A One-Week Social Media Withdrawal

Consider this post a “closed for business” sign for one week. I have before learned the value to my creative process of occasionally going off-grid. A week ago I received my memoir manuscript back from the accomplished memoirist and editor I hired to give it a final read. Her suggested revisions were dead-on, answering the nagging questions I had not even known how to formulate into questions.


Patrick! Stop checking your tweets and get back to that manuscript!
Patrick! Stop checking your tweets and get back to that manuscript!

I am soooooo close to getting this manuscript out the door, a book I have been working in for three years now. Yet distractions are keeping me from completing my task. Part of that distraction is my day job, a government worker who currently is not furloughed and thus feels guilty about that, but also finds doing his job more difficult because of how much of the government is shuttered. The absurdity of my professional life at the moment is highly distracting, but beyond my ability to change.

What I can control is externalities I choose to engage in. Thus, to clear some head space for me to perform this final revision on my memoir, I am withdrawing from social media for one week: from this blog, from Twitter, from Facebook. In a way I’m cheating, because I’ve already found myself doing that over the last few days anyway, as my Twitter account demonstrates. But now I’m making it official.

My hope is that eliminating distractions will force me to finally say “I’m done” with this book. My larger fear is that the real problem is that I can’t get to that point, to finally saying that after three years I must let it take its chances. I just said goodbye to my daughter Marisa last month when I dropped her off in another state for her first year of college; perhaps I’m resisting another goodbye.

I’ll make a promise to you now: if my current struggle is one of avoiding completion of a creative task, I’ll research my favorite creativity and writing blogs, review the posts, and share what I learn here on The Artist’s Road.

Okay. Deep breath. Relax. Dive.

19 thoughts on “A One-Week Social Media Withdrawal

  1. Good luck with it, Patrick. I wonder sometimes if the writing itself, the whole immersed-in-creative-process part, becomes such a fundamental part of our daily lives that it’s hard to imagine letting that MS go. It IS kind of like having one of your children leave home and go off to college to start her adult life. Look forward to hearing how this goes for you! –Donna G.


  2. It’s amazing how the ego finds way to divert the heart from doing what it truly loves, especially when you are about to bring it out into the world. Welcome the confusion because it always comes before clarity and publishing.


  3. I’m glad you’re getting off time from social media. I think it’s important to put the creative and writing parts first and so glad to see you and also Julia Martin doing so. πŸ™‚ Alas, I’m only getting a weekend here soon, but the internet will be off. πŸ™‚


  4. Perfect timing! I just discovered your blog. πŸ™‚ On a serious note, I commend you on taking time off from social media to focus on your memoir. I just blogged about moving to another state to do the same. Here’s to a productive week. And in the meantime I will read your older posts.


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