Good Fences–Setting Boundaries in a World with No Borders

Image courtesy of Norah Wilson WANA Commons

I feel my approach to social media is a lot different than other experts. I strive for a holistic approach. On Mondays I blog about craft to help you guys produce the best “product” possible and, often, on Fridays, I talk about the writer human and give tips for how to develop the character of the professional author. Then, of course, Wednesdays are social media. Yet, these three facets often blend together, and, to me, that is a powerful reflection of the world we now live in.

One of the reasons that traditional marketing doesn’t work well in the Digital Age is that the concept of boundaries has changed. Last week we talked about Personal Space Invaders and how we all resent them, but this week we are going to talk a bit more about that notion of “personal space.” We now live in a world that no longer has the same boundaries. We are steadily becoming the Global Village that Marshall McLuhan envisioned over fifty years ago in his revolutionary work, The Gutenberg Galaxy.

Tribes then Print and then Tribes + Print

If we study the entire history of human communication, we find that Pre-Literate Tribal Human and the Digital Age Human have a lot in common, and the Human of the Typographical Era is fading away.  In the Typographical Age (reliant on the written word), humans were highly reliant on official gatekeepers of information. Information flowed one direction, from top-down. So, in much of the 20th century, we relied on the TV-Industrial complex for all of our news, our opinions, and for recommendations about what goods and services to buy (until the Internet changed all of that).

To understand the big picture, we need to go back in time a bit…

The Gutenberg Revolution

With the invention of Gutenberg’s press, literacy exploded and so did human reliance on written information. The written word fractured the tribal communication system of serfdom and transformed society. We no longer had to be in the village square to get the skinny on what was what. Humans began to rely more and more on the printed word now that literacy was no longer a privilege reserved only for the elite. As a consequence, we drifted apart. The tribe had split, and it seemed it had split for good.

But, in the Typographical Age, as I mentioned, there were gatekeepers. Yes, humans, for the first time in history were facing information glut, but we still had those people in power who could tell us what to pay attention to.

Then came social media and the village square is back with renewed fervor.

As Society Changes, So Does Communication

In a tribal system, we don’t rely on newspapers and fliers, we rely on each other. There are people who always have good advice, great recommendations and who know what is what. In a world that is deluged with information, it is just easier for us to ask our peeps (the other villagers) what they think.

For instance, I ignore most of the news. Why? Well if this were the 1800s then the only news I would get would be what was directly relevant to me. I might hear that Santa Ana was no longer honoring the treaty of 1824 and that conflict was imminent. I might hear that wounded Confederate soldiers were in town and needed care. I would hear if a railroad was going through, but almost every shred of information would have been directly relevant to me or to those I knew and loved. Information could only travel as fast as human, horse, train or boat.

These days information comes instantly from every corner of the globe continually. I have to pull away to maintain my sanity. I cannot equally care about the race for the presidency, school shootings in Colorado, a missing girl found dead in Mississippi, villagers slaughtered in Dafur, or the Russians manufacturing thermonuclear Beanie Babies.

My…head…will…explode.

Too much information will crater me emotionally and psychologically. I don’t withdraw because I don’t care. I withdraw because I have to to stay sane. Humans were not wired to cared equally about everything in the world all at the same time.

This is one of the reasons that experts who recommend we blast out link after link after link are only tossing gasoline on a fire. People are already on system overload and, if we add to their overload problem, they won’t have warm, fluffy feelings for us.

Age of Instant

When the telegraph was invented, the Typographical Age was living on borrowed time. Information could travel almost instantly from anywhere that had a telegraph. Suddenly people in Georgia could get national news right from D.C., or San Francisco. For the first time, humans could get international news while it was still relevant.

This was right about the time we saw the birth of advertisement and the TV-Industrial complex. This system of gatekeepers worked well because it was communicating to a society still bound by Typography (the written word) and not relationships (the tribe).

