You Can’t Do It All


When intentionally building your platform, it might be tempting to begin putting content our on every social media site you can think of.

At first it’s exciting and new. You’re all full of the hope of how this will help your writing and launch or re-launch your career…and then you get tired.

It’s exhausting to try and keep up with a blog, a site, a Facebook fan page, your personal Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, YikYak, Google+, MySpace, Vine, Xenga…You cannot possibly do everything.  (In other news, while writing this, I found that Xenga still exists…how is this possible? Is this like the pyramids?)

Here is my number one advice to anyone starting or revitalizing their platform: Start simple.

You have a life. Keep that life. Don’t let your platform take over time that could be spent making your art. If you spend every free moment pouring into as many channels as possible, you will be exhausted, you won’t be getting the work your really want to do done, and your platform isn’t going to be very strong.

That’s right—more is not more when it comes to your platform.

Choose two channels and build them up well. Personally, I have invested my energy into my blog and a Facebook page.

Once you feel you have a good handle on the two platforms of your choice, consider if you’d like to add to that. If you do, then go for it! It’s easier to start small and grow, then to start the race at full force and burn out before you can really even start. Since coming back from hiatus, I’ve added a website and a more consistent Instagram to my platform.

Most of us are writing part-time and doing whatever else to pay the bills. Time and energy are precious and you don’t want all of that effort to go into your platform. (Although platform is part of the process.)

Bible College SpinsterAs a side note, I want to thank you all for all your support for the first Bible College Spinster post last week! I had a lot of fun reading it and was so touched by the comments, emails, article shares, and conversations this little post spurred.

The series will be a every-other week deal with new content next week.

Thanks again for your support!

Social Culture Shock

In the being back on social in the last couple months, I’ve been asked if it is weird using it again.

Answer? YES! And at the same time no.

No because I was using it for work on hiatus. It’s not like I forgot how to use Twitter. (I may have had to look up videos on Snapchat like a 60 year old…it changed a lot in a year, okay?)

Yes because, well, it’s kind of intrusive.

In my first week back on the grid, I tried to catch up on messages that had accumulated over the year. I commented on a post a friend had tagged me in while I was messaging. As soon as I responded, there was a response back and then responses from others.

My introverted brain began to hyperventilate slightly. I loved these people, but I was a little taken aback by the rapid nature of the communication. I was doing this in my quiet time—my recharge time. Suddenly it felt like the world was infringing on that.

I had to get off, take a break, not be there. It felt like culture shock.

In my time away from social media, I noticed that I had to work harder to connect with friends and loved ones. I had to make more of an effort. Obviously, it was worth the effort.

I also found that having boundaries on my social time was valuable. In my time back in the digital social sphere, I have found that I am still bad at respecting those boundaries. There is a balance between being connected and being over-connected.

I’ll be honest, I’m not great at finding a balance in things. When I’m in something, I’m all in—not always a bad thing, but I was seeing some bad consequences connected to my social media usage.

Coming back to this, I having to learn how to balance. Taking yourself out of the equation completely—not exactly balanced.

As a culture, we’re terrible at maintaining boundaries and I am just a product of the culture. Being in constant connection with each other doesn’t really lends itself to boundaries easily and I’m wading into that tension.

As a people-appreciating introvert, I know that I need space to recharge, but I can easily ignore that need. Maneuvering the culture shock of social media, I’m seeing the importance of respecting my own boundaries and limits.

So yes, the temptation to run away again is definitely there. But along side it is a desire to find balance. I know I can write and recharge and build a platform. It’s a balancing act and in it, I’m discovering the multiple meanings of grace.

Being present

photo-1431069767777-c37892aa0a07Instagram is the platform I’ve decided to stick with post-hiatus. It’s simple and visual and doesn’t take up too much of my time.

That said, I think our image-driven culture has created a new philosophical dilemma. Namely:

If a girl goes to a thing but doesn’t photograph it, was she really there?

I didn’t really think about it until I was at my first concert while on hiatus. And I enjoyed the whole thing. Including my favorite song.

Usually, attending a concert would be a huge social marketing undertaking in promoting myself and the fact that I would be present and whatever event.

There is the bought-the-“tix”-shot. (Seriously. “Tix.”)

And then the waiting-for-the-event-to-start-selfie…which actually does serve a purpose because what else are you going to do while you’re waiting? Conversing can be difficult in loud venues and selfies take no words!…
Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 10.44.51 PM
And finally the during-the-event photo or video. If you’re at a concert, video is expected, though possibly frowned upon by both copyright and the poor person trying to enjoy the concert behind you. But you have to capture your favorite song because if you don’t, is it really your favorite?!?!?!?!?

This is from a book signing, but same concept at play here...
This is from a book signing, but same concept at play here…

At this first hiatus concert, the artist started playing my favorite song and I got to really take in the moment. There wasn’t the mad grab for my bag during the intro and the struggle to get a good shot around that jerk in front with his selfie stick. No. While everyone around me was doing that, I was enjoying a song I loved with the artist right there playing right then. There was no screen between him and I. Just good music.

Because what is the point of going to a show if you’re going to spend it on your phone? You could see hours of that on YouTube. And are you going to tell me you’re actually going to excitedly sit down to watch that concert back with poor audio on that tiny screen? And I don’t care what improvements Apple makes to video, it’s still not going to be the same.

Don’t miss the moment because you are trying to capture it. Take it in. Savor it. Let it go.  I promise, it makes the special moments that much richer.

