Start Your Week Off Write: Confessions – Spending Too Much Time On Social Media?


image, Le secret, public domain

Shh, come close. Closer. I have a confession to make. I haven’t written anything on my WIP in two weeks. I heard your shocked gasp, Blogging Friends. Now mind you, I’ve done a lot of writing in those two weeks. I’ve read about writing. I finished Write Great Fiction: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, which was awesome and has me itching to put into practice what I’ve learned. I’ve been blogging about writing. I’ve been doing writing prompts and exercises. Just nothing related to my book. Why? Because when I am finished with the above listed activities, the time has come and gone. I feel like a failure. I see so many bloggers who have it together.

Why can’t I fit in blogging, writing practice, journaling and working on the book with all my other daily responsibilities? I should be able to do all that and bake cookies, give blood and help old ladies cross the street as well, right? Where is the balance?

I enjoy blogging, reading blogs and interacting with other writers. I discover new knowledge every day. My priority needs to be learning how to write the best book I can and doing it. I’m enjoying this blogging journey and as it helps me build self-discipline I need it to reflect in my writing product. There are a lot of accountability groups for writing, but what I need is accountability for balance. Can I get an amen out there?

Therefore I’m going to do a little blog housekeeping to give me the margin to write and take care of daily life responsibilities. My blogging schedule will be switching to Monday Wednesday Friday posts. Monday will continue to be Start Your Week Off Write where we talk all things writing and blogging. Wednesday is Healthy Writer Wednesday. I will share what I discover about being your best you, and you share something, and we both get a little wiser. Friday will be Write Anywhere and it’s Show and Tell about somewhere we wrote and a bit of accountability for how we’ve spent our 10,080 minutes that week. I’ll ‘fess up what I’ve done and not done towards my WIPs as well as account for my social media time by sharing links to a few choice thought-provoking blogs that really spoke something to me. I hope you’ll join in and tell us about your writing journey for the week.

Besides the fact I haven’t progressed on my WIP, a book I started reading has inspired me to examine my time-spending habits. The book, titled Margin by Richard A. Swenson comes at just the right time, as so many things seem to do, if we will only pay attention. Here is the first paragraph of the book:

“The conditions of modern-day living devour margin. If you are homeless, we send you to a shelter. If you are penniless, we offer you food stamps. If you are breathless, we connect you to oxygen. But if you are marginless, we give you yet one more thing to do. Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the bank because you were ten minutes late dropping the kids off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station – and you forgot your wallet. Margin, on the other hand, is having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month and sanity left at the end of adolescence.”

I’m excited to read it and work on my margin.

Want to chew on some good advice for balancing writing with social media? Check out these links:

Finding Time by Chris Brogan

Finding My Quiet Mind From Social Media from The Reflective Writer

Jill Kemerer asks How Much Time Should You Spend On Social Media?

Anna DeStefano tells us about Putting The Writing First

and we find out the real secret from Kristen Lamb with Self-Discipline: Key To Success

Here’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten about time management:

“Time is the fire in which we burn.” – Dr. Soran, Star Trek Generations

"Time is the fire in which we burn."

Okay, I completely waved my geek card for all to see.

Question: Are you having trouble juggling writing, social media and daily life? Confess it here – it’s good for your soul. Let’s encourage each other!

17 thoughts on “Start Your Week Off Write: Confessions – Spending Too Much Time On Social Media?

  1. Author Kristen Lamb

    Lists are the key. Learn to say no and work with focus. It is amazing what we can accomplish if we put all our energy into ONE thing and let the little time-stealers scream. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment, Kristen. I agree, lists help me so much. If I do one thing at a time, and do it excellently, then move on to the next, I have good results. It’s when I think I can squeeze a thing in here and there, and before you know it I am shoving all these things to do into a time slot that can’t handle anymore and they start falling through the cracks. Thanks for all your wonderful advice. Just going to keep on keeping on, working the plan and say no to all the little foxes. :)

      Like

  2. Lavender Water's Writing Blog

    I often see new writers who are struggling with balance. All I can speak of is what worked for me. I created a schedule that worked for me. My daily life and my writing are priorities. When it comes to social networking, it is not about having the *most* friends/followers but about being authentic with the ones you interact with.

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    • Thanks for stopping by. I guess that is where I am now, finding the schedule that works for me. Everyone is going to have something different, but making some type of plan of what to do and what NOT to do is going to give you more control over your time. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive to the situation. I’ve had several months of living reactively, so now it’s time to get proactive. And stop lurking on social media. LOL Thanks for your advice.

