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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disconnect and Feel Your Creativity

In today’s A to Z challenge, “D” is for Disconnect.

Writers are involved in social networking, including this blog challenge, to gain connections. We uphold the concept of connectedness to improve our lives. We anticipate networking will help us gain more knowledge, send our own messages to a larger audience, reach or validate our personal goals.

We may reach some or all of those goals, but also very likely we will gain increased stress and demands on our limited time.

For writers, stress and more work equate to less creativity. 

Unfortunately, most of us at one point fear taking time to disconnect from our continual stream of networking. We fear we will: miss out on the next big idea; be left out; become unpopular; not discover a great path to get our writing to readers; not build a large enough platform to suit a potential publisher/agent; not sell our books. We each hear these voices chasing us back onto the treadmill. 

We lose valuable time maintaining our connections on social media sites. But, much more importantly, in the time leftover, our brains do not immediately let go and relax into free-flowing creative thought. So while our primary love is channeling imagination to paper, networking, intended to let our creative voices sing, can easily over-stimulate and destroy our art.

I’ve been guilty. I found myself with time to write, a great outline in front of me I was excited about, but couldn’t connect one idea to the next with any three-dimensional style. Not writer’s block…more like writer’s inertia or writer's barricade, which I couldn’t hurdle until I disconnected.

Where did I write this post? Scribbled longhand at the beach. No internet at all. Only a cell phone in case my elderly mother had an emergency. I wrote page after page and visualized dozens of amazing plot developments. 

Sand brushes off my notebook much easier than my mind relaxes after a run on the networking treadmill.

(On Thursday, I’ll post some pictures of the beach I'm at—Fort DeSoto for “F” day.)

Disconnect. How do you do it? Or how should you do it?



Elise said...

Great blog! That is so true some days like today I was totally off my game LOL I'm just now getting my D idea rolling. :)

Please stop by and visit

Rachel Firasek said...

Marsha, amazing post and I'm feeling you. I know you just finished a blog tour for your last release and I'm just now starting mine. I'm there with you on the creativity part. I've had to take several days here and there destressing from the social media buzz. I'm hoping to completely shut down in May and finish book 2. I'll keep a couple of posts out there, but I have to get back to what is important---the writing. :)

Anonymous said...

Sand brushes off my notebook much easier than my mind relaxes after a run on the networking treadmill.

I agree. Writing my story on a notebook today, with multi-colored pens!

Roseanne Dowell said...

You're so right, Marsha. I think that's what I need to do so I can move on in my WIP. I keep trying to figure out how to get from one scene to another and I'm adding a lot of dreck that doesn't move the story forward. I think I'll just end that chapter and start another, but first I need to turn of all the social networking. I wish I could go to the beach and sit and work. I find myself constantly checking email and FB to see what's new. Great tip. Thanks.

RosieC said...

Oh, it's so true! I'm horrible at disconnecting, myself. I need to learn to do it more often. When I do, I get better writing done, but sometimes it's hard to let go.

Hmm, maybe you're trying to tell me something. Maybe I should disconnect right....

East for Green Eyes

Marsha A. Moore said...

@Elise--I'll stop by today!

@Rachel--Even though I was very prepared and organized with my blog tour, the lack of creative thought, just a 2-dimensional blank mind drove me nutty.

@Damyanti--multi-colored pens sounds so fun!

@Roseanne--The beach is great because I have no temptation to just check the internet for a minute. That only fragments my creative thought. I feel sorry for younger generations of writers who most likely never have organized thoughts on paper.

@Rosie--all of our connections are a huge temptation.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Spot-on. The networking makes us DISTRACTED!

Linda Ann

I stopped by via the A to Z Challenge for April, and I invite you to visit my blogs at:

NICKERS AND INK – poetry, humor, inspiration and more

PRACTICALLY AT HOME – inspiration, humor and how-tos for family, home and garden, and more

THE MANE POINT – a haven for horse lovers

MEME EXPRESS – daily blogging prompts for the A to Z Challenge and more

SweetMarie83 said...

What a terrific post! I think my problem lately is that I'm not making the time to disconnect. I'm always on the 'treadmill' as you put it, always thinking of what to do next, or what I should be doing and it's exhausting. I'm going to make a conscious effort from now on to disconnect and remember to live a little and not always be thinking about work.

Gabriela Lessa said...

Oh, wow! You're brave! Networking and using social media is very helpful, but you're right it can become overwhelming and, more often than not, turn into a procrastination tool. The key here is balance. Whoever finds that, please let me know where, ok? ;)

Marsha A. Moore said...

It is a brave stance to take, since everywhere we turn we're advised to network, how to network, where to network. I think we get plenty of that advice and we "get it" by now. What we need is balance, like you mentioned, Gabriela.

Toby Neal said...

whew, what great post on the downside of all this networking I already work two jobs, then the blogging, and the twitter, and omg I might miss something...and in the meantime my writing is suffering.
I'm not sure of the answer as I know we have to network in this weird world we live in.
I don't have an answer. I'm doing this stupid (but fun) blog challenge arent I??
*sighs* I ought to unplug.

Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Toby! It's hard to fit it all together. I do alright over a week, but balancing each day is impossible for me.