Back on the grid

So I didn’t plan to leave the blog unattended that long…it just kind of got rolled in…

This week marks the end of a year long social media hiatus. This has been a great year to pause and think through intentionality and purpose. To be honest, I have not missed my social accounts in the slightest.

photo-1441448770220-76743f9e6af6The most common response I received from people asking about the hiatus was, “What about all the invites to things you’re missing?” My first thought was, “What invites? I haven’t gotten any.”…thankfully I had the restraint not to voice that. Fact of the matter is, I was usually asked this at some social function where the host had graciously extended me an invite via phone or email rather than over Facebook.

But really, I don’t feel like my social life suffered much. I certainly went to less functions because I felt obligated to go to the baby shower of the girl I shared a crayon with that one time in third grade…Instead, I spent moments with friends. Friends who I hadn’t made an actual effort with in a while because, well, it took actual effort. Friends who understood why I was doing what I was doing. I got to pursue relationships that meant more than just witty comments or clicking a heart on things they shared. I got to rediscover the beauty of an hour-long phone call, or driving to see a college roommate, or asking the real questions because I had time and the space for that.

I got to share actual life without feeling the pressure to prove I had been, had done, had seen, had heard. I just got to be. Can I tell you how freeing it is to stand through a concert without taking a video of your favorite song. To just listen and take in without being hindered by the screen between you and the artist. (I mean really, is there any point?)

This year has been nothing out of the ordinary, but I know it has been lived. If squandered, it was only done on watching Parks and Rec in a week. (Because Netflix wasn’t part of the hiatus but probably should have been…)

I’m excited to unpack with you what I’ve taken from this past year and unfold what God has in store for the year to come.

Here’s to a new journey.
Back on the Grid title (1)

A Year in Social Wilderness

I know things from Bohemia have been pretty silent and I should probably apologize for that and unpack what’s going on here.

At the close of last year, I was finding myself distracted, disappointed, and disquieted. I was desperately in need of rest and I really had no idea where to find it. I would spend time in the word, but that time would barely sustain me and I had no idea what the problem was.

Until I was confronted with my view of God.

I was attending a conference in Atlanta and found myself sobbing next to my bed in the hotel taking in the knowledge that the Almighty wants my attention.

And you’re probably reading this going, “Duh, Lex,” but really, this struck me at my core.

There have been so many times in the last few years I have been scrolling through Facebook feeling discontent because my life isn’t as glamorous or godly or phenomenal as my “friends” lives appear in the news-feed. And I scoff at the life I have been given and strive to make it appear to be more. More exotic, more fabulous, more… in my control.

In the midst of that striving, my time with God lacks quality because I’m not there. Because I am half-heatedly praying for Him to make my life my version of great all while scheming to make my little patch of ordinary look extraordinary to the online world.

The Almighty God wants to spend time with me and I am trying to just fit him in.

I ignore the creator of the universe because I just don’t have the time for him.

And this struck me in a very tender place and the only thing I could manage to do after the conference that night was to wander back to my hotel room and bow before Him on the floor of my hotel room and cry.

So what does this have to do with the lack of online presence?

Currently I am a month into a year long hiatus from my personal social media accounts… ironic for a social media marketer…(Obviously, I will be keeping up with accounts for work, but my personal channels will continue to be silent for the year.) I’m spending my twenty-third year without use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest… and LinkdIn for that matter, but let’s be honest, who uses LinkdIn?

I want to make time and space for the Lord and the interests he has given me to pursue. I want to remove the temptation to wallow in my discontent that is stirred up by my time online. I want to push past my tendency to relate on a shallow level through and only virtual presence.

After the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, God guides them in the wilderness, explaining what it is to be his Holy people and who he is as their God. He forms them in the space of the wilderness and that is what I am seeking in this year: space and silence for the sake of formation.

This is not a fast, but a break to restructure the way I live my life and the view I have of God.

This is not something I expect other people to stick to. I struggle with discontent and that is intensified through Facebook and Pinterest. I do not see other people struggling in the same way so please understand that if you are using social media, I am not writing this to condemn you in anyway.

I’m writing this to apologize for my lack of posting as of late and to explain how this will work moving forward.

I will continue blogging throughout this year, but it will be reduced to bi-weekly posting. I will spend one post a month describing what this year off the social media grid is stirring in me and another discussing whatever is on my mind per usual.

This will be the last post I promote via my social channels, so from here on out, if you’d like to share one of these posts with friends on your own channels, I definitely encourage it. If you’d like to comment, please do! I try to respond to comments on a post within twenty-four hours… though I make no promises.

I am excited to see what this year will bring as I enter into this adventure with the Lord. I have already been able to pick up my writing more and spend time reading and meditating.

The wilderness is quiet, but that is not a bad thing at this point.

I’ll keep you updated as the journey continues.

Technology is Not Neutral

I have attended a marvelous church for the past seven years and have always felt privileged to be challenged by thought provoking and convicting sermons. We’ve just started a series on technology, exploring what seems amoral and neutral.

This past Sunday’s sermon resonated with me as I thought about how much time I spend plugged in to social media and what effect it has had on my relationships, writing, and education. We all spend so much time in virtual reality, when was the last time we really pondered our actual reality? And why do we feel so lonely when we have more connections to more people than ever before? 

I want to go into detail, but I would just be rehashing the lecture, so I’ll just cut to the chase: Below is the video from the service. I will warn you that it is a little long, but worth the time. I encourage you to take a look and let me know what you think.

Also, I have heard tell that some of you are having trouble making comments. Never fear! If you email me your thoughts, I will add them in to the comments section under your first name or alias of your choice. Send me your comments at and I will post them at my latest convenience.

Enjoy and think deeply!