I’m Back, Baby!

That’s right, friends, I’m back! What does that mean? It means you’re not going to see me for awhile. …Wait? Is that right? Let me check my flow chart… yep, that’s right.

Confused? Not as much as me, but let’s see if we can figure this out together. :)

Ok, so if you’ve been following me over on Have Coffee… Will Write, a blog I used to run with friend and writing buddy, Susan Borath, you know 2 things:

(Well, hopefully you know more than these 2 things, but for argument’s sake let’s just pretend that your world revolves around us.)

  1. Susi and I have decided to blog on our own sites and run a brand new interview/review site called “Writing on the Rocks” to go live soon nudges Eric to hurry up

  2. I’m a cheerleader. I mean, not a real one with the pom-poms, big boobs and a tiny outfit, but a cheerleader nonetheless.

I believe in my friends, they can do anything they put their mind to and I’m always willing to put my work, time, life aside to help them in any way I can. See a problem there? I didn’t; not at first.

I love to write. It has filled a hole in me I didn’t know existed until I opened Scrivener that first time. Sometimes I would write journal-like entries, other times I would write down random snippets of dialogue that floated around in my head and kept me up at night. I even started to write another novel.

This was all before Twitter. :)

You all know I’m a big advocate for social networking. In my last post on HCWW I begged you all to remember that we’re people who need connections. Well, I was a writer looking for connections and boy did I find some great ones. I learned that there is so much more to writing then just writing! I learned that helping a fellow writer is not just tweeting “Hey! You can do it!” but offering to beta read, line edit and write reviews. All great ways of showing support, all great ways to spend your time not writing your own words.

Here’s something that sounds completely random, but it’s not. Did you know that not everyone uses Twitter the way I do? Every night Eric looks at me like I have two heads when I tell him about the conversations I have with people on Twitter.

“I never have conversations on Twitter. You know how we use it? We see who can write lines of code in 140 characters or less.”

Now, it’s my turn to look at him like he has two heads.

Eric is a computer software engineer. No wait, that’s not right… he is a solutions architect. Hm, I don’t know what that means.

I know that in my context it means that there is a room in my house that looks a snake pit with all the wires running through it and that no electronic device is workable without at least two remotes.  More importantly it means that he is highly intelligent and makes computers do whatever he needs them to do just by looking at them.

He’s been on Twitter for 3 years now. He has 254 followers. I have been on Twitter since January, the last time I checked I have 964 followers. Now, I know this isn’t a contest (which I would so totally win) and it doesn’t really matter the number of followers. I’m from the school of thought that it’s better to have 100 followers that I have actual conversations with than 1,000 random followers with whom I never speak with.

So, why do I bring this up? I honestly, forget. Where did I put that flow chart? Ah, yes. Connections, helping people.

Eric and I both use the platform professionally. His line of work is analytical, whereas mine is personable. We both use it to connect to people in our field, to learn with them or from them, but with me it’s so much more. It has to be. I’m a writer. I need to study people and if I can’t be with someone physically then I need to study them through their words.

But I went overboard. Twitter enabled me. I just want to help people. I want everyone to be their best and if they think I can help them achieve their goals by reading their work then I am all for it. But I took on too much.

Other than blog posts, I stopped writing. At first I was ok with it because helping other writers and feeling a part of something was magical and addicting. But over the course of the last few weeks I started getting depressed; that once filled hole was re-emerging. Since I had once filled it, I knew what was causing it, but I didn’t know how to fix it.

I had a really good talk with a great friend last night. He picked up on my mood right away and we started talking. Instead of saying ‘Just start writing, Karen! You can do it!” He asked me questions about my main character, the one I left alone so many months ago. He brought her back to me. The wheels started turning and her voice is now in my head. Oh, how I’ve missed her voice.

After talking with him I had some time to sit and think. I realized that I am but one person. I can’t do it all no matter how much I want to. I have several things on the burner right now in regards to helping other writers, beta reads and reviews that I can finish all within the next two weeks. Once I’m done with that, it’s me time.

But in order to do that I need to step away… from Twitter.

Somebody pick up Steve, I think he may have hit his head.

Not for good, mind you, what am I nuts? I still need that connection, it’s just going to be on a smaller time frame. And of course, I’m not that hard to find if you really need to talk to me. But I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing it for my characters. They need their story to be told and I’m the only one that can do it.

