Updated: Mar 8
My writing career has taken a turn in focus in the last few years. I talk a lot about mental health and practical ways to help and improve our mental health.
2021 was a hard year for my own mental health, even though I had a major breakthrough with the anxiety I was struggling with. (which I plan to share about in a future blog) I found myself stepping back and reevaluating the things I was doing, what I really wanted to do, and what I really didn’t want to do.
I recognized that I spent a lot of time scrolling social media. Time that could have been spent doing more productive things. Or even letting my brain rest from a constant stream of useless information. We’ve been taught that ‘rest’ is watching TV, playing video games, reading, or scrolling social media, but actually our brains need a rest from so much input. To just be in the moment. But just sitting in silence and not doing anything at all is a skill most people have lost these days.
I also realized that I really don’t like the constant push to have to produce content. A lot of my brain power is wasted on thoughts around creating the best content. As a detail-oriented person, it’s very easy for me to get caught up in doing everything just right and being discouraged whenever I feel I’ve not met some star standard of content production. It’s exhausting and I’m really, really tired of it.
I don’t want to compete with the millions of people on Instagram. I don’t want to feel pressured to create daily content. And I know some people would tell me that I’ll never get anywhere if I don’t do these things.
The thing is, I’ve talked to God about this. And while I haven’t heard him give me a definitive answer about what marketing strategies I should or shouldn’t follow, he has told me that my desire to write is something he put inside of me. And it’s been my goal for many years now to honor him with my writing. So now, I’ve put it in his hands. I’ve asked him to point me in the right direction when it comes to marketing, to get my books into the hands who need it most.
Also, if my mental energy is being absorbed by what to post next, then I don’t have the mental energy to do what I really love to do, which is write books. I’m only one person and I can only do so much. I would rather end the day feeling mentally drained and satisfied because I wrote three chapters of my next book, than I would ending the day feeling mentally drained and frustrated because I only managed to plan content for a few days.
And if that’s not enough, there is more and more information coming out about how bad social media is for our brains. I’ve put some links at the bottom of this post if you’re curious.
So this year, 2022, I’m stepping back from social media. I will still post, but I plan on being intentional this year about what I post and how often and I’m looking for alternate means of getting the word out about my books, and the projects I’m working on so I can further separate myself from social media in the future.
In essence, my goal is to break the cycle of social media addiction, in order to further improve my own mental health and get back to doing things I love. Do you have any goals for your mental health this year? I’d love to hear them.
Links to information about social media and the brain:
A link to a law firm that is holding social media accountable for cyberbullying.