At the latter part of the 20th century, one device struck a mortal blow to the TV-Industrial complex—the personal computer. The Internet had already been around for a while (the military had been using it), but the Internet alone didn’t have the power to topple the current system. No, so long as we could only communicate via letters or expensive long-distance phone calls, the TV-Industrial Complex ruled unchallenged.

Once the personal computer became affordable and user-friendly, it’s natural partner was the Internet. At this point, the TV-Industrial complex’s days were numbered because, for the first time since before the Gutenberg revolution, people were able to “talk” to one another easily and for free. We started relying on each other again instead of books, pamphlets papers and official gatekeepers of the TV-Industrial complex.

Brave New World

We can see the first aftershocks of this change. The Western world rippled and stretched with a 10.0 magnitude aftershock that toppled Tower Records. The executives were no longer in control of the musicians, thus they no longer could control the music. Shortly after this, another 8.0 ripple took out Kodak. Kodak no longer could control how people shared images. Now? We are in the 6.0 that is shaking traditional publishing.

Yes, each aftershock is smaller because the groundwork for change is already there. We need less “shaking” for the same amount of change.

These “media quakes,” much like natural earthquakes, are taking out the rigid, old structures. Anything that doesn’t bend and move with the ripples of change is going to fall over. There is also another result of all this shaking and destruction.  Old topography is no longer regonizable. We can’t find the streets (paths) that were once so familiar to get us where we wanted to go.

Instead of write a book, query, rejection, repeat 735 times, rewrite 736 times, agent, more rejection, book deal, we have a hundred different pig-trails to take us to our end goal. Yet, the key is we are now far more reliant on each other. We lean on our tribe for emotional support, information, and feedback.

Why did I take you through this brief history of media?

I wanted to give you an idea of how much this world has changed. We can’t use tools that worked in a 1980 world because that world no longer exists. Also, one of the necessary “fallout effects” of all this shaking and global connecting is that boundaries no longer seem to make sense any more. They are no longer clear and this can create problems.

In a 1980 world our boundaries made sense and they had been there for over a hundred years. We didn’t interact with agents all over the country real time. We didn’t talk to other writers all over the world. We weren’t expected to be plugged into a “hive” to “build a platform.” So what’s happened is that we are getting new psychological stress. Humans need boundaries. It stresses us not to know where we stand in relation to others.

When are we being responsible marketers and when are we crossing a line and becoming a personal space invader? How do we set boundaries with ourselves? How do we set boundaries with friends and loved ones who can’t see that writing is working not goofing off?

How do we set boundaries with personal space invaders who want to use our Facebook page to advertise their books? How do we lovingly confront when people get out of line? The upside of social media is we have more access to friends and loved ones. The downside is that toxic people have unprecedented access to us as well, and that can be a nightmare if we are ill-equipped to deal with these types of individuals.

Writers Don’t Exist in a Vacuum

I know that as The Social Media Jedi, I have often served as the Social Media Dear Abby. It is tough to know where we stand and what to confront in the Digital Age. In a world without borders, how do we set boundaries?

I try to be very transparent with you guys and I will admit that I struggled with anger for a long time. I finally realized what the problem was. Yes, I am generally a happy-go-lucky-gal who laughs and smiles all the time, but I wasn’t setting boundaries. When people crossed a line, I told myself and them it was okay when it wasn’t. I wasn’t confronting in love early, so by the time I did confront, I was seeing red. What should have been a “gentle but stern talking to” quickly devolved into a thermonuclear strike followed by salted earth and a curse of seven plagues.

Many of you might fall into the same trap. You are nice, nice, nice, gentle, nice, nice, not-so-gentle, then BOOOOOOM!!!! *screams*

A Solution

Anyway, I finally realized what was going on and found some helpful tools to handle this growing problem. In the Digital Age, we need to master loving confrontation and the art of setting boundaries. I know we all grew up in a world with clear borders and expectations, but that world is buried under a pile of digital rubble and we need to take up the torch.

