As writers we’re told to keep using social media to promote ourselves. It’s important to be seen regularly on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads at the very least. But what happens when you need time out to deal with real life?
Working on the internet.
Over the past months I’ve been paid as a mentor to help a talented young team of producers shape a radio documentary. This job was totally done online, albeit for one phone call.
But then the sky fell in. There was sad news in the family. There’s nothing like a shake up to remind you that your social media identity is secondary to real life.
I had to let my producers know that I’d be out of action for a short while. Inconveniently, before one of their deadlines.
I had the luxury of insomnia while we were interstate dealing with things. How perfect for a writer with an American publisher. It’s daytime there when it’s 3am here. Time to tweet!
But I wasn’t alone in sleeplessness. The smart phone was put down as I began being a shoulder to cry on.
Another Radio Mentor took over.
Sigh of relief. I was keen to hear the newest version of their doco, but not while the world was closing in. I was grateful. Time to use my time to the job at hand. A video memorial.
Facebook did provide time out, but in a quietly passive way. I looked. I read. I liked. But there were few posts from my end.
The real time out happened where it needed to, from my other self. Yet if it was a decade or two earlier the concept of separating myself from my social media persona couldn’t even be imagined.