Will Social Media Kill My Writing?

Now that’s a provocative title, don’t you think? That’s not what you usually see on this blog. I’ll look at this question from two perspectives that are totally my own: the time suck that is social media and its role in a writer’s marketing.

Is this our future?

The Time Suck

Everyone knows social media is time-consuming. And the more outlets you use, the more time you spend with them. Now, most writers work and have family and friends who shouldn’t be ignored. That’s been true for centuries. The responsibilities and pleasures of those major life commitments leave limited time for other endeavors. Still, writers traditionally found ways to balance time between the non-writing and writing sides of life.

We can’t do it all forever.

But in today’s world, more time is spent at work. With cell phones and internet, are you totally free from work responsibilities? The 8-hour day is a myth for many. And if you have children, every generation since the 1950s has been presented with more extracurricular activities than the ones before it. How much time do you spend shuttling children from one activity to another? How much harder is it for today’s new writer to find time to write? A lot, I would argue.

Despite these heavy demands on our time, writers are told to embrace as many social networks as we can. It’s the rare agent or editor who says pick one and focus on it. Some writers handle this by simply tweeting or updating their FB status when a new blog post goes up. But does your audience grow if you only post blog updates? It’s just as easy to follow the blog. To do social networking well is to devote several hours (at least) to each media outlet.

I spend about 15 hours per week to write two blog posts, reply to comments on those posts, and read and comment on other blogs. That’s 15 hours per week just for blogging. That’s 15 hours I used to spend writing my works in progress. Is it any wonder they’re still in progress?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I’m just stubborn, but I can’t give up more time to other social networks.

The Marketing Dilemma

Oh, but JM, we must also tweet, pin, link, and face to build our brand and develop an audience before an agent or publisher will deign to sign us. This might be do-able if new social media outlets didn’t arise all the time. How many of you heard of Pinterest before last year? And others lose popularity. What have you done on AOL recently? We just master one form and then we’re told to learn something new. How do we keep up? There’s a constant learning curve. Excuse me — but when am I supposed to write my books?

Oh, wait. You didn’t mean this kind of marketing?

So writers engage in social media to market and reach people. But how many of us do it well? Even with “how to” books out there, few of us were marketing majors. There’s a lot of wasted time and effort. Personally, I’m turned off by blogs that do nothing but scream, “Buy My Owner’s Books!” Hey, can we take this slower so I get to know you first? But bloggers who cover every topic under the sun several times a day in addition to their books are hard to follow, too. I don’t have time for all of that.

What Works For Me

If any social media gurus read this post, they might leave a comment saying, “Tough cookies. Suck it up if you want to be successful.” Most likely they’d just roll their eyes and move on to “smarter” writers.

But I know my schedule. I know my limits. And if I’m going to finish my books and get them published, I must spend most of my free time on them. I’ll continue to focus on blogging for reaching an audience. It gives me the most “bang” for my social media buck. I’m not limited to 140 characters and trying to be clever with them. I don’t have to worry whether FB places all my updates in my friends’ news feeds. People don’t have to sign up for anything to read my posts.

And in doing what works for me, social media won’t kill my writing. The books will be completed. And they will be published. Waiting to dive into other outlets on my part won’t kill social media, either. For now, it’s a standoff.

What are your thoughts? Have you struck a balance between social media and your writing or other endeavors? Can you do it all and still have a life and time to write or create?

98 thoughts on “Will Social Media Kill My Writing?

  1. Good post! Personally I don’t believe one should *have* to network in order to be successful or followed. I believe in word of mouth being more valuable than marketing. Maybe that’s just a chiropractor thing, but if hat you’re offering is GREAT then your customers will light the marqee for you and you should be able to focus on your art. If all this extroverted Harvard-style baby kissin is really necessary, I’d find a student or friend who LOVES and values that aspect but doesnt have any of their own work to market, and pay them to do mine for me. Same for accounting and taxes and blah and blah. All the things I consider unimportant but need to do to stay afloat. Hehe

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    • I agree word of mouth is the best marketing any product can have. If people like it, they will recommend it to friends and family. I understand that is a major goal of social media for writers — to reach more people who will someday recommend our books. But expecting us to spend a large chunk of our limited available time on it is unrealistic.

