Is Social Media Getting In the Way of Your Writing Goals?

Is Social Media Getting In the Way of Your Writing Goals
Photo by John Fowler

Is Social Media Getting In the Way of Your Writing Goals?

While we all know that procrastination is a common roadblock to our writing goals, most of us handle procrastination on a reactive basis. When we catch ourselves procrastinating and we tell ourselves to stop, we’re reacting to correct a bad action or behavior. As a result, we then chide ourselves for not taking advantage of our time to write. Maybe we start feeling guilty or disappointed in ourselves and our lack of progress.

Handling procrastination on a proactive basis, however, gives us a clear guide on preventing procrastination. In addition, it helps us avoid the emotional drain as a result of not meeting our writing goals.

So, what does handling procrastination "proactively" mean?

There are a number of ways to be proactive so we can get our writing work done. Here is one question to ask yourself:

Am I Spending Too Much Time on Social Media?

Are you spending too much time on social media? Are you chatting with friends or playing Facebook games when you should be focused on your writing work? If you work a full-time job and you write on the side, you probably know how precious your spare time is. So, are you making the most of it?

Writing can be hard work. Knowing when to use description versus dialogue or weaving clues and red herrings into your story without giving them away takes some creative thinking. Additionally, you need time to think things through to write clearly and well because good writing doesn't just form on its own. So, how can you do that if you don’t devote quality time to it?

Maybe you chat on Twitter during your writing sessions. Doesn’t that keep you from focusing on your writing and giving it your all?

The trick to balancing social media and your writing work is to allow yourself time to chat throughout the day without interfering with your writing session. Social media is a great marketing tool because it allows you to build connections and relationships with readers and potential readers. But when it interferes with your ability to write, things need to change.

While you sit down to write, close the program(s) that distracts you and focus on your work for a certain amount of time or write a certain number of words. Then, when you’ve reached your goal for the session, reward yourself with some time on Twitter (or Facebook, Pinterest, or other platform of choice). Rather than giving yourself rewards prior to completing tasks, make yourself wait until the task is complete. Another thing to consider is making the tasks a little smaller so you can reward yourself more often.

Your writing time is important because it helps you reach your goals. So, make writing a priority and you’ll soon be reaching your writing goals and setting bigger ones!

Do you think you spend too much time on social media or not enough?

Jody Calkins
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Jody Calkins

Freelance Writer & Book Editor at Emery Road Writing Services, LLC
Jody Calkins is a Freelance Writer & Book Editor, Writer's Coach, Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Pilot's Wife. Her unique talent is as a Back-to-Basics Step-By-Step Writing Expert who currently serves hundreds of clients in over 50 countries. Her editing services and training programs help novelists improve their writing skills, get motivated to write, improve productivity and time management, and battle self-doubt and other roadblocks. She works with middle-grade, young adult, and adult books in a variety of genres including Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, and Self-Help.
Jody Calkins
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  • Jody, this is a pressing issue for writers. I used to find SM got in the way of my writing, but I’ve taken the time–and spent the money–to learn how to get focused and use SM to my advantage, instead of being overwhelmed. It’s like everything else in life: we learn, we master, and then we write.

  • Thanks, Jody. A thought provoking post. Social media (Web 2.0 and beyond) is just another tool, but that hasn’t always been the case for me. Somewhere later on, however, I heard it’s about relationships. I think that’s true. I enjoy the chance to learn from the incredibly diverse SM community and do not view my interaction as getting in the way of my writing.