The devil that is social media

You are my favourite waste of time. Yes, YOU, my cyber friends.

How many of you are logging on today with the idea to write?
How many have checked and rechecked their emails, had a look on Twitter or
posted something banal on Facebook and then waited for replies?

Hands up! Who’s guilty of procrastination?

What time was it when you sat down to write? Ten minutes
ago? Thirty? An hour? Be honest now. Time has an annoying way of being there
one moment, and vanishing the next so I wouldn’t be surprised if you said
longer than even an hour!

Chick Lit
Latest release – June 2012

So why do we procrastinate? What’s so scary about opening
the document of our novel and cracking on? It doesn’t necessarily mean your
novel is rubbish, it’s just that deep down we know how much work there is
involved in putting it all together.

Readers won’t know how much like a jigsaw typescripts are.
Bits of scenes here, characterisation there, author notes, bits highlighted,
bits underlined. It’s enough to make the water in your eyes dry up! Eeek!

So what can we do about it? It’s easy really. Unconnect from
your server and don’t reconnect until your novel’s (at least) 20,000 words
further in. Easier said than done though. That urge to check into Twitter, just
for five minutes, won’t go away. And once you do “check in” that five minutes
has soon turned to twenty!

I mean, look at me, I’m writing this rather than continuing
with my novel! Somehow, writing an article on procrastination is easier than
opening my book. Why? I’m in love with the idea for my book, my character is
feisty, the setting brilliant and the plot is dynamite!  So what’s stopping me?


I’m stopping me.

There is nothing wrong with my typescript, and I expect it’s
the same with yours.  I just LOVE social
media so much it’s become an interference. I love the prettiness of Pinterest,
the family that is Facebook, the links I can collect on Twitter and the opportunity
of sharing  posts and articles on

When I’m not part of it I feel I’m missing something.

Here are my three tips that I plan to use:

  1. Make ‘playtimes’ on
    the Internet a reward for writing 10K or more words.
  2. Get into a routine;
    write in the evenings (or mornings, afternoons, whatever suits best) and
    make this an absolute writing
    time. Not playtime (or marketing or whatever it’s called!). Writing is
    just that – writing.
  3. If rewards don’t
    work, I will try a punishment! If I don’t manage my quota for the week
    then there WON’T be a special treat at the end of the week.
Chick Lit

Louise Wise is the author of Eden, A Proper Charlie and her newest release The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am. She has also written a non-fiction book based on articles from this blog: So You Want an Author Platform?


6 thoughts on “The devil that is social media

  1. It's definitely something to think about. Some climb into their writing cave while they craft that novel. Some simply weigh down the scales toward the writing side and allow the networking side to be neglected a bit. It's tough. I know I struggle with this, myself.
    Thanks for sharing,



  2. I like that a lot! A reward after writing time! My main Internet draw lately has been job searching. Except when I'm reading blogs. Heh heh.

    But you are right, write first, distract later.

    Can't promise the 10k though. In one sitting??? Yikes. 1K. Job search. Blog. 1K. job search. Blog. Etc. 🙂


  3. 1k… lol… Susan. Sounds, er, a start? 🙂

    Rob, that sounds ideal.

    Jacqueline, thanks for that. It's nice to know I'm getting views. And yes, the habit is SO hard! >cries<


  4. You're so funny Louise!

    My very thoughts this morning as I sat on the porch with my morning coffee.

    I was saying to myself, don't go online, instead go now down to the waters edge while its still cool and then come back and write.

    But what do I do? Like a mouse on its treadmill, it's hard to kick the habit-I plug in.

    We are curious human beings-eh? Yes, we all need to get in touch more with the other side of our brains where the writing juices take place. So thankyou Louise for the reminder to unplug.

    By the way, I wanted you to know, when I look at my blog stats, I've noticed you're still getting a lot of views from being a guest author at my blog.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. It's all too easy to give in to the temptation to go online. I found the perfect solution by accident when doing some work which my publisher had asked for on my previous novel. I booked in for a few days at Gladstone's Library in Flintshire in order to get away from distractions. There was internet availability in all rooms but the connection was so slow that once I'd checked emails there was no point in trying to do more. I got lots of work done there!


  6. What a brilliant idea – ideas, actually. But the one I like best is to only come onto the internet for play when I've written 10k…how about 1k? Yes, that'll do…right, I'm off!


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