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  3. Great topic! I can totally relate because I’ve been overwhelmed at times too. And so I ended up doing what you are doing on your blog… I post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a set topic for each day. I try to write the posts early (usually on the weekend) and schedule them to be viewable on my M/W/F schedule. As I’ve done this consistently over a period of time, it has grown easier to maintain my blog’s writing schedule, which has also made it easier to find the time to spend on my WIP. So your strategy is a good one. Stick with it, and don’t be surprised if it takes a little time to adjust to your schedule. It’ll get easier, believe me. You’ll be glad you did it!

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    • Thanks for the encouragement! I purposely gave myself a month to work with posting 6 days a week to build some discipline. If I have a deadline and accountability I do pretty well, but the schedule was not going to last long term. Too many other things have to suffer to maintain it. I also have a lot on my plate personally right now, but didn’t want to completely give up blogging, so this schedule will help me move towards that elusive goal: balance. I think so many people are either/or personalities (myself included) and we try to do everything and if we can’t we do nothing. Balance is possible, but like anything else worthwhile, it takes work and practice.

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  4. One of my favorite quotes is “Not all who wander are lost,” but sometimes I feel like I’ve gotten lost in all the roles we have to fill as writers, marketers, spouses, parents, etc. Social media really sucks me in so I’ve limited myself to 2 hours a day. I set my kitchen timer for one hour, twice a day. I’ve also made the commitment to spend at least four hours a day writing. Like Kristen said, we need to get better at saying no and I think that’s something most women have trouble with.
    Thanks so much blogging about this. It came at the perfect time for me.

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  5. A pastor’s wife shared this once and I never forgot it, although I have trouble living it at times. She said this is the most important phrase you can learn to keep yourself, your marriage and your family healthy: “No, but thank you so much for asking.” I agree that women have trouble saying no, because we tend to want to ‘fix’ everything and please everyone, even when we can’t. Great idea about the timer! I’m going to get mine out now. Where did I put that timer…Thanks, Diana!

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  6. When I was younger I was shown an example that stuck with me:

    You have a given a large glass jar, a bag of marbles, some golfballs, some baseballs, a bag of sand, and a softball. Almost all the items can fit in the jar, but only if you put the the largest items first. If you accomplish your priorities first – whatever those may be, family, health, writing – everything else falls into place. If a few grains of sand don’t make it, well, they are grains of sand and weren’t that important anyway.

    Hope you figure out your balls (wait…that doesn’t sound right…) so everything falls into place for you!

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  7. Sandy L

    I’m trying to combine social media – like, if I make a Twitter post, have it automatically go to both WordPress and Facebook, or viceversa. I’m down to posting once a week publically, and then once more for the writing group. It gives me presence in a number of areas at a minimum of time involved.

    Your quote about time being what we burn is apt. I’d rather be less involved on FB and et al in order to devote the time to what it is I truly burn to do. And I am one of the worst at saying, ‘Oh, i’ll start writing once I get this site, or that one.’ but then never get around to writing (or waste an hour getting there. I’m very good and turning off the TV, and now, turning off the internet. There just isn’t that much out there that is worth the time I could have spent writing, or reading. :)

    Speaking of which – why are you reading this? LOL! *cracks whip* close the browser and get to work! :D

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  8. You caught me! :) I’m limiting myself to reading/posting/checking before breakfast, then at lunch, then a little after dinner. We’ll see if I get the DTs from cutting down so fast. LOL You’re right, if we’re going to burn, we should burn worthily. Does that mean no more ‘Judge Judy’? :)

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  9. You are not alone. Throw in kids, a full time job, and I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do it all. Or at least no way to do it all *well*. For instance, I just hopped on TweetDeck for the first time in…how long? *sigh*

    I do the M, W, F thing too, although I thought about cutting that back a day. I decided, I like to write, but do I like stressing about writing? Not really. Kind of spoils the fun.

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  10. Thanks for listing my blog post on this topic! The trackback brought me here, and I’m glad to join you and other writers. Since writing my post I’ve continued to observe myself and see the struggle I go through – on-line time sucking me in, yet feeling drawn to many of the people and activities; feeling rueful at the end of the day, wondering where the time went… Ironically, I consider “balance and boundaries” core elements of my teaching, my life perspective, and my writing, but they often elude me. (Perhaps no wonder–we so often gravitate towards what we need to learn more deeply.)

    Looking forward to more of what you write. I see you have a tag for “cats”–as do I!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer

    http://www.thereflectivewriter.com/blog/

    “My cat owns me, my clutter stymies me, my writing frees me.
    Word maven loves–and learns from–ordinary life.”

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  12. Pingback: How To Map Your Way To A Streamlined Social Media Experience | kristin nador writes anywhere

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