This post is as much for me as it is for you. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and commenting on blogs can eat up precious writing time. I can easily spend two to several hours on the computer without working on my book at all.
Here are some ways I’ve come up with to rein in my social media time in order to devote more time to my book:
1. Make a weekly schedule of when you will do what. If you are on Fcebook, set aside time at the beginning of your day and at the end of your day for Facebook time. At the beginning, post a couple of items of your own and respond to others. At the end, check your posts and respond to comments and make a few comments on others. This amount of Facebook time will keep you in touch with other without eating up hours and hours. If you’re on other social media sites, schedule time for them as well. Before scheduling social media time though, block out time on your schedule to work on your book. That comes first.
2. When you hit a sticky spot in your writing, it’s oftem easier to flip over to Facebook or Twitter and read and respond to posts as a diversion. Unfortunately, five to ten minutes just to check on things can turn into an hour or more. I’d suggest you stick to your schedule.
3. Schedule posts on Twitter. If you just hate not having posts going out on Twitter, you can use Hootsuite.com or other Twitter applications to schedule posts to go out throughout the day. That way, you can spend a few minutes at the beginning of the day to send out one or two live posts, then schedule some interesting ones to draw attention to your work, your website, or other points of interest. Later, you can see if you received any Tweets and respond to those. This will save your time for writing your book.
4. Commit yourself to completing your daily writing goals first. If you just can’t live without being on your social media sites, allow yourself time to visit them all, but only do so after you finish your writing goal of the day. Each day determine how much writing you want to accomplish… a page or a chapter, etc…. Finish that, then allow yourself time to participate in other activities.
5. Make the most of your social media time by commenting on what others are saying. As long as you are going to allow yourself a certain amount of social media time, be visible. It’s informative to read the posts of others, but to get the most of it, network with those you are reading by leaving comments. Not only will that person get to know you by your comments, but others who read their tweets, facebook posts or blog posts might get to know you also and visit your blog and become interested in your writing. So, as long as you are going to take time away from writing your book to surf the social media sites, make the most of it.
Above all…. feel good about your new schedule because your book will be better for the concentrated effort you will put in on it.