      I hope I have friends, family, and blogging buddies who will say, “Wow, this is a fun book. You should read it!” And if sales hit a respectable number, I can see hiring a publicist to help with promotion (especially if I e-publish or the traditional press doesn’t do much marketing).

      But I need to finish the books first! And a lot of agent and editor advice on social media wouldn’t leave me much time for writing.

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    • Even for people who engage in social media for fun and “just to keep up” with friends and family, the time investment keeps rising. I’m amazed when I look around restaurants or movie theaters, and half the patrons or more are focused on smart phones instead of their companions.

      I’m reminded of a Star Trek episode with an addictive game…. And not in a good way. There’s a very sinister novel in that image which I’d rather not write.

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  2. I think it can work if the material you’re spreading on social networks is related to your writing and the elements behind that writing – if you’re writing science fiction, for example, in the process of putting that together you’re going to be learning things and looking others up and having mad ideas that you’ll WANT to post about.

    Essentially, only post when you’ve got something you actually want to say rather than you feel you have to say. If you’re interested in what you’re doing it’ll come naturally. (Cynical aside: authenticity and enthusiasm are valuable commodities these days.)

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    • It’s good to know authenticity and enthusiasm are still valued. Of course, it’s hard to maintain them if one is posting/tweeting/pinning/updating any old thing several times a day just to be seen by an audience.

      I find it far easier to follow bloggers who only post 2-4 times per week than those who post every day. And I think the interactions with those bloggers are more engaging. It boils down to quality over quantity.

      At some point I know I’ll move into other forms of social media. But not until I have something interesting to post, as you suggest. And that won’t be until I’m finished (or very nearly finished) with the first books. And I’ll be very selective about the media I choose. It should work for me—not the other way round.

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  3. I think juggling activities is tough for anyone. We all tend to go overboard on social media, then family commitments, then our WIPs, then random events that take up our time. It’s a constant balancing act.

    Probably the proof is in the pudding: when your novels go to agents, then editors, your social media and word-of-mouth work will pay off. You will be glad you did it.

    Even knowing as many people as I have come to in my own little town, I can only claim to reach them… marketing to people in Canada and California would be very difficult if it weren’t for social media and the Internet. Unfortunately, there is no “right answer.” I wish there were!

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    • Balance is one of my favorite concepts. We need it in all aspects of our lives. And when we lose it, boy is it hard to regain.

      I started blogging because I knew I had to engage in social media—every agent and editor interview and article made that clear. Writers have to do it before we’ve published anything. (I still think that’s putting the cart before the horse.) Blogging seemed like the most comfortable way for me to get started—although still difficult for an introvert like me.

      It didn’t take long to realize how much time is involved in doing a good job of it. (Hopefully, I’m getting there.) And agents and editors wanted me to do everything else, too? When? I’m not the only one who needs sleep and can’t time travel.

      But blogging is a good way to reach people beyond our home towns and regular circles. And a good writer who publishes a good book and has treated his blog readers well will probably find a lot of helpful marketers in that blogging circle—word of mouth as Anastasia noted above. When I see blog followers from so many different countries, I’m truly astounded. We’ve really got a global community here.

      Hopefully, I’m making it easy for people to follow me by not spreading content over multiple platforms. Time will tell!

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  4. I think you are wise to keep social media in a firm boundary. Despite the positives, it can be a distraction and for I find it becomes a vehicle for procrastination for me. Sounds like you have developed a balanced approach that works for you. Progress!

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    • It’s a source of procrastination for me, too. :) If I did more than blogging, some things might never get done (cooking, cleaning, enough writing). I’m still trying to close the browser for an hour or two while I focus on the novels. I cannot believe how difficult that is to do. But at least I am getting a better schedule hammered out for balancing life, the universe, and everything. (Couldn’t resist a little Douglas Adams there :) )

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  5. I’m sure you’ve hit a nerve with this one, JM. I imagine all of us can relate, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve focused my marketing on blogging as well. I only give about 20 minutes a day to Twitter, if that. I’m not on Facebook. I do enjoy Goodreads, more as a means of keeping my reading list organized, but it is nice to message a fellow member every now and then. But that only takes a few minutes a week. If I can get by without adding Facebook when (or if!) I ever have a product, then I will do so. Even as an introvert, I know I need to spend more time in the real world than the virtual!

