Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


The Sucking Vortex

I have heard it said that social media is the playground of the truly crazy where you will see many pathologies played out in a public arena. As true as that may be, I have also met many sane and wonderful people online who have actually become friends in the real sense. I know people from all over the world who have given generously of their time and wisdom to encourage me in my creative endeavors and to give me sound advice in many personal situations.

Additionally, my creative works would have no way of reaching an audience without social media. I would just be another writer whose works would never leave the confines of a computer hard drive.

Thank goodness for social media, yes?

However, we who are on social media for any length time will eventually discover that there are some terrible drawbacks to playing on this ball field.

Aside from the obvious – dealing with those faceless unknown people whom we will never see with any real clarity and who display their worst behavior – if we play with it long enough, social media will eventually become a soul-sucking addiction.

How much time do we waste reading cat memes and watching the current viral videos instead of actually creating? It is perfectly fine to set aside a few minutes for some entertainment, but for me, this “entertainment” has often gone on for hours, well into the night. (How many of you check for Facebook notifications when you get up at 2 am to pee?)

What does it do to one’s writing skills to have thoughts conveyed in only 150 words at a time?

Dealing with difficult posters can be so emotionally debilitating that one might not have the energy to lift a pen or a paintbrush to create.

We need real-life fodder to fuel our creative endeavors which we will not get if we don’t move our butts away from our computer desks or from our devices to get outside and live a real life.

Recently, I engaged in a spiritual fast which included not only giving up food but also giving up social media for a day. Just a day!   The food was easy. Not signing on to social media for 24 hours was dreadful.  Can we say that I am a tad addicted?   Yes, yes we can.

All this being said, you will see less of me on Facebook. I have simply had enough. Am I gone completely? No, absolutely not. I won’t forsake the exchange of ideas with my cadre of fellow creatives.   I will check frequently but I won’t be on all the time. I am moving my FaceBook and Twitter app icons to the last screen of my device so I don’t see that I have notifications every time I pick up my device. I am turning off the notification alert function on my settings. I will not carry my device around with me wherever I go.

I need to start swimming away from that spinning vortex. My life depends upon it.

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Some Well-Timed Advice

Yesterday’s post was a lament about how uninspired and bored I had become in my creative endeavors.  However, I stumbled across a recent Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert where she discusses how she deals with the effect of success and failure on her creative process. I don’t have exactly her problem, but her advice is adaptable to my situation.  I offer it here for your consideration:

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A Gerbil in a Wheel

gerbilSometimes I feel like a gerbil on an exercise wheel — a galloping, demon-possessed gerbil in need of an exorcist.

I am busy spinning that wheel as I work a full time job in a busy and demanding environment, take care of the needs of some elderly relatives, and do volunteer work for my faith community.

That wretched gerbil and his squeaky wheel are getting on my last nerve.

My harried day-to-day experience makes me want to jump on the next plane to New Orleans and bury my worries into a steaming bowl of jambalaya.   I can’t realistically do something so irresponsible, so I have learned to do something else. As busy as I am, I try to write (or do some other creative form of expression) every day. That seems counter-intuitive to fight over-committment with yet another task.  But I look at it this way:  when I am writing I am doing it on my own terms. I don’t kow-tow to anyone in my writing.  My ideas are my own.  There is no “yes sir, no ma’am”.  I am the boss.

A daily writing practice is my answer to an over-committed lifestyle, and that little gerbil better get out of my way.

ljgloyd (c) 2012


Being Wildly Succulent

I haven’t been writing much these days for a whole lot of reasons.  However, earlier this week I was compelled to pull off my shelf Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper by SARK.   (My colleagues from the Soul Food Cafe and Hestia’s Hearth may recall that this book has several pages highlighting the work of Heather Blakey. )  Thumbing through the book led me to SARK’s website, which led me to YouTube where I found a Tedx Talk by SARK.   How fun!

She tells some wonderful stories in this brief talk as well as provides some sound advice on self-care, especially for we Creatives.    I have been inspired to be wildly succulent this weekend: