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Addressing Social Media Writer’s Block

I just don’t know what to say.

I’ve met so many people who say this to me when we’re talking about their social media profiles. They usually follow up with “I just don’t get Facebook,” or “I just say the same thing over and over,” or maybe “I’m bored.” And they shrug it off like it’s not something they can fix, so they hand it off to be someone else’s problem.

But there’s a missed opportunity here. In some ways that social media void is just like any other plain ol’ writer’s block. To blame it on the medium is to miss an opportunity to learn about yourself. Address your distaste for social media and you’ll address issues that may be affecting other parts of your creative life.

Writers’ block is usually caused by fear — fear that you’ll say something stupid, fear that you’re not good enough, fear that everyone — or no one — will read what you write. The brain fart you feel when staring at the “Write something” box is no different.

What do you feel when you go to post? Push past the boredom or annoyance that comes up initially. What are you afraid of?

Maybe you’re obsessing over what time of day to post because you’re afraid no one will read it. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll say something that doesn’t fit with your artist persona because you haven’t entirely thought your identity through yet. Maybe you’re afraid you’ve run out of truly creative ideas.

Notice and acknowledge the fear. Just because it’s tied to social media doesn’t mean it’s not legitimate. If you’re feeling afraid of any of these outcomes, that fear is likely tied into your art as well.

Fear can only control you if you don’t address it. To acknowledge and accept it is to regain power over it.

If you’re feeling anxious, put more preparation into your posts. Make a schedule of what you’re going to post this week. Type your status in a text editor in advance and sit with it for a while. Have a friend or a bandmate read what you’re going to say.

But don’t just say “Facebook is stupid” and leave it at that. If you make that excuse, you’re letting your unconscious fears hold you back.

Published in Online Voice

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