    Wonderful post. I suspect you’ll be busy answering all of the comments you’ll generate with this one. :)

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    • I’m curious if folks heavy into social media will jump in to say why I’m being a wimp and must do more….

      I know my limits. I know we’re supposed to push them, get out of our comfort zone, and do more than we ever knew we could. But there are times we need to respect them. I’m not going to sacrifice my valuable writing time (or personal life) for something that may or may not help me reach my goals.

      I know I don’t have the time to devote to Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn or Facebook or next year’s new outlet in a productive way. Do I want to risk losing readers’ interest because I’m either posting garbage or not posting and interacting frequently enough to cultivate good relationships on those platforms? No! Quality over quantity I say again!

      When the time is right, I’ll expand into something else. But I’ll be very selective and go with a platform I think I can handle well.

      Some comments are coming in. We’ll see where they lead :)

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      • I couldn’t agree with you more. Quality over quantity is the perfect way to put it. There are some on Twitter that only send out tweets about their books. I’m happy they’re published, but I’d like to know more about them, not just their books. :)

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        • I’ve seen some blogs like that—nonstop posts about where we can buy the book and how book sales are doing and why haven’t we bought the book? The authors may simply be people who don’t realize that’s not the way to “market.” How many writers took courses in marketing or advertising? Others may not care. That’s how they’ll do it.

          I don’t need to know if a male author wears boxers or briefs or if a woman shaves or waxes, but something about them and their writing journey is nice before I decide to make a reading/purchasing commitment. :)

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          • Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: I wear boxers. ;)

            But again, I’m with you. I appreciate you writing this post, because I think you’ve verbalized what many of us are thinking.

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  6. I’m a big fan of “slow and steady.” As “The Tortoise and the Hare” teaches us, the tortoise wins. :-)

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    • I’m with the tortoise! Some bloggers would laugh at my numbers since I started this blog. But when I look at my stats (site views, blog followers), I can’t believe how many people have stopped by to read something I’ve written. And then some stick around and follow the blog? Wow! I’m flattered, honored, and overwhelmed. And that’s no exaggeration.

      I’d much rather move forward more slowly, getting to know other bloggers and continuing to write my novels. I’d hate to be a flash in the pan or burn out from trying to stretch myself too thin!

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  7. I’m in the mom-with-kid category, and the moments when nobody needs me are precious. But I enjoy blogging, and reading others’ blogs, so that’s why it’s the one social media thing I do. I’ve never joined Facebook or Twitter and although others think that’s odd, it’s how I can manage this side of things. Someday that might change, but for now I feel great about not needing to monitor and participate in various sites. I just don’t have the time!

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    • Exactly! We’ve only got 24 hours in a day. There are jobs, children, spouses, significant others, friends, events, social groups, …. So many things to do and people to interact with, and only so much time to allot to them. Oh, some of us are trying to write books on top of that? And we don’t have 4 or 5 hours a day to devote to various forms of social media? What’s wrong with us? Nothing, thank you very much!

      I’m tied to checking my email and blog way too much as it is. I couldn’t handle checking 3 or 4 other platforms at the same time. This blogging community is perfect for me, and I’m not going to mess that up by cutting corners here to do something else badly.

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      • So true! The more time I spend writing and revising my novel, the better my book will be. If I spend extra hours trying to build a platform, my book is missing out on those hours–and I’d be putting the cart before the horse, investing in finding an audience before the product is finished and polished. (And yes, I love checking my blog and email, so adding to that list would be way too dangerous!)

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  8. Great post. I agree, it’s a modern dilemma, but we shouldn’t let the tail wag the dog. I blog, when I’ve got something to say, but I don’t do Twitter, Facebook or anything else. I just don’t have the time, and actually, I don’t have the inclination either. Who would possibly be interested in what I’m doing on a minute by minute basis? Even I’m not. I love writing the blog and reading what my little circle of bloggers are doing, and that’s enough. It gives me time to write my own stuff, but still feel connected to the outside world in ways I hadn’t considered this time last year.

