Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Juggling Social Media and Writing

114413351638(1)I read a post from Inkygirl, Debbie Ohi, which really resonated with me the other day.

Debbie is an author and illustrator. She’s also very active online and is well-respected in the writing community for helping connect writers with resources.

She’s got a lot going on.

Debbie said:

I'm a social media addict. I've been a huge fan of online communities before the term "online community" even existed. These days, however, I'm feeling spread too thin over too many social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Second Life, various writing and illustration communities, plus all the blogs I either manage or in which I participate as a collaborator.

Debbie goes on to say that her main, long-term, goal is to get more books published. And the only way to do that, she explained, is to rethink the amount of time she’s spending online.

I’ve got the same goal—to write as much as possible and have more books published. There’s a big shift in my mindset, too. I’ve realized that I just can’t juggle everything every day. I’ve become more forgiving of myself and a little more flexible. And I realize my limitations.

These are ways I’ve tried to trim or streamline the amount of time I spend online:

Decrease the times each day that I check email. I also try to have dedicated times that I respond to email.

Plan more than one blog post at a time. I brainstorm blog posts for a week.

Timer: I set a timer to remind myself when I need to take a break from being online.

Blog visiting: I try to visit as many blogs as I can (I love finding out what everyone’s up to and love to get writing tips), but I divide up the blogs by different days so I’m not taking too much time out of .

Twitter—I skim my Google Reader and load the most-helpful post links into SocialOomph to post over a 14-16 hour period. First thing in the morning each morning, I make sure Twitter is set to load. Once a day, I check for @ messages and DMs to respond to.

Facebook and Google+: I have my blog set up to post on my Facebook page and just try to check in a couple of times a week (Facebook isn’t my favorite.) I enjoy Google+ more, but am trying to pace myself there, too.

Blog breaks: There’s also nothing wrong with taking a blogcation to recharge or with decreasing the number of days that you post. Please let us know beforehand before you stop posting that you’re taking a hiatus to relax—otherwise, we’ll worry about you. :)

How are you managing your online time? Feeling the need to cut back or are you balancing it well?