Do you race for the computer each morning eager to find out who’s saying what to whom?
Are there comments on my blog post?
Did anyone “like” my Facebook status?
Do I have any DMs on Twitter?
Or perhaps your focus is on others.
Whose birthday is listed on Facebook?
Who shouted out good news, and where’s the cyber celebration?
Which blog posts can I recommend to my friends and followers?
A Social Media Obsession is one of Twelve Troublemakers that plagues me as a writer. I’m exploring one a week. This is the third the series.
When I began writing, I spent two years in isolation and completed five novel-length stories. Then I finaled in a contest, was invited to be a blog guest, and discovered the wonderful world of cyberspace. I was no longer alone.
What fun it was to chat with other writers, people who shared my passion and didn’t think I was nuts for hearing voices. In a short time, I signed up for Facebook and Twitter, joined several Yahoo! loops, and launched two blogs. Reserved me had found a safe way to connect with others using the medium I find most comfortable: the written word. I had a blast making online friends.
But my productivity dropped. Ever since the day when former technophobe me crawled out of my cave, I’ve struggled to divvy my time between socializing and writing. And I have a strong suspicion I’m not alone.
I’d love to give you six sure-fire steps for striking a balance between social networking and story crafting, but in all honesty, I can’t. The truth is, I’m working to find mine. I can, however, share what’s helped me.
Three truths that help me combat my tendency to be too “talkative” online
I can’t do it all. It’s impossible for me to respond to every comment, tweet, or Facebook update, much as I’d like to. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. What’s more, no one expects me to.
It’s OK to prioritize. Writing has to come first. Responding to email comes next. Social networking, while important to me, follows these two. I wish I could say I’ve embraced this concept wholeheartedly and have my priorities in order, but there are days I forget and flip the list around.
Brief is better. I don’t write tight. I wish I did, but I’m one of those writers who has to perform liposuction on my stories during my revision passes. If I’m not careful, my blog comments can turn into novellas. I’m learning to keep them lean. I console myself with the fact that leaving concise comments allows me to make more of them in my allotted time.
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Your Struggles & Successes with Social Media . . . and a Drawing
Do you have trouble pulling yourself from social media sites?
How do you divide your precious time between chatting and writing?
One person who leaves a comment and answers one of these questions will win the yak pictured above. This little Folkmanis finger puppet might seem a silly item for an adult, but it could serve as a visual reminder to keeps tabs on your social networking time. If you win and don’t want the little guy, you could share it with a child or grandchild.
I’ll hold the drawing Sunday, February 27th and post the winner’s name in the post published the next day, when I’ll introduce the next of the Twelve Troublemakers.
Prickles, the Pressured Porcupine from last Monday’s drawing went to Dawn Alexander.