Recently, there was a thread on a forum which I follow. The question was how many things should a writer become involved with? There is, of course, blogging like this. Then there are social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. There's Twitter, LinkedIn, and Ning. There's also Goodreads and a wealth of other sites where one can spend time, conceivably marketing their work.
When I first started this blog, I had every intention of posting every day. Soon, I felt like every three days would be good. Now, once again, life gets in the way and here it is a week later and I'm now posting.
Of course, I have a good excuse. I'm away from home and helping with child care for granddaughter. But is that a good excuse? There are certainly plenty of stay at home writing parents who somehow manage to get their work done despite changing diapers, playing with, reading to, and monitoring their children.
It is somewhat different since I don't have my own computer and my work is sitting there at home waiting for editing. I can keep up with email, but that's about all. I can, obviously blog and I did access Facebook. Was this really marketing? Not this time. It was a way to pass a few free minutes while my granddaughter napped.
Many writers on the forum feel like all this is too much and there are times I agree. It becomes personal choice and what you feel is good for you. Some writers feel blogging is part of their writing jobs. The other ways to network may not be as "work," but can be a way to have a little down time. If you're not sure about your own writing time, take a look at how much available time you do have. Are you getting your writing goals accomplished? If not, re-evaluate how much time you spend blogging or social networking.
I know I need to do what one of my writing friends does. Before she checks email or Facebook or any of her other social sites, she works for an hour on whatever writing project is current. By doing this, she knows she's accomplished her goal for the day. If she works for more than an hour, that's even better. Don't be a social networking junkie. Work first, then reward yourself with play time. Make your writing a job, not a pastime and you, too, will reap the rewards of completing your goals.