You don’t notice the static until it’s gone.
As the holidays drew closer, I closed my laptop, logged out of the 3G connection on my phone, and felt a veil lift from before my eyes. You’ve heard me refer to the relentless pursuit of and by social media as ‘static’ before, yet the image never tires for me.
Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, blogs and all of their associated applications that light up and dance when a new update arrives meld together to create a veil of static that distracts us from even that which is right in front of us.
If we let it.
So every now and then, I remove myself from the distraction. I’m like a toddler. I can’t seem to learn the lesson, so Mom is better off pointedly removing me from the situation rather than trying to reason with me just yet.
But not this time. This time I’m ready to learn the lesson.
I’m resolving to approach my social media strategy with deliberation this year.
Hell, merely having a strategy is a sniper shot forward, in stark contrast to my shotgun approach of the past. Your first response may be “Strategy? Blogging is just for fun! I don’t need no stinking strategy!” Which is fine. But strategy doesn’t have to mean taking things too seriously. For me, it means self-awareness of how I use my time.
While taking a break from Velveteen Mind since Christmas, I haven’t actually been completely offline. In a concerted effort to begin sharpening my focus, I launched a new microblog. There was no official announcement, no fanfare, I just started posting content to it. Although launching another blog might seem counterintuitive to honing focus, it has actually been quite successful for my purposes, so far. Primary among them being keeping everything in one place.
Why a microblog, too?
I answer this question in depth in my first and hopefully longest post you’ll find at the Content Parlor of Velveteen Mind. In short:
The Content Parlor of Velveteen Mind is my alternative to microblog platforms such as Posterous and Tumblr, bookmarking sites like Delicious, as well as twitter photo applications such as twitpic… In other words, this is where I'll share what I'm reading, laughing at, wishing I could buy, and what resources I've found to be useful, as well as twitter photos and stream-of-consciousness bits that are too long for tweets but not meaty enough for a full blog post.
So far so good. The Content Parlor is proving to be very much like a lifestream, as you can follow where I am via twitpics (occasionally check out that category, even if you don’t care about the link posts), what I’m researching, whose opinion I value, as well as where my mind is headed for new posts at Velveteen Mind. My creative processes are already beginning to reveal themselves there.
If you are like me, you love to catch glimpses of how other people work.
How I hope to work this year is with deliberation. That means using my time wisely, focusing priorities, and minding my balance. A topic I am not alone in scrutinizing a little more carefully, asking ourselves what it is that we truly want and considering if that bears any resemblance to what we need:
When I say that “I own this,” what I mean is that I know the difference between what I want and what I need. I am tempted by the fairy dust that is popularity and recognition for my hard work. However, I look beyond my own expectations and question what comes next. I ask myself “Is that next result what I really want? What I ever wanted?”
I could write a book about how we struggle with balance as bloggers and mothers. I’ve attended conference panels about this struggle but sometimes walk away feeling like the panelists were holding back. Out of guilt? Out of fear of looking like bad moms? Fear of looking unprofessional? I could never quite put my finger on it, however much I may have enjoyed the panel.
With that in mind, I’m going to try my hand at the subject (in addition to a second panel plus a workshop) at BlissDom this year. I’ll be speaking on the Striking a Balance panel with Christine Koh, Deb on the Rocks, Arianne Segermann, and Carmen Stacier. We’ll see where we get.
I won’t pretend that it isn’t complicated. Olive will be with me in Nashville, so believe me when I say that I promise to put it squarely on the table when we discuss the challenges we face.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep working on my short term and long term strategy. That whole “time management” thing my dad has been talking to me about since I was old enough to shuffle the laundry from the washer to the dryer. While I envy the way some of you handle the mystery that is time management, I also won’t pretend that I don’t let a laundry list (har har) of obstacles trip me up. My perfectionism being high on that list.
But I’m going to try.
And I’m starting by turning off this computer. Because it’s the weekend and my mind suddenly feels a whole lot lighter. Static? What static?
Related posts linked within:
The Vicious Cycle of Write - Moosh in Indy