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Saturday, 14 July 2012

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 Triberr.

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?


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