I go out of my way to help writers in every area of life, so I’m offering a new class I am calling Good Fences–The Writer’s Guide to Setting Boundaries. I have priced this at only $15 because I hope this class will bless you with better relationships, productivity, and peace of mind.

So what are your difficulties? Where do you struggle with setting boundaries? Does your spouse or family refuse to respect your writing time? Do you have a hard time getting off social media? Do you have tips for keeping boundaries with yourself and others? Do you ignore the news and only pay attention to what you hear from friends and family? Or can you keep up with all of it>

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of October, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of October I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by annerallen on October 17, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Another brilliant post. This is essential reading. Most people using social media don’t understand it, so they abuse it. Then they say social media doesn’t work. But what they really mean is the abuse of social media doesn’t work.

    I get requests from other authors every day to retweet their book info. I used to do it for some of them, but nothing ever came of it, and I knew why–they weren’t in my genre and my peeps didn’t know them. Why would they care about one more spammy tweet? So I stopped. I didn’t want to get a reputation as a spammer.

    But recently a friend in my genre asked for a tweet of her freebie book and my tweet got 10 retweets and even some thank yous. That’s because a lot of my Tweeps knew her, too–or at least they knew her genre and wanted her book.

    And I really hear you about posting stuff on people’s FB pages. Whether it’s an ad for your book or your favorite charity or political group, this is NOT the place for your ad. It’s like putting a billboard in your neighbor’s yard without permission. I hope you’ll keep hammering people not to do this: Do not post on anybody’s wall unless you want to wish them happy birthday or say something personal that’s about THEM. Not you.

  2. #2 by JackieP on October 17, 2012 - 11:08 am

    very timely piece. We all need to know how to set boundaries. It took me a while to do it. But I have. Thanks for another good article! :-)

  3. #3 by Kozo Hattori on October 17, 2012 - 11:19 am

    Interesting overview of boundaries in the digital age, Kristen. Do you think the erasure of digital boundaries is eroding boundaries in the “real world”? The way the presidential candidates interrupt each other would be an example of this. People are so used to synchronous communication that they no longer wait for others to finish before they begin responding. I ask this question because I am structuring my novel for NaNoWriMo around crossing boundaries in real life and I was wondering if I can connect this with the rise of the internet.

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 17, 2012 - 2:57 pm

      That’s actually a brilliant observation. I do think common courtesy and manners are being stretched and even redefined. We do have to be more mindful in today’s world. I think I might blog about this.

  4. #5 by Jon Rieley-Goddard (@baldyblogger) on October 17, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    *In a tribal system, we don’t rely on newspapers and fliers, we rely on each other.* I’m taking this quote with me, Kristen, but you won’t miss it, since I cloned it.

    This post is the sort that brings your reader up short and right in the face of the history of which you wrote. Never a waste of time. It helps to look back and see how far we have come and how high we sit.

    I am aware that people are all over the place concerning media and info. For example, I am a wiz at blog stuff and web site stuff but my eyes are too old to appreciate mobile devices beyond my putting on my reading glasses and tweeting once in a while if I am away from home. People were, are, and will, for a while yet, anyway, be in different comfort zones. Some will not be reachable except by traditional means such as two cans and a string to stretch.

    This and your last post, on plot, have been particular blessings for me.

  5. #6 by Heather Wright on October 17, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    Wow, Marshall McLuhan would have been proud of your analysis of media past and present. I can’t agree more with what you are saying. I may not be taking up the torch, but I’m keeping my little candle burning because I have decided to actually put a dollar value on my time. I know what I bill hourly for my freelance time and what I earn hourly for teaching my college classes. When I approach unbillable hours, like time on Twitter, I have to consider whether I’m actually getting value for what I believe I am worth per hour. Could I be doing something else that will move me toward my goals or be an investment in my family or my health and well-being. Obviously, this idea can’t be carried to an extreme, and I’m far from perfect in applying it, but it has been one way for me to weigh time commitments to social media and other distractions. I think time spent reading books, watching Community with my son, the odd nap, and talking to my 84-year-old mom is always time well spent, but checking Facebook for the third time in a morning is not.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 17, 2012 - 2:15 pm

      What a compliment! McLuhan is brilliant but I felt so out of my depth reading his work. But it is good for us to be uncomfortable, to stretch. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.