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    • I’m on Facebook just to keep up with family and friends who are scattered around the country (and world). We don’t post too many updates, but I hear stories about other folks. And I wonder who would think someone could be interested in THAT post? Or why would someone want to share THAT with the world?!

      Yes, give me this little corner of the blogosphere where I can get to know some similar writers or people who have other interesting blogs. Those connections mean much more to me than having 10,000 followers or 100,000 site views.

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  9. I like the concept of flowing my life…feels less stressful than balancing…Choose what works for me, and see where that ride takes me…so far, pretty interesting. Thanks!

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  10. You make valid points. I have been shocked by how much time it takes to blog and keep up with others’ blogs. It is enjoyable, but still does take away valuable time that could be spent writing. I read in one article that you could pay people to do all the social media for you–but that takes money, and I would probably spend too much time ‘looking over their shoulder’ to make sure they did it right (just like how I would probably clean my house before I let a maid service come do it).

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    • Someone to do social media for me? Yikes! Like you, I’d be looking over their shoulder constantly. If someone’s going to accidentally put a foot in my mouth, I’d rather it be me.

      I love blogging — both writing posts and reading what others have written. But, boy does it take time. I just couldn’t handle taking on more outlets. At least not at this stage.

      And I’m with you on cleaning the house before letting a maid come in to do it!

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      • Yes, I agree. I like blogging, but haven’t dared take on Twitter yet or try to increase my facebook usage. It sounds daunting.

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  11. I’m right with you! Blogging just once a week has taken up much more time than I expected so I’m leaving twitter, a FB page, and Pinterest alone for now. I had this very discussion with my husband last week. When are we supposed to write? I’m happy with my blog, but I’m not happy that the literary (and music) companies now refuse to pay for marketing departments, expecting us to suck it up and fill the (their) void. P.R. work is not my strong suit…

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    • I’m really glad to see I’m not the only one who refuses to juggle every form of social media out there. For an introvert like me, the thought of P.R. is daunting. But as you say, most publishers now make the writers do 90 percent or more of the work. Is it any surprise more authors are rebelling and moving toward e-publishing? And it sounds like the music industry is in a similar situation. So many indie outlets and the “mainstream” responds by making it harder for musicians to get a label? The logic escapes me.

      Maybe I’m naive, but I honestly believe the supportive, smaller blogging community is more effective for really reaching people who will enjoy our creations and for finding people whose work we’ll enjoy, too.

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      • You hit the nail on the head for me. I wholeheartedly agree that the blogging community reaches more like-minded people. And as for e-publishing, I know that fiction isn’t doing nearly as well as nonfiction, but I’m still holding back on sending out queries because I’m concerned about the publishing industry as a whole. The music world went first – years ago – and they won’t help anyone who hasn’t collected a large fan base first. Do I really want to work that hard and then not get fair compensation in the end?

        So far, I’m writing and blogging while I’m watching and waiting…

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  12. I blog a lot but I’m always writing in my brain and cooking so it just kind of fits in. I am almost never on Facebook – speaking only for myself obviously not in the majority I don’t like the format – too intrusive. The only Twitter contact I have is my blog, Pinterest is interesting but not compelling, again for me, like blogging.

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    • For meaningful and interesting exchanges between writers and readers, I don’t think anything beats blogging. And by writers, I mean anyone who is writing/blogging about any subject, not just book authors. Anyone can read a blog without having to sign up with the provider. We’re not limited to a few characters. We don’t have to create circles or comment on/like every post just to make sure someone’s updates appear in our news feeds. It’s easy and accessible. Isn’t that how everything should be? :)

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      • Blogging is an interesting media. Instant gratification, in a way, without the hassles inherent in other social medias. There is also a plus in that you get feedback on what’s not working very quickly with the response afforded it I can tell within hours how well a piece of writing is going or if a recipe is being well received. It is a nasty kick in the behind when you feel you’ve done a good job, but we writers are not always the best at critiquing our own work, nor for me as a cook rating my own recipes.

