Tag Archives: Facebook

Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck

Writers blog about it–the amount of time they spend on social media: monitoring blogs, writing blog posts, tweeting, facebooking, leaving comments on other blogs. It’s a huge time suck, and yet writers still do it. Guilty on all counts.

I’m still trying to figure out how to spend less time on social media time and more time on my passion–fiction writing. I don’t have the answer yet, but let me share what I’ve learned:

Be selective about the blogs you follow regularly. At first, I was like the proverbial kid in the candy store. Every week I would discover a new writer’s blog and add it to my favorites. I spent hours on social media and my writing output suffered. Now, I follow a few blogs religiously: Writer Unboxed, Rachelle Gardner, Nathan Bransford, Kathryn Magendie, K.M. Weiland, Jody Hedlund, Joanna Penn, Jane Friedman. Well, I guess that’s more than a few, but you get the point.

Set aside time for social media and time for fiction writing. That’s an easy rule to set down and a much tougher one to obey. How many times have you said, “I’m just going to check my stats, respond to a few comments and check a couple of blogs and then I’ll start working on my work-in-progress?” Three hours later, you haven’t put a word on the page. It takes great discipline to treat these as separate activities, but the writer must.

Use technology to manage your blog feeds. There are a number of tools available. Subscribing to your favorite blogs through email is one that I find helpful. Getting your favorite blogs on Twitter is another useful way to keep up, while not impacting your writing time.

Devote large blocks of time to writing and use social media as a reward. I’m a binge writer. If I’m not feeling it, I will produce drivel, but when I’m on fire creatively, I can crank out 3,000 words in one sitting. OK, it might not be riveting prose, but in some cases I’ve done my best work while on such creative rolls. The trick is to tell yourself you are going to write for three hours, four hours, whatever, and stick to it. Then treat yourself to a couple of hours on social media.

Go someplace else to write. This is a sound strategy. Pick a place–your local coffee shop or the library. Find a quiet table. Sit down with your laptop, find some music that inspires you and plug in your ear buds, and write for two or three hours. Try it sometime. Do your social media at home or on a mobile device, but not at your writing place.

Is social media a time suck for you? How do you find the time to write?

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Off-Topic: Songs that Blow Me Away

While I slog through the final edits on my novel and gear up to watch my New York Giants in the Super Bowl, please indulge me as I go off-topic. A friend of mine posted a great question on his Facebook wall: Name a song that blows you away every time you hear it. Let me share some of mine:

A Whiter Shade of Pale/Procol Harum

A Day in the Life/The Beatles

Good Vibrations/The Beach Boys

Hey Jude/The Beatles

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding/Elton John

Touch Me/The Doors

Bohemian Rhapsody/Queen

Wish You Were Here/Pink Floyd

Behind Blue Eyes/The Who

Purple Rain/Prince

While My Guitar Gently Weeps/The Beatles

No Surprises/Radiohead

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face/Roberta Flack

Superstar/The Carpenters

I’ll Be There/The Jackson Five

Yesterday/The Beatles

With You I’m Born Again/Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright

The Rain, The Park and Other Things/The Cowsills

What’s Goin’ On?/Marvin Gaye

Bridge Over Troubled Waters/Simon & Garfunkel

There There/Radiohead

Bodhisattva/Steely Dan

Stairway to Heaven/Led Zeppelin

Your Song/Elton John

The Thrill is Gone/B.B. King

What songs blow you away every time you hear them?

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