Thursday, March 01, 2012

Burn Out

I realized today as I checked in with my twitter stream, facebook, tumblr, and google plus, that I'm overwhelmed.  It's not even the time-suck aspect of social media, though to be sure, that is a factor. No, I'm on a fast track to information overload and I need to figure out how to get back into balance.

As part of my commitment to being a writer, I made a concerted effort to inform myself about the business of publishing. I filled my social media following with smart and knowledgeable industry professionals. I read blogs and follow agents, editors, and other writers and think I have a fairly solid handle on the business.

But this morning, I couldn't stand to read one more post or follow one more link. I'm exhausted.  Keeping up with the flood of information is impossible and ultimately distressing. I think there comes a point where you have to take a step back and say enough.

Enough posts on how Amazon is evil.  Or how KDP garnered some author a gazillion downloads and is the best thing since sliced bread.  Or how the big six are dying.  Or how the big six are ripping off midlist writers.  Or how agents are evil.  Or how writers who seek traditional publication are idiots.  Or how all self-published books are drek.  Or how self-publishing is the savior of literature.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

So much of what's out there is just static.

And I need to take a break from it all.

Because, on one level, it doesn't really matter what's happening to the state of the publishing business: I have stories to tell and I will continue to tell them.  If I let myself become paralyzed by fear of what might happen to publishing in the next 6 months, the next year, the next ten years, then I won't be able to write.

I can't predict the future.  I only know what will happen if I don't write.


  1. I couldn't AGREE MORE!I had to step back from the yawning maw of too much social media a while ago, or it would have paralyzed my writing. So I schedule in my writing time, my blogging time, my blog commenting time (now, which is why I'm commenting on your blog, LOL), my FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Yahoo time. I only follow bloggers I have something in common with. I've decided I don't give a crap who sold what or what's happening in the pub industry. Nobody knows anymore, and I have no control anyway, so that's fine. I just want to write stories.

    Best of luck, and you're not alone!

    Nancy :)

  2. I know what you mean. I used to think that I had to read every tweet, blog post or whatever, now I scan blogs and sorry if I'm not interested I don't read. I culled Twitter to people I have actually had some kind of interaction with and serial advertisers are gone. Google+ is narrowed down to one circle of writers (and for some reason the Nasa photos that I like) and if I miss a day or two or a month then so be it. FB though is another matter!

  3. So with you on this! I'm not on FaceBook or Twitter yet, and I just joined Google+. Still have no earthly idea how to use it. :)

  4. Nancy, Michelle, and Lisa--thank you for weighing in and for the support. I ended up with a 5K weekend, not letting myself get overwhelmed by the endless scroll of posts and tweets.

    I do like the community of the 'net, but finding that elusive balance is always a struggle.

    Happy writing!