Monday, December 27, 2021

New Year Resolutions: Cal Newport Urges a Thoughtful Approach to Social Media So We Can Do Our Creative "Deep Work"

Cover of "Deep Work" by Cal Newport

Cal Newport's "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" includes a section about figuring out if your time spent on social media makes sense for the larger picture of what you're hoping to accomplish. 

And one example Cal gives is for a writer (after citing a number of really successful authors who aren't on social media at all.) Here's part of the math Cal lays out for a "less famous" writer:

"Imagine that our hypothetical author diligently sends ten individualized tweets a day, five days a week—each of which connects one-on-one with a new potential reader. Now imagine that 50 percent of the people contacted in this manner become loyal fans who will definitely buy the author's next book. Over the two-year period it might take to write this book, this yields two thousand sales—a modest boost at best in a marketplace where bestseller status requires two or three times more sales per week. The question once again is not whether Twitter offers some benefits, but instead whether it offers enough benefits to offset its drag on your time and attention (two resources that are especially valuable to a writer.)"
—Cal Newport, from page 197-198 of Deep Work

As we look ahead to a new year of creative work, it's well worth doing this math for each of us - with everything we spend our time doing.

My thanks to Lori Snyder for the book recommendation.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

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