  6. #8 by malindalou on October 17, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    It’s interesting that while some people see nothing wrong with only tweeting links, others are scared to post any at all. A healthy balance is needed in between those two extremes.

    I control the incoming flow of information on Twitter by following a handful of people very closely and dipping into the feed of all of my followers a few times each day. People don’t need to be seen all the time to feel connected. They just need to feel seen. :)

  7. #9 by MonaKarel on October 17, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    Yes, we’re in an age of more information and less time to understand it. And as you pointed out we can not weep for every broken blade of grass no matter how tragic. If we did, we would end up either not being able to care about anyone, or scarred beyond hope.
    Have you found your tolerance for in your face promotions and statements lessened trememdously? I have and it’s a great temptation to stay here up on my hill where I just don’t have to hear them. Except the Internet brings them right to my front door, and I have to develop stronger filters to avoid having it destroy my day.
    Keep reminding us we are not alone. And I’ll keep sharing your words of wisdom. Thank You

  8. #10 by Janet K. Brown on October 17, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    Checking e-mail or twitter or FB reminds us we’re not alone. That helps. Writing is so solitary.

  9. #11 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on October 17, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Once again you delight me by taking the historical perspective. The shift from print to digital is as cataclysmic for the way we process information as the shift from an oral to a written society. And you are quite right, we are not wired to take in every scrap of information just because it’s there.

  10. #12 by broadsideblog on October 17, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    I sometimes wonder if the work we consider classic and extraordinary — whether Austen, Dickens, Hardy or any 18th or 19th. century writer — would even exist today if they were writing in this era. I really appreciate the historical perspective in your post and think about this a lot. Think how much mental and silence a writer had the in a rural setting, where a letter might have taken weeks or longer to reach them, and no telephones or telegraphs or fax, let alone IMs, texts and Twitter. The time to time, reflect, be still. To do so now is considered weird and counter-cultural, and I doubt it’s helping many of us produce anything people will want to read 100 or 200 years hence.

    So I don’t tweet. I enjoy Facebook as a social break in my solitary days but my private time is also valuable, as Heather points out. As a fulltime freelance and NF author, I need to — and do — withdraw frequently to just be able to think through what I have absorbed, not go out and try to cram even more data and distraction into my exhausted and overloaded brain. Silence and solitude are essential to quality creative work.

    • #13 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 17, 2012 - 5:54 pm

      I envy you. I think I have been pretty honest that I never wanted to be a social media expert, and it came as a sort of calling. I knew social media would be a game changer, and I saw a lot of social media gurus teaching tactics that were 1) trying to fundamentally change writers into someone they are not (salespeople) and 2) their methods had so little ROI they required more of a time commitment. This meant that writers had to be plugged in 24/7. It’s why I set out to find ways that writers could harness social media without fully relinquishing the quiet creative time.

      I struggle. There are times that my head just throbs and I want some blessed quiet. So I go to the ranch where I have no Internet. I can only go a couple days but I do love them. You always leave such lovely and thoughtful comments. Thank you :).

