Today, while playing with my son in the backyard, we were surrounded by dragonflies. They hummed in the air, they perched on nearby branches, and they dashed daringly through the water that sprayed through the air from the hose. And then I saw red ones – three of them – and I was completely hypnotized. They were vibrant and fat, and one perched on the tip of a dead tree, the branch spearing straight up into the sky. They were strange and lovely, and I thought, “Perhaps there is magic in this world after all.”
The Importance of Taking A Break
When life is a never-ending blur of work, family, and trying to build some sort of platform to be heard above the masses, it can get a little overwhelming. I just took a few days away from social media, and it was incredibly refreshing. As an author (this applies to my fellow indies, especially) social media can seem like the thing that will make or break your growing business or dream job. It seems like you have to do it all – all the different apps and platforms – and sometimes it can feel like you need to do them all right away. I just want to remind you that yes it will happen, yes you can do this, but yes it will take time.
Longevity is the goal when you’re trying to turn your side-gig or side-hustle into your main income. While it would be wonderful to write one book, create one masterpiece of art, craft one perfect song and that to somehow go viral and change your life forever – that doesn’t always happen and the attention can fade surprisingly fast. To build lasting relationships with others in your industry, it’s important to work slowly, work regularly, and work patiently with social media.
Just one post a day, every day – or starting out with one a week, if that’s too overwhelming – is progress. Having one new follower or fan is progress. Having one person genuinely interested in what you do (other than someone just hopping along the follow train because it’s popular) is progress! You just have to be patient with yourself.
And that’s why rest is important. You want to do this for a long time – that’s why you picked it. You don’t want to burn yourself out just trying to build your social media. If you have been feeling overwhelmed by the thought of interacting with comments and messages, I encourage you to take a break – even if it’s just for a day. Have one day that it’s okay not to reply to everything. The world will keep spinning, and I guarantee your slow reply will be more of a bother to your own mind than it will to others. You are important, not just your craft.
Fellow Authors, Readers, and Book Lovers
If your an author – traditionally or self-published – I’d love to interact with you more. I took some time away from the buzz of social media, but now that I’m back, I want to start using my neglected blog/website more. I’m still getting it set up how I want – this is my author page, so information about my published and upcoming books will be the main focus – but I’d like to start keeping a (somewhat) regular blog as well. I’m a mom who writes, so if that sounds appealing to you, go ahead and follow this page!
Just remember to relax, breathe, take a break when you can, and try to notice the dragonflies.