Thursday, April 26, 2012

Balancing Social Media and Writing Time

Building a platform in preparation, or in conjunction, with launching a writing career seems to be a hot topic these days. It's a selling point for any new writer trying to break into the industry, as a "platform" gives an outlet for immediate buzz to the world at large. So the key question then becomes, how do we balance the social networking aspect with actual writing time?
It's a question I've battled with, and one I continue to evaluate on a day-to-day basis. My feeling is that Social Media should complement the writing, not distract from it, but that's easier said than done.

This article has some helpful tips on this very subject:
HOW TO: Deal With Social Networking Overload by: Alexandra Levit
"As a career and workplace writer, I get asked all the time: I feel like I’m on social network overload"...(read more).

In this new publishing environment, platform has become an integral part of getting published. Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor at Writers Digest, has been guiding writers this month through the steps of building a platform with his April Platform Challenge. Writers are working to setup social media channels, connecting to other writers, and also working on developing goals and time management. So what is the right balance between social media and writing time? 

I've heard it said time and time again, that the #1 thing that writers must do is...write. No matter how much social networking we do, we still must write. If we don't write, then we're not really writers. Right?

So, it's an individual choice, one that each writer must decide for themselves. The best thing we can do is build a following of peers, industry mentors, and potential readers while also maintaining a consistent writing schedule. But if the book never gets written, it will all be for naught - balance is key.

4 comments:

Charley said...

I think that, for a season (April Platform Challenge, for instance), we can reprioritize our writing schedules for the sake of learning more of the business side of writing. But when we do begin to employ social media as a marketing and exposure strategy, we mustn’t lose sight of our intended core audience. We will learn much by following, and being followed, by fellow writers, but our ultimate goal should always be to be read by readers.

Michelle Reynoso said...

I think that's a good point Charley. There will be times, even in the most planned efforts to balance, where we will need to be flexible.

Muddy said...

This post is so true! I still struggle with the balance between writing and social media...and writing and taking care of my kids...and writing and laundry...it's all a huge balancing act! If you ever find the magic formula, let me know! : )

Michelle Reynoso said...

@Muddy...likewise! Some days I feel like I've got it figured out, and then the next day that theory is flipped upside down.