  11. #14 by Tamara LeBlanc on October 17, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    Hi Kristen!
    Loved the history you brought up. I’m a sucker for history so I inhaled every word.Your post made me think of Epcot and Spaceship Earth. I like that ride because it takes us through the evolution of communication. The world we live in changes so fast that even Disney can’t keep up with it…if they did, they’d be closing that big golf ball looking sphere every 2 yrs just to update it :)
    In answer to your questions, I haven’t ever had much of a problem with boundaries. If someone gets in my face in person I’m able to tell them to back off. I do the same with SM. If someone gets in my face, blitzing me with “buy my book, LIKE my Facebook page (just unfollowed an author for continually sending nothing but LIKE my Facebook page on Twitter) then I tell them to back off as well.
    On the other hand, sometimes it’s hard for me to back away from the myriad of Social Media avenues out there. Some days all I do is surf the web. Pinterest is a killer. So is Twitter. I find such great info on Twitter. But I need to make time to write and putzing around on SM for hours on end isn’t going to help me do that.
    So it’s good to get reminders, like know your boundaries, from Jedi masters like you.
    Thank you for your wisdom!!
    Have a great evening :)

  12. #15 by Robert Medak on October 17, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    I have set personal boundaries; and I will not cross them.

  13. #16 by arthur crandon on October 17, 2012 - 9:18 pm

    Kristen, I found this article so refreshing. I MUST try to learn from this. I am new to publishing and am struggling with Twitter, Facebook and WordPress, no doubt I will get there, but it is hard, especially for a dinosaur (57) who until two years ago only used computers as a sophisticated typewriter.
    I have followed your series on structure and learned so much from it. I wish I had read that, and many other things, BEFORE I wrote my first book – never mind – plenty of time, and learning is fun, especially the way YOU write and express yourself. Thank you so much Kristen

  14. #17 by Marianne Sheldon on October 18, 2012 - 3:26 am

    Fabulous and informative piece. Thank you.

  15. #18 by P. C. Zick on October 18, 2012 - 6:29 am

    I’m setting my boundaries. Love this discussion because I believe boundaries disappeared to a certain extent with the advent of social media. We have exposed ourselves to the world yet we don’t really have to “interact” in the way we normally would. Writing mechanics have been tossed aside (I always remember that what I write for any forum is the record I’m leaving – I prefer to leave it with commas and periods and complete sentences) and so have manners because we can do anything we want in isolation. Social media isn’t an immediate interaction even though some might consider sending messages back and forth as such. But it’s not. We don’t see facial expressions, body language or even little sighs that give us a clue how our messages have been received. So in the privacy of our own little world we can cross just about any boundary, and if the consequences result in lots of other boundary crossers sending us messages, we can just turn the whole thing off. I hope this makes sense because it’s 7:30 a.m. and I’m on a fast and have had no coffee.

  16. #19 by Joanna (Lazuli Portals) on October 18, 2012 - 7:34 am

    This is such a thought-provoking post, and right on target.

    It’s great to be in touch, to find like-minded people who ‘get’ us, and to interact with our readers and clients. But it can be hard to set boundaries (depending, perhaps, on habits and personality type!)

    I know I need to do better at shutting social media down and keeping myself away from information overload. It’s certainly resulted in me examining my “real life” boundaries, too, so that I can remain in balance both in cyberspace and in the real world.

    Thanks for this post. :)

  17. #20 by JM Randolph on October 18, 2012 - 10:46 am

    I like how you pointed out that each aftershock is smaller because the groundwork for change is already in place. Each one happens in less time too. The speed of change is ever increasing and the times between big changes get smaller. But my own personal pace can’t keep up. Which I guess is where boundaries come in.

  18. #21 by KM Huber on October 18, 2012 - 11:28 am

    I concur that McLuhan would applaud your assessment of humans and information. Your post also reminds me of S I Hayakawa’s semantics classic, Language in Thought and Action. It’s not the most stimulating title but it is a title that delivers completely, even now. I suspect Hayakawa would also applaud you.

    The webinar sounds fascinating; thank you for making it so affordable.

    Again, another fine essay.

    Karen

  19. #22 by Kathrin on October 18, 2012 - 11:45 am

    I don’t think it’s possible for me to hear/read this too much: “I wasn’t setting boundaries. When people crossed a line, I told myself and them it was okay when it wasn’t. I wasn’t confronting in love early, so by the time I did confront, I was seeing red.” As someone else said “your ‘yes’ is meaningless if you can’t say ‘no’ as well.” As artists I think it’s terribly important we remind ourselves that our creative time is important and that it’s work, and set boundaries to maintain that time for ourselves, for our work.

