Nowadays writers tend to stake out a spot in one of three camps: those who enthusiastically embrace social media, using it communicate with readers and fellow writers, raise their profiles and yes, sell books; those who think writers should be neither seen nor heard and look upon putting yourself out there as distasteful self-promotion; and those who are somewhere in between, perhaps successful published writers wanting to get into Twitter or blogging because someone told them it would be a good idea, but not sure where to start.
I, obviously, fall into the first category. If I’d been born ten years earlier, not only would I be freaking out about now but I wouldn’t have been able to do any of what I’ve achieved in the last year. (I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I’d be born even five years earlier.) But now I’m running into a problem, a problem which is at the crux of this whole writer-blogger-tweeter-Facebooker existence. My online presence has given my writing career a great foundation – or at least, I think it has – but the time it takes to keep it up is eating into the time I should be devoting to my Work in Progress, the same WIP that if unfinished, makes this whole author platform thing null, void and utterly useless.
I find it so difficult to compartmentalize my time. While someone else might be able to say, okay, 9am-10am is devoted to all things online and then I’ll write for three hours, I would log on sometime after nine and re-emerge in early afternoon. I could, of course, virtually unplug, but it’s not so much that the internet is a distraction for me – I worry that the “following” I’ve established will abandon me when the space where I used to pop up on their Google Reader or wherever grows dark and sprouts cobwebs.
It’s a constant struggle. Right now I’m writing during the day and writing blog posts – such as this one – in front of the TV at night.
(So if I suddenly start talking about The Apprentice or I’m a Celebrity, you’ll know why.)
Sometimes a tiny little part of me wishes I could go back to the days when no one but my friends and family knew who I was, and even they didn’t know I was writing a book. Back then I could disappear for eight weeks and be under no pressure to produce as much as an e-mail. But almost as soon as I begin to think this, I realize what utter crap I’m on about it and thank my lucky stars anyone is aware of my existence at all…!
What do YOU do to balance your writing time with your online time? Any tips?