Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: Would you write better without social media?




I have seen a lot of posts on various social media sites this week that have complained about how distracting social media sites are (yes, I see the dilemma there, too). It's a catch-22, really. We, as writers, need to write constantly. We also need to research, and that is where the Internet is wonderful. The whole world is at our fingertips!

Including... Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

On these sites, we have an availability to "meet" other authors, interact with editors, publishing houses, and learn our craft from so many who have already walked the path we've just begun to walk. But, the downside is, I find myself getting caught up in it all and I often lose the time I'd saved to write.

That got me pondering...

If social media sites weren't available, would my writing be better or worse? Would you be less distracted? Would you have more time to write?


Seems like a simple answer could be given. But, give it some thought! I have found tons of confidence, stability, and ideas all through social media sites. I admit, I used to use my imagination more, when creating my stories. Now I notice that I am looking through popular trends to find what could be my next story. I don't think the quality of what I write has suffered, I just wonder how much more I could get done, if not for the constant posts and messages I just HAVE to read.

Who knows?? Double edged sword, maybe? Tell me your thoughts!

24 comments:

  1. We have had this discussion numerous times in my writing critique group. I had someone tell me I should stop writing my blog and focus completely on writing.

    However, I wouldn't be where I am today without my blog, facebook, twitter, etc. Which all can distract from my writing, but have also opened quite a few doors for me.

    I think social media can play an important role in the writing process. Thanks for making me PONDER.

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    1. I feel just like you, Eric! I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have all these things. I feel like I've learned a lot from those I've followed. I agree it is a necessary evil...

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. I think about this a lot. I wonder if, ultimately, my writing would be worse (or: worse right now) because I wouldn't have as much motivation to write regularly and practice. I wouldn't be writing as much if it weren't for 12x12 and my (online) critique group. But it IS totally distracting, and I'm still trying to figure out a way to unplug when I need to.

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    1. I agree! I am so thankful for the 12x12 group, and for other groups like PiBoIdMo. I think if we can honestly learn to balance it all, we'll hold the keys to the writing city!

      Thanks for your insight!

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  3. Having started my career long before the internet was around, I have to say that, though I do enjoy the social media, I don't think I am getting as much done creatively as I did before the internet came along. I tend towards procrastination, and the wonders of Facebook, Twitter, various blogs, not to mention all the goodies on Google have proven to be a terrible distraction to me. I know I should unplug, but it is really hard....I'm addicted! I don't blame the social media...but it sure makes it easy to have just one more thing to get me away from the drawing board or writing tablet (yes, I still write in longhand...that's one thing that hasn't changed).

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    1. I write in longhand! It's the only way to feel truly *unplugged*! And, you're right. There are the severe addictive qualities to the social media sites. It's hard NOT to see what other people are doing,how they're celebrating life, or researching their newest manuscript. Maybe you should try one day a week to just NOT turn on that computer? Hmmm...

      Thanks, Diane!

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  4. This morning, I got up at 5 AM to start writing. Well, after some emails and Facebook posts later, I actually started to write at 5:50 AM! I think the key is to set some ground rules for yourself as to how much time you devote to each, I know I need to reevaluate the way I do things around these parts!

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    1. Ha! Well, exactly... It's distracting!!

      Ground rules, I think, are a MUST. However, you also MUST stick to them!

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

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  5. I have precious little time to write and yes I think social media is a necessary evil and I'm grateful for the ability to connect with other writers.

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  6. I have definitely written more since I've been using social media. It helps me come up with ideas and help me keep up with the trends like you said. I probably could write even more if only I could get up earlier in the morning before all the kiddies get up, but I love to stay up late - so there's my double edged sword.

    Thanks for the great question today Bethany!

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    1. It's good to hear that you've found wonderful benefits! And I think you have a triple-edged sword, with all the kiddos running around! Haha (Meeee tooo!)
      Thanks, friend!

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  7. I agree about it being a double-edged sword. There are so many benefits to having social media, but I allow it to distract me from my writing. It becomes a form of procrastination for me, and procrastination has always been my writing nemesis.

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    1. I think I'm going to have an I Ponder post JUST on procrastination, one of these weeks! It's hard, isn't it? There's so much to get involved in!
      But, again, it definitely CAN help!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I think social media probably helps me stay encouraged and inspired, but I probably write less than if I didn't have it, though not worse!

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    1. Less, not worse. AGREED!

      Thanks, Joanna!

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  9. I'm sure I would write more, but, I wouldn't have the connections and support...so, how do you choose?! So glad Renn is stable at this point. Keep us informed, Bethany...

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    1. How DO you choose? Very true. Connections are so very important; I have felt more like a "real" writer, having made so many!

      Thank you, Jarm!! Every day that passes without issue, is a GREAT day!

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  10. It is a double-edged sword. Having access to blogs written by authors, illustrators, agents and editors helps to inform and inspire me, groups like 12X12 keep me working when I might otherwise find excuses. However, I do find myself sucked into the vortex that is facebook when I should be creating.

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    1. Exactly! We all have to find a balance. Thanks, Heather!

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  11. I wouldn't know you if I didn't have social media! In the beginning of my SM days, I read all the agent blogs, etc. Then, I realized I spent too much time reading about how I should write instead of writing. If I spend time on social media, it's typically to interact with other writes and check in with them. After I finished a larger manuscript 70k words this year, I'm taking a break before juming into revisions. I've found myself scattered without that specific writing time. The break will help me, but I've missed that schedule.

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    1. I can't imagine how good it feels to have written that much, though! WooHoo! A break for you, indeed!

      It's good to know that so many writers/creative-types are setting time for social media, as well as time to write. I think I need to work on that, now!!

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  12. Social media: so helpful, so distracting. If I was better at managing my time, it might be only helpful. It's just too much fun chatting it up online (when I should be writing).

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  13. Social media has it pros and cons- I confess sadly enough it probably takes up more time than it should. But I wouldn't trade the support system it allows all of us to have. What other you place can you go to that you get a collaboration of great writers and illustrators- none holds a candle to the 12x12ers:)

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