    Social Media is not something I’m good at or well-informed about – until I started following your blog :) – it feels like advertising and I hate advertisements. Too much of it appears phony, manipulative, and simplistic, and I often feel like ads/SM are yelling at me (and I don’t like being yelled at).
    I do appreciate passion, sincere observations, and good book reviews. And, as a writer, I appreciate honest discussions about the writing life, difficulties with ones WIP or revising, great books, and exciting writing breakthroughs.
    I’ve taken steps in the Social Media direction, thanks to you and other authors and artists I trust and admire, and I have a blog now. My approach to my blog is one of honest discussion – I write about writing and books and other art that inspires me, my own writing struggles and triumphs, and so forth. Treating my blog as a dialogue between writers, readers, and people in general who observe feels genuine and important. Advertising to me is not important. Sincere connection between people is important. That’s my approach. I can get on board with that.

  20. #23 by BenBlue on October 18, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    Fantastic. As a screenwriter and filmmaker, we’re seeing this in the movie industry too. Technology has eliminated the need for H’wood, and it’s dying a slow death without acknowledging the fact that it died years ago. The old world model of production-distribution-exhibition all being different entities, and even industries, is dead. Now, someone can produce a film and distribute it directly to the audience, just like self-publishing. Obviously, film is moving a tad slower than publishing, but it’s following the same path. And that TRIBE concept is key. H’wood is still trying to get EVERYONE to see their movies. The indie producer is trying to just get one group to see it. Guess who will win.

  21. #24 by Jess Witkins on October 18, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    Working in retail, I’ve really started noticing these changes more and more. I’m thinking of the publishing industry and e-books and now correlating it to how we’re asking our associates to recruit customers from other departments to their counters. And just like twitter, you can do that by spamming them with info., or you can get to know them first and then tell them what you offer and see if they’re interested.

    I get it. It’s a tough one to coach too. I have a lot of associates on my team who’ve “been in the biz” for 25-30 years and this switch in selling initiatives is really difficult for them. I’m getting a lot of negativity. Slowly but surely some of them are embracing the change and seeing success with it.

  22. #25 by Verge of Discovery on October 18, 2012 - 6:15 pm

    The introduction of blogging has had a huge effect on the world – but only one that I have experienced recently.

    Expressing yourself in a blog – and trying to connect with readers is a challenge. What do you share? What do you talk about? How much is too much?

    Reading other blogs is a great advantage – you can see what does and doesnt work, and it helps me to develop my writing skills.

  23. #26 by Jessie Conley White on October 18, 2012 - 10:44 pm

    Setting boundaries has been nearly impossible lately. It always seems like my time is demanded by everyone but myself. I love my writing time but as both of my kids are growing up and my husband went back to school my writing time has become almost non existent. How can I balance family life, full time work, and the fact that my husband going to school has almost made me time impossible?
    What you say about social media is exactly what I was looking for though. When I first started talking about publishing my book the advice I got was open a twitter, open a facebook fan page, open an author page, get in anything and everything NOW NOW NOW and it was actually scary. I found myself treading water and catching waves that seemed to be choking me and drawing me under. This makes so much more sense. Thank you for the blog!! Amazing advice!

  24. #27 by SilverTill on October 19, 2012 - 9:58 am

    Oh yes I set boundaries, in reading material I am often given erotic novels (wastebasket). Same for befriending, I maintain a Christian standard, last week I had a Christian author he/her mind about questioning content. No I was not the first, (read humble servant) nor the second but the third to admonish. After a complete rewrite the author republished the work.