I just ask that you stick with me. Don’t forget about me and if you happen to be in #pubwrite one night, raise a pint in my name. Next time I’m in I’ll buy. ;)

 

17 Responses to “I’m Back, Baby!”

  1. Susi Borath Says:

    Seriously, I have found myself in the same boat… Too much time on twitter, FB, blogs, etc, and I forgot about actually writing. I have gotten back into writing the past 2 weeks or so, and it feels great, but it absolutely comes at the expense of time talking to others on twitter. Still, balance is the goal, and I am sure we will find it in time. :-)

  2. Amy Cavenaugh Says:

    Awesome! :) I will miss seeing you on Twitter as often but I understand. I’m so glad to hear you’re writing again. I need to get back to it myself. Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to read what you have written! :D

  3. Janelle Jensen Says:

    Karen, I can completely understand. So many times I find myself wandering over the Twitter just to check in, only to find half the night is gone and I still haven’t fed the cats. Which may be why I have one perched on my head and chewing on my hair. Sometimes you need to take that break, and step away, so that you can sit down and do what you need to do. And hey, writing is what you need to do! Because you are a writer, and writer’s can get scary when they don’t put the words spinning around in the minds down on paper.

    So say hello when you can, have a drink with us if you feel the need to unwind or de-stress or bounce ideas of us. Just know we’ll always be there and waiting to wave back. :)

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Thank you SOOOOO much, Janelle! It’s people like you that got me addicted to Twitter! I will definitely stop in for a pint and conversation. Thanks for your support! :)

  4. Rinn Says:

    I think this is wonderful, Karen. I’ve been learning the Twitter/writer balance as well. For me, it was just a matter of popping in in the morning while I did the admin work, logging out to work, and logging in at the end of the day for a bit. That is, once I realized I was getting very little accomplished.

    Good for you.

    -Rinn

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      It’s just so much fun!!! But there has to be a balance. It’s hard because I need to know what’s going on, it’s the little sister in me. However, I can’t keep neglecting my need to write. Thank you for your support, friendship and laughs!

  5. Glenn Says:

    He stands stunned in front of him guinness & glenlivet upon hearing the news. His skin greyed as the sudder passes through his body. Finally with a tear cresting in the corner of his eye, he turns toward the piaano player in the corner of the pubwrite bar “My good man if you please…Play me a candle in the wind” The piano man nods, he turns his focus to the ivory keys and begins to play. He turns back to the bar and raises the shot glass high above his head as the piano’s notes fill the air. “This one’s for you Karen, Slainte!”

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      GLENN!!!! That was awesome, thank you! LOL. And don’t you worry, you really think I can stay away from you guys for long? Just let me get through these 2 wks and I’ll be back in twitter jail before you know it ;)

  6. Katie Says:

    Wow! I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who has this same problem. Granted, I haven’t agreed to beta-read anyone or review anyone… yet. But the point is, once I joined Twitter I lost myself in the idea of being a writer and talking to other writers like myself. I forgot to write, or write as much. I noticed it myself a couple of weeks ago, and decided that I needed to get back to the writing. It took a while for me to get back into the flow of my work, but once I did I felt a renewed awe at the whole process! I wish you luck with your writing and I will definately toast to you in #pubwrite!

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Yes, it’s very easy to lose yourself in Twitter. There are so many great people to talk with and learn from that at first you don’t even realize that you’re spending so much time with them. My problem was when someone would leave to work on their work, someone new would pop up and I’d talk to them. Always talking to new and interesting people. They would work, and I would find someone else! Dangerous.

      Best of luck with the balance! I wish you all the best with your writing. And hopefully some day soon, I’ll see you around the pub :)

  7. Rob "Sharky" Pruneda Says:

    Good for you, Karen! I’ll miss seeing you in #Pubwrite (and yet, I think you’re really sitting in Twitter jail doing hard time), but I’m glad you’ve decided to focus more on writing.

    I’m personally having a hard time trying to juggle work, writing, and play. Sometimes we just have to sacrifice one to have time to do the other. My PS3 gaming buddies are hating me for it, but they’ll get over it.

    Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to get more disciplined with my writing and get my current WIP completed soon.

    Take care, Karen! And happy writing!

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Thanks, Sharky! I could always count on you to petition for me to get out of twitter jail, a true friend, that’s what you are! I’ll still be around the twitterverse, just more in a creepy, lurking style than the “HEY EVERYONE!” fashion. :)

  8. Jack Says:

    Hey Karen! I’ve tried to balance out my twitter/facebook/blog entries to one day and the rest of the week for writing. It’s hard to take away from friendships in an effort to keep writing, but it is necessary. Otherwise, the whole social scene would rule over the writing…and we don’t want that! Do we?

    • Karen DeLabar Says:

      Hi Jack! It is difficult to find that balance, but it is necessary. I came onto Twitter for a reason, to connect with other writers, which I have, but also to promote myself and work. Kinda hard to promote something you don’t have because you’re busy catching up with friends. I just needed to get my priorities in order.

      And actually, now that I have taken a step back and organized my time better, I’m actually on Twitter/Facebook more than I thought I would be. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and, as always, for your continuous support – you rock, my friend!

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