Oooh, So Shiny! Focus, Focus, Focus.

by Greg on February 12, 2013

Social Network LogosI love the online world. It’s a never-ending sandbox full of amazing tools for research, marketing, communication, and, well, most everything.

At the same time, that abundance also creates a challenge – there’s always something new to try or learn. And even more tantalizing… there’s always some next big thing that “everybody” is talking about. It’s hard not to feel perpetually one step behind.

For authors, illustrators and others building a platform, however, there simply is no one place you have to be online… no one tool you must master… no new thing you absolutely must try. Instead, it’s critical to focus on what you want to do, why you want to do it, what you have time to do, and what you enjoy doing.

In other words, if you have a clear idea of why you’re spending time online and if you’re reaching your goals, then it doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, your own blog, or anywhere else. And all of this, of course, comes after you’ve paid attention the most critical thing: your work!

So, the next time someone says “You’ve got to try….” and mentions any social media tool or network, take a deep breath and remember that you don’t got to. Sure, when you have time and energy and interest, you can check out that new thing. It might even become your favorite. Until then, though, it’s not a reason to lose mental space or sleep.

There’s always something shiny and new just around the corner online, and that’s a great thing. Still, it doesn’t change what you need to do: focus on your work, set goals, and reach them (or try something new). Let that drive you, and let the shiny new toys wait until you’re ready for them.




{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie Young February 13, 2013 at 1:08 am

Thanks for posting this—exactly what I needed to hear right now. Though it’s hard to get over the feeling that I am missing something, I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that if I really need to know it, it will grab my attention later.


Greg Pincus February 13, 2013 at 1:11 am

Oh, you will be missing something! But the thing is, if you go chasing that, then you’ll be missing something else and so on and so on. And the reality is, if something is really THAT great, it’ll be around later.

For me, at least, it’s simply being okay with the fact that someone always is doing something I’m not. It’s a fact… and I just don’t care!


elizabeth February 13, 2013 at 6:42 am

I SO agree!!! e


Kristen Schwartz February 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

Thank you Greg. This is always a good reminder. My friends and I site FOMO (fear of missing out) as the reason we sometimes agonize over ignoring the latest, best, got to have, social media that doesn’t quite feel right. You’re right. It’s definitely a time waster. Focus, focus, focus… 🙂


Chris Pedersen February 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

I love how you always give me permission to relax on the social media frenzy, stuff, new shiny thing… Thanks!


Anne Bromley February 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Thank you, Greg, for giving us all permission to “breathe” and focus on the most important thing: writing the best book that’s in each of us. A well known author wrote: “Your best promotional tool is your best book. Period.”


Carmela Martino April 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

I managed to resist Google+ when it came out, but now that Google Reader is going away, I’m wondering if Google+ would be a way to help our blog followers keep up with us. So the down side of resisting is trying to play catch-up now if I do decide to use Google+. However, I’m still happy with my decision not to use Pinterest or Twitter, as appealing as those are to me. There are only so many hours in the day!


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