  25. #28 by Livia Quinn on October 19, 2012 - 4:27 pm

    A friend of mine has been telling me about your blog for weeks and I just made it hear. Have been studying your posts on Story structure and Seven Deadly Sins, etc. But how I wish I could take your webinar on social media on the 30th. Unfortunately I have to leave on a trip very early the next morning so I hope you will be offering it again soon. In the meantime I picked up a copy of WANA to take along. It comes highly recommended. Thanks so much for the informative blog. I’ll be back.

  26. #29 by Yvette Carol on October 19, 2012 - 8:25 pm

    Yes, the playing field constantly changes, doesn’t it. As a yet-to-be-published author, I decided to build my own website. My elder sister, with whom I’m not very close, said to another family member, “I don’t get it, why would Yvette need a website?” That one comment is fairly typical of the general outlook towards writers like me before we get a book published. Not a lot of respect out there…

  27. #30 by Becca on October 20, 2012 - 11:08 am

    Like you, I don’t tend to look at the news. I don’t follow the presidential election (or any politics whatsoever) unless I overhear someone talking about it – and even then, I refrain from getting involved. I just don’t need the stress of arguing over something like that.

    Sometimes, I sign out of all social media so that i can’t obsess-check it.

    My only problem is setting boundaries with my family. After coming back to live at home after college, everyone seems to think I’m there to entertain them… Nobody understands why I have to be in my room alone to write, sometimes for hours on end. And I’m really bad at saying ‘no,’ so I don’t know how to safeguard my writing time very well… Maybe I should build a physical fence outside my writing space?

  28. #31 by Paul D. Dail on October 20, 2012 - 1:51 pm

    “Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.” Therein is the key, and something I’ve struggled with (besides dangling modifiers :)). I actually regularly have media blackouts. And I recently had to leave the internet entirely (with the exception of email) for a couple months after the birth of my son so I could figure out how my new schedule was going to work.

    Glad to have found your blog and will definitely check out your books. Love the titles, by the way, especially the latter of the two.

    Paul D. Dail

  29. #32 by Melissa Maygrove on October 24, 2012 - 6:32 am

    Very informative and so true. Great post!

  30. #33 by Jan Marino on October 24, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    I read a book on Boundaries several years ago and it changed my life. Of course, my first marriage ended as a result, but that’s a good thing, too! I tend to be a people-pleaser and it’s very hard for me to say NO because I so very much want to say YES. Makes me great at customer service but I have to remember that it’s ok to say NO and have a plan and stick to it. Just because someone needs something, doesn’t mean I am the one who must deliver it.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog!

  31. #34 by Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) on November 13, 2012 - 11:08 pm

    I’m only just reading this, a month later, but as usual your message strikes just right. This piece is timely for me in that I will be moving in with my inlaws in the coming weeks, & they have zero regard for my writing & blogging & copy editing — all separate types of work that keep me on the computer for hours on end. It has been suggested that I don’t have a job, so I’ll be the one expected to make dinner! Now I don’t mind pitching in, & it is true that my job allows me to work in my pajamas, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful or mind-boggling on bad days. I’m struggling now, before the crisis has even hit, over how I will set boundaries. For now my hubz & I have discussed utilizing a “Please do not disturb” sign on our bedroom door for when I am enmeshed in actual writing, but I’m not sure how much that request will be respected. Reading this has reminded me that I must set my boundaries up front, & adhere to them as strictly as I am able, within the confines of someone else’s home. It ain’t gonna be easy, that’s for sure!

    • #35 by Nancy Hartney on November 14, 2012 - 4:41 pm

      I still have difficulty balancing writing time, internet time, recreation, and the rest of my life. Got any special tips that really work for you?

  32. #36 by Maggie Amada on November 26, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    I’m actually on the boundiry-less side of the spectrum. I work from home as a programmer. As such, I am a habitual multi-tasker. I take breaks to be with my children while a program compiles, write emails during conference calls and write while my family watches movies beside me. I’m starting to see the need for at least some boundaries and I’m struggling with the concept.

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