I took four days off social media a few weeks ago. I was finding myself completely overwhelmed. Something I’ve always struggled with, but since 2020 it’s only gotten worse. So I gave myself permission to take a break.
I thought I’d share a few things that I learned in those four days.
I check Social Media, Twitter especially, far too often.
I have no need for social media apps on my phone. And I’ve removed them.
A constant deluge of ‘news’ is terrible for my mental health.
The world didn’t end because I wasn’t immediately informed of things happening.
I am in control of my social media timeline. There’s nothing wrong with muting/blocking people and tags. Boundaries are healthy.
The biggest takeaway for me was that I need to be giving myself a break from social media more often. I never realized how often I was just doomscrolling for no reason at all. So I’m trying to learn to set boundaries.
We meet Wayne Dankworth in book two of Motts’s series. He’s a ‘fancy London detective’ who works cold cases and has been looking into her childhood friend’s murder. He develops a soft spot for Motts. We see a lot more of him in Purloined Poinsettia.
So here are a few things about him.
A definitely silver fox.
He was very loosely inspired, at least visually, by the character Deacon on SWAT.
Enjoys solving cold cases.
A cat person.
Cares greatly about the detectives under his command.
Has a soft spot for Motts (and went out of his way to educate himself about autism and neurodivergence.)
I thought it might be fun to think back over the past six or seven years of my writing career and think about the mistakes I made, especially at the beginning. No one is perfect.
Everyone screws up in one way or another.
I’m no different.
When it comes to writing itself, my biggest mistake, in the beginning, was trying to be a non-autistic author. And by that I mean, I read lots of advice in blogs, books, and online. All of it was geared towards neurotypicals (as is most self-help.)
Much of that advice is great–unless you’re autistic or neurodivergent.
And the mistake I made was trying to make myself fit into that mold. A mold I was never going to be able to fit into. Setting goals and tasks for myself that I was never going to be able to complete.
It led to burn out. Disappointment. And put me into a bad place mentally for a while.
I had to fight my way back to enjoying writing.
The biggest lesson I learned was finding what works for me.
Finding it and accepting that what works for a non-autistic author will likely not work for me. And that’s okay. It’s okay to need a little extra help from my publisher. It’s okay to not be able to do ‘all the must do things to be a successful author.’