My short answer is yes – if you choose – and this is an example of how…
I’m currently working on edits for the first book of my Nine Lives Trilogy – and I managed to get myself in a bit of a pickle. What seemed to be working perfectly was suddenly floored, and this wonderful fantasy world I created threatened to come toppling down (no panic – it’s only the structure for the whole book) unless I came up with some answers – and fast.
So I stared at the conundrum and made some alterations – and then I quickly unaltered them because I’d made things worse. I walked the dog. I scribbled notes. I cleaned out the cupboards. I scribbled more notes. Some stuff fell into place and could be crossed off the list. There are bigger fish still to fry – but small, bitty details wouldn’t stop niggling.
After a while, I sat in a bewildered mess, thinking – how am I going to separate all this stuff so I can figure things out?
Here’s how: I put a question out on twitter, made it clear it was research (so please RT) and turned twitter off. Then I posed a different question to a Facebook group, and turned Facebook off.
As I worked on other elements, my lovely facebook and twitter friends (huge thanks to you all) were sending a flurry of answers my way. Some of the answers helped, some cemented an idea – others ruled out possibilities. But the point is – every answer was helpful.
Social media doesn’t need to be a distraction, it can be a very useful tool. You just have to remember to ask the right questions – and to turn it off at the right times.