Renee Ballard

Social media – the finger food of the writing world

I live in a perpetual state of thinking ‘I really should do more writing’, then I don’t. I’ve been in this state for years, and until recently the thought of sitting down to extract thousands upon thousands of words onto a page paralysed me.

But now every week, I sit down to write a blog post and even though my default is to absolutely dread it, when it comes to the actually writing part, it’s never as hard as I imagined. Granted, my posts aren’t epic crime-thrillers or War and Peace volumes. They’re just a few short paragraphs about whatever I’m finding in the world of social media that week. But I have to admit, every week I think I’m never going to be able to write anything, out comes something that’s passable enough to hit publish on.

I’ve come to two conclusions about why it isn’t as hard as I imagined. The first one is that I am the chosen one and the prose pour from my fingers like the Nile toward the sea.

Or, and I think this is probably more likely, without realising it, by updating social media accounts a couple of times a week, I’ve actually been accidentally practising the craft of writing for years. The irony. While I’m using social media every day to procrastinate from doing any writing, it’s been secretly making me write the whole time!

I’m starting to think now that if writing a novel is the equivalent of a three-course meal, then writing social media posts has to be the equivalent of finger food. Little bite-sized chunks that require minimum commitment, but are attractive enough to want more of. Same deal with writing. Breaking down the big meal into delicious bite-sized pieces.

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