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  13. Great post, JM! My friend tried to get me into blogging a few years back and I insisted it wasn’t for me… ahem.

    I just don’t get the whole Twitter thing. I have an account and evidently I have followers. Today I had a lot of fun imitating the continual coo of a bird outside but that’s the closest I get to actually tweeting.

    I actually really enjoying blogging: reading and writing them. However, I understand what you mean about them being time consuming. If only there were more hours in the day! :)

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    • I would have started blogging earlier if the “advice” articles would have stressed the best part of it — finding a supportive and inspiring community of others! Instead, that was almost a footnote to the importance of building brands, marketing, SEO rankings, ….. Ugh. No! Tell me about the great people I’ll meet and interact with!

      More hours would be nice. :) But I don’t think I’d use them to tweet, pin, link in, update, or any of those things. ;)

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  14. You mean I am supposed to pay attention to my family? It that why they keep throwing things at me?

    Blogging takes up more time than I ever imagined. I enjoy the payoffs, but I know it diverts my focus away from my novel. I don’t let it interfere with family so I do it in the closet. Kidding. I’m not active on Twitter or FB. I can’t imagine how little time THAT would leave me for writing.

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    • Working on the novels today is a bit of a lost cause. I’ve been catching up with blogs and trying to keep up with the comments here. Then there was some cleaning that had to get done…. Blech.

      Kudos to those people who can manage it all. But I recognize that I’m not one of them and never will be. Books must come first!

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  15. Nice post! I ran into the same problem with too much social media killing my writing time. My blog is the one that suffered the most, though I still get around to it sometimes. I guess twitter works better for me. :)

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    • I vote for going with what works for you. So if that’s Twitter, by all means focus on that. :) It’s easier to stick with something we enjoy, and we probably write more interesting/entertaining posts, too. That’s good for us and our readers.

      Thanks for the follow and joining in!

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  16. I spend most of my time on my blog, and I think it shows, since Facebook and Twitter are lacking. I have my posts automatically tweeted, and then my followers help out by “retweeting”. I hardly ever go on facebook, either under my professional profile or my personal, but my posts go there automatically, too…

    All that to say that I run my blog, and the others are auto-updated if people prefer that avenue over the blog.

    I spend about three hours a night on social networking. That would be my own blog, commenting on others, and replying on my blog. I also need to answer emails and twits I get.

    Yes, it’s a time suck, but it doesn’t take a lot of my novel writing time. I just stopped watching TV. My computer is near enough that I can “listen” to what my husband is watching, and at least one a week we have a date night, which is dinner and a movie (normally both at home because babysitters are too expensive.)

    For a while, I was posting every day. That was hard. I dropped to five times a week, but I’m anal, and when I only get 90 hits on a day because I don’t post I feel like I failed that day.

    I’d be better off if I didn’t look at the numbers :-)

    That being said…. You’ve motivated me to go work on my novel. See Ya!

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    • Oh, there’s probably a whole series of posts that could be written about stats addiction. :) There’s another time suck—how many views did I get while I was out shopping? how many new followers this week? Argh!

      Maybe if my blog numbers reach some milestone that I don’t yet recognize, I’ll consider expanding to other media. Maybe. The reality for me is that blogging does cut into writing time, even though I don’t watch much TV, either. So any addition, no matter how limited, would further reduce it.

      Sigh. There is no perfect solution. We all have to find what works for us.

      After household chores and a furniture-staining project, it’ll be back to my novel, too! :)

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  17. Great post. I haven’t found a balance yet but I am very new to it. I only blog, I don’t have any other medium. I do have a facebook page but I do nothing with it. It sits there like a lump on a log and I have no idea what it’s for other than for old friends to post embarrassing school photos of me.
    I know that right now I should be working on my writing. I’m not, I’m blogging, but I’m enjoying it so much. I’ve connected to such lovely people like yourself. I think that’s good for me. I do however need to find a balance at some stage and get back to some serious wriing time. I have signed up for NaNo camp in August so that is my motivation ahead.

