Are you on Facebook when you should be writing?

I love Facebook, just love it. My friends and family are there, and I keep adding new friends. I have hundreds. At any moment, I can post something and get reactions within a few minutes. The red numbers keep popping up on my page, and I just have to see what they said.

Every morning after I check my email, I go through Facebook, reading, liking and commenting. I promise myself I’ll only spend a few minutes there before I get to work. I set the timer. But there’s always more. Oh, I have to look at this video, listen to this song, wish this person happy birthday. The timer beeps, I turn it off, and keep clicking through Facebook.

I find some good stuff, articles and links that I can use in my work, but I delay actually getting to my work. Often, the postings get my emotions all in a whirl. This morning, for example, the first thing I saw was a photo of family members at Disneyland—without me. I miss them, I’m homesick, and I want to have fun, too. I read about a friend’s serious medical problem. Then I read that another friend won a big award. Another friend published her book. Another is doing a reading. Me, I have nothing to brag about this week. Hey, I stayed on my diet, sort of, for one more day. I feel bad now. I don’t feel like writing. Let me just watch this puppy video . . .

And the day is ticking away. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I actually get more deep writing done when I’m at my Dad’s, where there is no Internet connection. I do get Facebook on my cell phone, but Dad gives me the look of disapproval every time I pick up my phone.

What I’m saying is, we have to set some limits. Write first. Save Facebook and other social media for dessert. We need them these days for all kinds of reasons, but we shouldn’t let them get in the way of our writing. There’s nothing on there that can’t wait, not a damned thing.

This post was inspired by an article from The Writer Magazine to which I found the link on Facebook. Read “13 Rules to Maximize Writing Productivity,” then disconnect.

Now let’s go write.

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2 Comments on “Are you on Facebook when you should be writing?”

  1. GAH. This a tough one for me. I used to take social media-free days, but found I spent more time catching up than if I’d just stepped away for several hours and then spent a few minutes getting my ya-yas out by scrolling through my feeds. Now I set time or word count limits, but I need to reestablish some thicker, higher boundaries. With a forthcoming novel, I’m struggling with the need to build my platform and be present to readers and potential readers, but not at the expense of my writing. It’s a precarious balancing act.

    • Exactly, Julie. It’s so hard to keep those boundaries. And yes, if too much time goes by, the messages pile up and it gets even harder. But we can both do it if we really try. Write first, FB later.


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