In Doris Lessing’s excellent novel The Golden Notebook, the main character, Anna, has four different notebooks in which she writes about the different aspects of her life. She struggles with this, and in the end somehow manages to combine the four different notebooks into one – her golden notebook.
I have thought of this book often over the last few months, and increasingly found myself identifying with Anna. While I don’t write in notebooks any more [at least not often], my numerous social media accounts serve pretty much the same function. Each represents a different area of my life, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep the different fragments together.
I hasten to say that this is totally a problem of my own making. I am a social media butterfly. I love social media, I love socializing on social media, but boy, it’s kind of doing my head in.
There is my semi-defunct other blog, on which I’ve written a few posts lately and where I itch to write more, especially now that the political situation in Iceland is so crazy, and we’re about to get back into power the two parties that ran this country into the ground pre-economic meltdown.
There is the IWR Facebook page, which grew out of the IWR blog and which I’ve tried to scrap but which keeps pulling me back – mostly because I have this irrepressible and compulsive need to shoot off my mouth about Icelandic affairs.
There is the Little Book of the Icelanders Facebook page, which is tied to my book of the same name and on which I try to post stuff about the Icelanders in general.
There is my personal Facebook profile, on which I post political and social stuff concerning Iceland and is intended primarily for Icelanders. It differs from my IWR Facebook page in that, when interacting with my fellow Icelanders, I don’t have to set up elaborate explanations for things – like I do on the IWR. I also post a lot of the silly stuff that makes FB fun – for everyone, not just Icelanders. That’s important, too. And of course I socialize – I like and comment on posts from others.
Then there’s Twitter, which is just so HUGE and everyone’s there saying important stuff and I try not to sink too deeply into because I know it could just consume far too much of my time and mental faculties if I let it. I try to tweet and retweet stuff, but frankly most of my Twitter activity is auto-posted statuses from Facebook. Still, I have to say that I have learned an ENORMOUS amount about publishing and self-publishing on Twitter. It’s a goldmine of information on just about everything.
I also post to Instagram, which I’ve been exploring a bit more lately and which I adore.
I’m also on LinkedIn, but quite honestly I’ve never really got the hang of it and hardly ever do anything there.
I also have a couple of Tumblrs, a severely neglected YouTube account, plus yet another Facebook page that has basically evaporated into thin air – casualties of my unbridled enthusiasm for new social media opportunities. Like the Pintrest account I’m dying to start, and the Facebook page I’ve been thinking of setting up for my new book, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?
~ Sigh ~
Finally I sat myself down the other day and had a serious talk. No more social media accounts, I said. NO MORE.
Because all these different social media sites are driving me nuts. I want to be involved, I want to do what I’m supposed to be doing [according to all the blogging and marketing gurus out there], I want to explore all those different sides of me that each one represents, but … I just can’t do it. There’s too much fragmentation, and too much fragmentation means not enough whole.
And so, like Anna I continue to struggle and search for that elusive Golden Notebook that manages to combine all those fragments into one. Alas, I fear I may never find it.