How do writers disconnect from social media and their writing to travel or get a break?
As you read this, I’m traveling home after an extensive trip with my husband and new-PhD son. It took a real effort to disconnect from social media and actually enjoy (as in “be present”) on this journey.
It was my husband’s first vacation in a couple years and I wanted to spend it enjoying the trip rather than being distracted by what might be happening on my blog, Facebook and Twitter (not to mention Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram).
It took me a couple weeks to organize and schedule it all, but I found three tools and a gift to help me disconnect during that time.
(Of course I wasn’t completely disconnected. I continued to ply my hand, but I didn’t feel obligated if I couldn’t find wi-fi or any other way to get online without running up a roaming bill. Some of the places we visited do not even have GPS contact!)
(Note: while we had a house sitter, sharp-eyed neighborhood watch folk, relatives and a friend stopping by, you always want to be careful about advertising you won’t be home–just in case. So, scheduling helps that way, too)
Here they are.
Four tools to help a writer disconnect.
1. WordPress scheduling.
I love the schedule feature on WordPress.
For those who’ve never used it before, after you write your post, go over to the box on the right to “Publish Immediately.” Don’t let that scare you. Click EDIT.
A date box opens up. Put in the date, the time, click OK.
The blue box that says “PUBLISH,” this time will read “SCHEDULE.”
If you need to make a change in your post, feel free to do so and then click “UPDATE.”
I write two blog posts a week for my website and often guest blog. To prepare for this trip, I had to write nine blog posts in advance and schedule them.
Each blog post takes a couple hours to research, write, find and add photos, write the “click to tweets,” and schedule.
My NovelPastimes posts are written on blogger–which fortunately allows for scheduling as well.
My guest post for Rachel Muller was written months ago when I volunteered and she sent me the link in time for me to add it.
(She handled the scheduling herself).
Bliss to not have to worry about the blog for three weeks!
2. Facebook scheduling
You can’t and you really want to, schedule posts on your personal page, but on “business” pages, you can do so.
Write the status and click on the blue POST.
A drop-down box appears and you can schedule a specific date and/or time.
I’ve got a lot of pre-scheduled status posts for my upcoming novella The Sunbonnet Bride. I wrote them a couple months ago, to appear weekly and build a story preparatory to the novella publishing as an ebook in June.
I’m late to the Hootsuite game and several days of my prep time were spent trying to understand it.
One of my 12 Brides of Christmas co-writers used it extensively last fall when we marketed our ebooks and I examined what she had done.
Hootsuite has two options for scheduling: one done right on the Hootsuite page, and the other through “bulk scheduling.”
After examining my co-writer’s spread sheet, I followed her template to write my own–using information from the blog posts I’d already written.
I followed a tutorial done by Hootsuite and that’s what I suggest you do. Try this link.
It was a little tricky with the time and changing to a .cvs file, but it’s working! (I practiced before I left.).
I found it easiest to set up the spread sheet by date and then fill it in as I wrote the posts–putting them in at different times and days.
Hootsuite bulk will not allow you to use the same tweet twice, so that took creativity, but it was a wonderful relief to load them up and watch them tweet.
4. The true gift: Friends
Two days before I flew, my galleys for The Sunbonnet Bride arrived.
I was able to get them done, but I wondered what I would have done had they come while I was gone.
I’ve written before about getting by with a little help from my friends . . .
It didn’t come to this on our trip, but that’s probably what I would have done–asked for help.
In addition, my daughter-in-law serves as my Webmistress and has all my account passwords. When I run into trouble and am far away (or incapable), I can always contact her for help.
And why not?
They don’t call it social media for nothing.
What tools do you use to help you disconnect from your social media needs, your job, your work, your computer, your phone?
4 tools to help a writer disconnect from social media Click to Tweet
Help for escaping social media for a vacation! Click to Tweet
Scheduling and friends: a vacation from social media! Click to Tweet