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    • NaNo camp sounds like a great idea. Sometimes we need that “push” to get us back on our creative track. I should try a smaller personal goal like a “week camp” where I aim for 10,000 words or try to complete a block of rewrites.

      The connection with fellow introverts is one of the best things I’ve discovered in blogging. Do you follow Carrie Rubin’s “The Write Transition” blog (http://carrierubin.com/)? She’s got great posts about being an introvert in the world of social media.

      It takes a while to find that balance. I didn’t realize how much I’d love blogging—or how much time it would take. But it helped to cut down from 3 posts to 2 per week. And it’s easier for me to follow bloggers who don’t post every day. And sometimes, we just have to shut down the browser and focus on the WIPs.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

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      • I do follow Carrie, she was one of my firsts. :) I’m lokking forward to getting stuck into the WIP. I shall hide myself indoors during my chilly winter August with coffee.

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  18. Hi JM, I wanted to comment on this yesterday and I couldn’t find the time, lol. :)

    I soooo appreciate the honesty and sincerity of this post because of my own time-management issues. Blogging is my go-to social media venue, and I have found that I can’t keep up with it the way I used to even 3 months ago. I am on a whole bunch of social media outlets and it is too much at this stage in the game–when I’m trying to write my book. Possibly once my book is out, then I’d have that time to devote, but right now it is a stressful struggle.

    15 hours a week for your blogging is probably average, I’d say–I don’t know if that makes you feel better or not. I put a lot more than 15 hours into my blogging when I count in the amount of time it takes for me to think up posts (that’s time I spend when I could be thinking about my novel), write them, reply to comments, and comment on other blogs. I would say I spend about 25 hours on the entire scope of blogging per week. This does not count in the time I spend on other social media outlets (which I’m only partly invested in anyway).

    I blog for the same reason you do it–because that’s the way the industry is rolling right now. While I love the connections and friendships I have made, and all the new things I’m learning, I’m drained. I have found I don’t have the energy I used to when it comes to writing. I also feel guilty if I let too many days go by without replying to comments on my posts or visiting a favorite blog. I think we all know who our biggest ‘supporters’ are, and it is important to me to reciprocate, give back, pay it forward.

    I wish I had the answer to how it can be done and not be stressed or feel overloaded. Maybe the industry will turn if enough of us writers decide that the writing must come first.

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    • More hours in a day would be lovely. Although I suspect other people would insist we spend the time with them—more time at work, more time online with social media, more time volunteering, more time spending money somewhere…. Other people and forces are always pulling on us, aren’t they?

      Can we get enough writers to stand up and say “ENOUGH”? I fear the gatekeepers use it as a way to reduce the number of unsolicited queries they receive. Computers have made it easier for anyone to write a book, and many of those books aren’t any good. Agents and editors are deluged with queries. I understand that.

      But they risk losing some excellent writers with amazing stories if those writers’ lives don’t allow time for the “required” social media presence. Those writers may quit or take the e-publishing route.

      I’m afraid my 15 hours for blogging is growing, too. And I can’t let it take over, no matter how much I enjoy the interactions. I’ve tried to keep my frequent commenting to a core group, mainly fellow bloggers who I connected with very early on. But there are some newer ones, too. :) I’m leaving more likes without comments on other blogs. It’s still a struggle to keep a balance.

      There are no easy solutions. The publishing world and our culture are in such a state of flux. If only I could travel forward in time to see what I should be focusing on! ;)

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  19. I hear you. This was the topic of one of my recent posts http://wp.me/p2b2NZ-aL as well. Blogging takes on a life of its own. I am amazed when I get to actually open the file of the WIP and add to it. Or even make a journal entry.

    And I have to agree with mskatykins comment about Twitter. I’m still not getting what the to-do is over that. Facebook I limit to family and a few friends I can count on one hand. That gets looked at maybe once a week.

    And Pinterest – no way. I say that now and in six months or so I’ll probably be sucked in….

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    • It took me forever to sign up for Facebook—and that’s just to keep up with family and friends. If I post more than two status updates a week beyond my blog links, that’s busy for me!

