Because BLT (Boyfriend, Long-Term) and I are basically growing our own individual businesses, we’re always working.
Weekdays consist of BLT grinding in his office, meeting clients and training new employees, while I beat my keyboard to death with headphones on and music blaring. We meet at 7:30pm (sometimes it’s earlier but most times it’s later) for dinner and take thirty minutes to an hour to catch up on each others’ days. As soon as the plates are cleared, though, BLT chooses to end his day with one of his many TV shows while I’m back on my laptop for revisions. While I work to the sounds of Designated Survivor, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Limitless, Person of Interest, or even The-freaking-Bachelor, BLT’s phone intermittently pings! off with notifications from LinkedIn, his email, or the occasional text from a client or employee. It doesn’t stop.
So like the saying goes, since we work hard we always try to play harder. Weekends have become sacred things. We have an unspoken rule to unplug from social media so we can be present with each other, or our friends and family. Usually, it’s not that hard for me to tear myself away from my computer screen (since by Friday afternoon, I’m usually close to tearing my own hair out), but this past weekend was… different.
Compared to BLT, my phone usually acts as the strong, reliable, silent type in our relationship. His phone is perpetually on 20% because of all the phone calls and notifications and calculations this guy will do in a day, while my phone hovers at a steady 70% and is the one we rely on to actually make phone calls to solidify whatever plans we have that weekend. It doesn’t get a lot of action. So we were both pretty surprised to hear my phone, not BLT’s, start blowing up on Saturday and wouldn’t stop until late Sunday afternoon.
Twitter notifications were pouring in left and right. People saw the cute little one-liners from Finding Fae that I posted online when I just felt I needed to post something to prove I hadn’t given up yet. Authors started retweeting, independent publishing marketing companies were reaching out (they are something we’re going to talk about next week, so stay tuned), and people started following. I felt like that “when I get ten likes on Instagram” girl. I met a lot of awesome people in the span of two days. SO MUCH NETWORKING HAPPENED! BLT couldn’t handle my excitement.
I wondered where all of this feedback was suddenly coming from. Was this the answer to last week’s internal struggle? Was it all finally paying off?!
But it did stir some thought-provoking questions at 1:00am on Saturday as I scrolled through the most robust Twitter notification feed I’ve ever had the joy of witnessing for myself. A lot of writers, especially independent ones, have full-time jobs other than writing. Some of you may only fully utilize media on the weekends. Maybe I shouldn’t be “unplugging,” or at least not as near-religiously as I have been.
It’s the beginning of an experiment that I’ll work on for the next couple of weeks, and I’ll let you know my progress.
Until then, I’m curious, how is your relationship with social media?
And that’s pretty much it until next week, where I talk about the tantalizing but probably-not-entirely fruitful opportunities that independent book promoters pose. Have a great week and enjoy the void, everyone!