The launch of A Duke by Any Other Name is behind me, and if I’m to be honest, I’m relieved. I love Nathaniel and Althea’s story (prodigal pigs!), in fact I love the whole Rogues to Riches series, but in the lead-up to a release, I’m generally on social media more.
Guess where, exactly, I do not want to be these days?
Because I refuse to remain signed in to Facebook, I get to my author page by logging in, and then I’m presented with my “home” feed. Sometimes, I do pretty well at going straight to my page, posting on my page, and not commenting or liking or otherwise going down rabbit holes. Other times, especially as evening approaches, (I NEVER do social media in the morning), I am more easily distracted by what FB wants me to see.
And what FB wants me to see lately is a lot of anxiety, foolishness, judgment, and trolling. If I surf the news sites, it’s more of same, and those sites host a lot of “paid content,” that is pure tripe. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and when I’m overwhelmed, I’m more easily manipulated away from the person I want to be.
Emotions can be contagious. We know that. Conformity is contagious, anxiety and calm are contagious, happiness is really contagious. And I want to be the sort of person who’s contributing the calm, happy, funny vibes–and feeling those vibes–especially in the midst of uproar. So I did as this article suggests, and inoculated myself against the trolls and tripe by writing down who exactly I want to be in these trying times. This is what showed up on the page:
Even in the midst of chaos I want to be constructive, good-humored, patient, and resilient. I want to have a smile for everybody, and I want to be generous with my resources. Above all, I want to be kind and sensible, and unimpressed with fear-mongering and divisiveness. I want to see and celebrate the silver linings, and have compassion for those struggling with darkness of any kind.
Just writing that out (I wrote it on paper) left me feeling more like a Jedi knight, and less like somebody who has been putting off a shower all day–and what day is this again? I feel less helpless–I can smile with my voice and my eyes even when I’m wearing my mask–and I can donate to the Author’s Guild for Giving Tuesday Now. I have control over me, and from there I can make my micro-contributions to the bigger solutions.
So how do you protect yourself from getting frayed? Who do you want to be in these dratted interesting times? For three commenters, I’ll donate $50 to the charity of your choice.