The trick to cutting back on my social media addiction is to avoid social media. Yes, that’s trite! It’s the sort of facile blurb that graces a thousand self-help books, and I apologize. But it’s a shortcut to a discussion about habits and the way simple, bullheaded repetition can make and break them.
I read a piece by John Scalzi about his difficulties writing since the 2016 election. I get it. Despondency over the state of the world (or one’s own chunk of it) is hard to overcome. We have leaders in government and in all media who are masters at creating distractions from all manner of creative work, much of which is, by nature, formed in sensitive communion with an artist’s inner swirl of thoughts and emotions. We can easily give in because those things are urgent, or terrifying, or ruinous to creation.
I’ve tried to be an inspired writer and artist, creating when I’m ready. But my realization came very late: I might never be ready. If that’s the case, I have to make a decision about the things I say I want to make. It becomes important to take a stand for my creative philosophy: is it better to agonize about making the best things, or just to make things?
I mean, objectively, who knows? The world doesn’t lack for new media. At all. I considered this, and if I should shut up (extending that metaphor to my fingers poking at whatever medium they tend to) and wait to distill the Big Important Thing.
But maybe there is something the world can gain from my tiny offering. I can’t know the difference from this distance. It’s possible no one will know until after I’m gone. It might be nothing. But you know, it could be things I didn’t think were Big Important when I made them.