As an independent author, I know the importance of platform building. Being plugged in to social media, feeding content to a website or blog, and connecting with readers is part of the self-publishing process.
But sometimes, it feels good to unplug.
One of the main themes of my storytelling is the unplugged imagination, in which children set aside toys and games that need batteries, cables, and cords. Their play is fueled by the most powerful energy of all: their own imagination.
Unplugging is just as important in life as is in play. The world is abuzz 24/7 now with instant access to millions of voices via computers, smartphones, and televisions. As vital as it is to plug into those voices and connect with people, sometimes it’s nice to disconnect for a weekend and enjoy the quiet.
Ahhhh. Silence, broken only by the tiny voice in my head or the words of loved ones physically in my vicinity.
For platform-building writers, tools like HootSuite and Facebook’s advance post feature are especially handy. Scheduling posts helps keep content fresh on social media pages without having to be connected to the pages all day.
(Being more consistent with scheduling social media posts is a goal on my list. I’m particularly unreliable on Twitter, and there are weeks my Facebook page doesn’t even tally a post per day.)
Scheduling blog posts is a handy feature as well. There has been more than one occasion I find myself running out of daylight while tackling other chores and writing a blog post in the wee a.m. hours. Writing when I have the time and scheduling the post for a more suitable hour for my audience has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.
Social media and blogs are about connecting with people, so just scheduling posts, brushing our hands of interaction, and walking away isn’t a solid plan. But scheduling posts allows us to say, “Hey everyone, I’m still around, and here’s some interesting content in the meantime while I take a breather.” Then we’re able to plug in at our leisure and respond to anyone who leaves comments.
I value my unplugged hours, because they serve as a mental reset. They can be devoted to writing, reading, time with family, chores, or just sitting on a bench by the Vermilion River to daydream.
Best of all, having time away from social media and online platforms makes me value them even more because, when I return, I’m refreshed and eager to plug back in to see what others have to say.