When you're learning something new, it's really nice to focus on understanding that one concept, narrowing in on it until you have grasped it completely. Let's be honest: this never happens. There's always more than one thing to learn at a time. Most knowledge is intricately woven together with the old and the new. While I learn to navigate the 'writing world' there are layers upon layers of what to know, how to communicate, how to establish yourself, and, of course, how to use social media to bring attention to your writing. Blogging, tweeting, posting; and all of these have nothing to do with actually writing your manuscript, whatever it might be.
I read multiple posts every week on ways to use Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and personal websites to establish an author presence. Last week, I figured out how to link my blog onto my pinterest account and actually made a board just for my writing (feeling pretty proud of this). Still, I had to look up the difference between MT, QT, and RT on Twitter, so obviously I have a ways to go. (Stuck? Modified Tweet, Quote Tweet, and Retweet). The thing is, once I figure out the next thing, there will be more. The most challenging part, for me, is that on top of this technological learning curve, I'm improving myself as an author as well. I am significantly better at editing, sentence structure, and flow than I was even six months ago. The two kids, husband, and full-time job tend to keep me fairly busy as well.
On Grey's Anatomy last night (I forgot the T.V. watching, texting, reading, and crocheting in that list) one of the interns said "We're a generation of multi-taskers". This is incredibly true. Sometimes, it's too true. While a learning curve generally involves multitasking, that blending of prior and new knowledge, spreading ourselves too thin is something entirely different. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself, to give myself more work than I need, or to agree to things that don't necessarily fit with my schedule. This creates the necessity of multitasking, but it also creates stress.
That feeling (sometimes overwhelming) of needing to do it all now needs to be reigned in. It was enough to learn the Pinterest link last week. I'm still playing around with it this week. I've begun to use Twitter more frequently as a form of communication and connection with others in the writing world and to keep myself up to date on what's happening. Just because it's there, doesn't mean we have to access it all immediately. I do think that it's useful to have started though. If/when my children's book is picked up, I will feel a few steps ahead by already establishing all of this. A few steps ahead, of anything, would definitely be an enjoyable position!
I think of the kids in my class, my own kids, and myself and all the information we constantly take in. We want it, we usually enjoy it, but sometimes we have to step back and say, "What's most important right now?" Because, as much as you want to, you can't do it all. If you do, it's likely some of it will fall apart, at least until you've truly mastered what you set out to learn. So I won't worry too much that I'm not on Instagram yet, that I've only logged about 80 books into Goodreads, or that I had to look up the acronym GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) because I saw it on Twitter last night. Even with the speed at which all of this knowledge is coming at us, we can still take time for babysteps. It may take a little longer, but you'll feel more secure when you're there.
What's your favourite form of social media?