I try to stay engaged on social media AND be productive in my creative life. But, it NEVER works. I’m most productive when I’m taking a social media recess. For the last couple of weeks I have stayed off of Instagram. Not because I don’t love my Black TV Film Crew family there. I miss ya’ll so much. But, I’ve learned that keeping up with posting, the likes, the comments, the direct messages uses up so much of my mental bandwidth that I need a break from social media in order to be productive in real life.
Black Creatives, How Do we Keep It Creative?
I don’t know if it’s my old school creative process or what but these are five things that happen when I take a social media recess.
- I find time to read. I remember before Instagram that I managed to read more than 100 books in one year. Sounds impossible. I did it. Staying off social media allows my mind to wander into a book, a screenplay, or writing that stimulates my mind.
- I think about ways to improve myself. Instead of liking photos or comments, I think about things to do like, “Give myself a facemask,” or “Walk 45 minutes every day.” Not tying myself to social media allows me to think about me.
- I write more and more often. When I’m not compulsively checking social media I’m able to write things in long form- screenplays, books, short film scripts. The absence of social media allows me to concentrate better.
- My desire to write returns. When I’m posting to social media regularly, it dulls my interest in writing screenplays of any kind. When I’m off of social media, slowly but surely, my desire to write returns with a vengeance. I’m writing everyday. I cannot wait to get to my laptop and get busy.
- I remember to ‘old school’ engage people, my senses and my creativity. I take writing, photography, or other creative classes, go for long walks, go to the movies, etc. I don’t look for stimulation on the internet or in the palm of my hand.
Disconnect from social media if that means you’re writing the next ‘Get Out’ or ‘Moonlight’
I believe we are connected in our experiences so I wanted to write this article in case any of you are noticing that your creativity is suffering. If Black TV Film Crew is less active from time to time, it isn’t because I don’t love you and want to support you. I take steps back from time to time because I must feed my creative spirit with a social media recess.
Yasmin Shiraz is a Screenwriter and TV producer who has worked for Lifetime, A&E, Bravo and PBS. She’s a best selling author of more than 11 titles and the founder of Black TV Film Crew. She is the CEO of Still Eye Rise Media.