      Maybe my resistance to Twitter is that I just don’t understand it, either. 140 characters or whatever it is? I can’t be that clever. I doubt most people can be. If I have to link to something to get more information, well, gosh, that starts taking more time….

      No easy answers, but we do the best we can do. If what I do isn’t enough for some of the powers that be, well, tough cookies to them. :)

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  20. Judging by the fact that it is 10:56am by my clock and there are 53 (now 54) comments to this post, I think you picked a winner for discussion. My opinion, do what happens. I started out teaching, had my stroke, tried to continue teaching. When that didn’t work out, I began writing my book. Couldn’t focus then, so I switched to short stories (love doing those). However, I got interested in this blog thing and it has turned out well. I agree with you. I spent 15-20 hours a week, blogging, logging, reading, and commenting. I follow nearly 20 blogs. I do read them; some days are really rough. I may have to (will) change the schedule again. Whatever happens, though, I am doing it for me and what I love – live for now.
    Scott

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    • For me, the interaction in blogging can’t be beat. And that’s where I’ll focus my attention. But I do have to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t take more time away from my writing. I can’t publish the novels until they’re truly finished. And both have a way to go. I need to spend more time with them. That’s what I want to do. :)

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  21. I’m with you all the way jm. Less social media and more writing! One thing I’ve noticed for myself here lately is even blogging is beginning to be a bit of a time drain–it’s just not possible for me to read every single post and leave meaningful comments. But I do love the connection with other writers and they above all others know what a balancing act all of this is so that’s a good thing! :) We each have to find our own groove and what works best.

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    • My new mantra is Books Before Blogs. :) I’m not doing too well at it this weekend, though. Housework didn’t help. Yuck. I’m beginning to realize I have to be selective in which blogs I can follow regularly and which I can’t. That’s hard because I don’t want to slight anyone and have them think I’m too snobbish or something. It all comes down to time and prioritizing again. Hmm, didn’t I do a post on that a while back?! :)

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  22. This sounds a lot like what adjunct professor go through in academia. They need experience, publications and the doctorate to get full professorship, but teaching responsibilities eat up all of the time to get further.

    I see what you mean though – used to be newswriters had stories with deadlines, THEN the next work. Now you are multitasking…the same task?!

    Thanks for posting this, you really got me thinking!

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    • Hi, thanks for stopping by and joining in!

      Oh, yes, academia’s had it’s own version of this vicious cycle for many years. “Publish or perish” for assistant professors is what I saw in graduate school. More recently, as adjunct positions became a popular cost-saving measure, even more has been expected of the adjunct professor, usually a post-coursework graduate student.

      They get stuck teaching many more (and larger) courses that the full faculty but have to finish their dissertations, do whatever field or lab or theoretical work is required in the discipline, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Not an easy thing to do.

      Our society seems to be asking more of us than is sustainable….. I think something will break at some point. Maybe I’ll write a novel about that at some point. ;)

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  23. I agree, I keep being amazed by how much more I do manage to fit in around a full time job, being a single parent, my writing and acting, but I keep thinking there must be a saturation point where I can do no more! I definitely think blogging is the most advantageous one for me – I never consider writing blog posts, or commenting on other blogs, to be a waste of time because it’s exercising my writing skills in one way or another. The trouble is, every week, the list of blogs I follow increases, and then so does my blogging workload! And therefore my other writing projects aren’t getting done.

    How often though do I find myself with, for instance, a couple of hours where I know I could make some progress on my book and instead I think “Well first, I’ll just check Facebook, then Twitter, then a few new blog posts have come in, and oh yes! I have a couple of emails to reply to”, and before I know it, the two hours has gone.

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    • Finding that discipline to make myself really write and revise is hard. It’s not “two hours of writing” if I, as you say, check Facebook, then the blog, then my email, then new blog posts…. That two hours might really be 20 minutes. What I need to do is shut down the internet connection when I’m writing/revising the books. Can everyone say withdrawal symptoms?

      Blog posts are good writing exercises, there’s no doubt about that. But they’re not my novels. That discipline to get through the rewrites has to come from within. And I hope I’m taking baby steps, at least, to develop it. Recognizing problems is the first step in fixing them, right?

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