Social media, where we express our hurt and anger to each other, turns the voices in our own heads into an echo chamber. Some of us are able to channel that into creative fuel, but I've heard from a lot of authors who have been completely debilitated by all the frustration and emotion recently. Speaking for myself, the whole past year social media was draining my concentration and my ability to feel joy in the words I was putting on the page.
I feel a little ashamed to write that. With all that's going on in the world, is it selfish to aspire to joy in the creative process? For months, I dreaded reading the news or pulling up Twitter or Facebook, and when I did it, I would sit down at my computer and stare at the keyboard with my fingers shaking.
At the beginning of October, I basically cut myself off, cold turkey. I posted a bit about the launch of Illusion, but since then I mostly go on and check mentions--fewer and fewer, obviously--scroll through my home feed a bit, and log back off again. I hate that I'm doing this because I feel like I'm missing so much, but it's keeping me sane. And gradually, I'm coming to realize that it is also fueling a resurgence in my creativity. I've been more productive in the past five months than I have been in years.
For a while, even that made me feel a little guilty, because wasn't I escaping into my work when other people didn't have any means of escape?
But then I realized that we all escape in our own ways. Many readers read to escape, to release the pressure. So how can they do that if we don't give them something to escape into, to lose themselves within? How can they find joy in what I create for them to read if I don't find joy in the writing?
Amid all the stuff that's been going on, I needed to write something completely different, so I wrote a sweet romance for adult readers set in Scotland. With men in kilts. It's been such a pleasure, and it's made me able to step back and put the rest of the world in perspective.
What about you? How are you coping with what's going on in the news and on social media? With how the world and publishing is changing?
Are you writing more? Less? Have you found a coping strategy?
I'd love to do a post of tips in the next few weeks, so leave comments below. And meanwhile, here's a mystery box giveaway of ten YA books (U.S. only, sorry) because I haven't done one in a while.
Happy writing everyone! Hope the weather is warm wherever you are!
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About the Author
Martina Boone is the author of Compulsion, Persuasion, and Illusion in the romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, and the new upcoming romance for adult readers, Lake of Destiny, a magical exploration of destiny, family, healing, and the often twisted path to love set in the Highlands of Scotland--with men in kilts : ).