but now I think it's just my mind trying to function without caffeine. Anyway, I love writing, but I realize it probably won't be a huge money maker for me, so trying to scare myself into writing like that doesn't work anymore. (Organic toothpaste, anyone?)
After I logged off Tumblr, reality struck. I couldn't maintain this rate of blogging. Moreover, I hadn't the foggiest idea of my new blog's title, target audience, or future content. My content would be poor quality, or I would post very seldom. It wasn't going to work.
And then a line from The Lord of the Rings popped into my head. It's the one where the hobbit Bilbo Baggins says he feels thin, stretched - like butter scraped over too much bread. And that he needs a holiday. Now Bilbo was dealing with a rather larger problem, which was a magic ring turning him into Gollum 2.0. But I could relate to feeling worn out.
I'm not going to forgo social media altogether. However, I can take a holiday from overfilling my blogging schedule. I can avoid committing to things I won't have time to do.
I realized I was spending more time trying to prepare for promoting my (largely unwritten) book than actually writing my book. Something was wrong. It's time to redefine my priorities, and put more time into my book. But I'm glad I tried to start another blog even though I had to put it on hold – it helped me balance blogging and writing. It helped me straighten out my priorities, and that is always a good thing.
What about you? How do you balance blogging and social media with your other writing?