Do You Tweet? Do You Pin? Blog? Do You Share Your Life Story on FaceBook?

A life preserver, or toroidal throwable person...
A life preserver, or toroidal throwable personal flotation device. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many other writers, I’ve read a lot of blogs that advise us to embrace Social Media sites as if they are life preservers and we are quickly sinking in an Atlantic Ocean hurricane.

Hold on for dear-life, the blogs say, and these blogs are top-notch sites with tons of visitors and comments, so I figure the writers must know a thing or two about marketing and promotion, and of course I should follow their advice.

I’ve been trying to do that, really I have.

I tweet, whenever I can think of something even remotely informative or entertaining to say or when I want to pass along another great writing site I’ve found or an interesting tweet I’ve read; I blog, aiming for at least once a week but sometimes failing miserably when life gets in the way; I pin, anything that strikes me as being new or creative or informative for other ‘pinners’ out there; and I update my status on Facebook, even though not much in my life really changes much since the last time I shared an update.

There are also other sites I belong to that take up my time: Goodreads, Linkedin, Wattpad, and Author’s Den, to name just a few, plus I follow a lot of blogs that I enjoy, and reading and commenting on those blog posts eats up more hours in my day.

Does anyone else out there wonder how much is enough and how much is too much? And how am I supposed to know if what I’m doing is making any difference at all to the ‘Author Platform’ that, according to the ‘experts’, writers need to build?

Yes, I have Twitter followers and yes, I have Pinterest friends that re-pin my entries to their own sites and yes, I am on Facebook every single day of the week and yes, I have blog followers that regularly comment or ‘like’ my posts, but what does all that mean?

English: Audrey II puppet from the Mernier Cho...
English: Audrey II puppet from the Mernier Chocolate Factory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Am I gaining any ground or am I actually falling behind because of all the time it takes to nurture these “Little Shop of Horrors” Audrey II clones that continually cry out “Feed me, Seymour.”

How much time is too much to spend on Social Media? It is very easy to lose track of the minutes when I’m browsing and reading online, and minutes quickly turn into hours if I’m not careful. Shouldn’t I devote most of my day to actually working on the novel I started or revising a few of the short stories I have on file rather than updating and browsing and commenting?

I recently read an article from a writer that said he spends one hour a day on social media activity–one hour a day, every day. Sometimes an hour and a half. Heck, I can spend an hour and a half just signing into all the sites to which I belong, let alone updating anything or tweeting anything or pinning anything.

What’s a writer to do?

First of all, take a breath. Take a big, deep breath and relax. Rome wasn’t built in a day, I’ve heard it said (not sure who said it or when, but I know I’ve heard it quoted often). So what if I spend a lot of time connecting with friends, family, and readers online…isn’t that one of the best things about the internet–the fact that, no matter how many miles or how many years separate us we can connect with like-minded individuals? I think it is.

Second, I could use the time in the night when I don’t sleep anyway, (see my post Are You There, Sleep? It’s Me, Sylvia, to read about my ongoing love/hate relationship with the middle of the night), to write.

I actually tried this on Friday night when sleep wouldn’t come to me, and I managed to write over 1500 words for a new novel I’ve started. If I can manage to do this five times a week that’s at least 7500 words a week–at that rate I can have a novella or novel completed in no time!

So that’s my plan. Network, spend time on social media sites that I enjoy anyway, and write whenever I can, even if it’s in the early hours of the morning.

English: Common Do not disturb sign of a hotel
English: Common Do not disturb sign of a hotel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now I just need to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my front door and record a “Do Not Disturb” message on my phone answering machine for those hours between seven am and one pm when I actually do sleep.

Anyone want to do a voice-over for me on my answering machine? I forgot to mention that now that I’m over fifty my voice has taken on the raspy, old-lady voice that my dear old auntie, aged at least 125, had in her last few years.

I want to discourage people from calling me during certain times of the day–I don’t want to scare them away from EVER phoning! Moderation in all things is the key, I think.

Wish me luck. And don’t be a stranger (except between the hours of seven am and one pm).

How do YOU juggle your precious time? I’d love to hear from you!


32 thoughts on “Do You Tweet? Do You Pin? Blog? Do You Share Your Life Story on FaceBook?

  1. Love this post. You plan things out just like me. All I can say is to simply enjoy the ride. Why concern yourself with how much time you spend doing things? They are enjoyable to you and that is reason enough. 🙂

  2. I barely have enough time to attend to my blog and give the bloggers I read their due. No Facebook or Twitter for me. Pinterest? Sounds interesting but I don’t know what it is. I have a book in the editing process and I need to find an agent, keep Scrappy out of trouble, and maintain some level of personal hygiene. Oh yeah, and I have a few face-to-face relationships really worth nurturing. ARG! I’m ready to join the Amish. Are they accepting applicants?

  3. Nice post but there is no correct generalized way to time parse social media play and producing.

    I blush FB and use Twitter primarily as a news feed.


  4. I do not blog and am just a newcomer to Facebook (slow learner) but it seems to me that if your time commitment to the internet is starting to feel like too much, it probably is too much. I would just stick with what I really, really liked and let the rest go. I got too stressed doing too much volunteer work and am gradually scaling back as opportunity permits. Not the same thing, I know, but too much of anything is stressful.

  5. This is a thought provoking post. It is something I’ve pondered many times. I have Catholic guilt. If I don’t read my blog followings I start to feel neglectful of them. I’m doing better … thank you for asking. I went to blog rehab. lol
    It was a pleasure to read this … I was directed here from a reblog by AURORA MOREALIST.

  6. “Networking”:
    What neurons do to create a brain or
    What spiders do to catch a fly or
    What sheep do on cold nights
    To not feel so alone amongst the stars or
    A consumer of Time and Space,
    A scam, a distraction,
    Something we cannot succeed without,
    An excuse for avoidance,
    An alien invasion (-interface modifying
    The functions and perceptions of the mind,)
    Epiphany, Ascension, Crucifixion,
    A murder of crows.
    White noise:
    Echoes of the Big Bang
    ( previous Creation slips from
    God’s Hand: “Whoops!”)
    Self-importance justified
    Validation of existence
    Validation of illusion or
    Art for Art’s sake,
    Pass it on, pass it on..
    “language is a virus”….

  7. So good! FB PR didn’t work for me, was there a year and only 78. Not witty enough, LOL. But I do write raw. That’s all I can claim. It’s just from the core of me and there is no more of me. Going to share this now, from your brain to my pages and heart. Thanks, Sylvia!

  8. This management question has been creeping around for a number of months now. I have an FB account but don’t visit there often; same with LinkedIn. The majority of my time is here at WP. I have days I can’t read or answer another post if my life depended on it. I’m nauseous, brain DEAD, TOAST. I have to physically unplug myself, sometimes for days. Of course, I get farther and farther behind and more stressed. If anyone finds the answer, they should sell it. It won’t be a hard sell. The other stress is I’m taking time away from my other writing. I am not a night hawk. I’m selfish and NEED my beauty sleep.

  9. I just quit a few networking sites. Too many emails. Too much stuff to check up on, update, etc. My favorite is WordPress. I’m planning to concentrate my efforts here.

      1. Are you familiar with that old expression my dear old gram used to say? When a man or woman left their sweetie, Gram would say, “He quit her.”

  10. I hear you … I`m always in two minds, sometimes about to close all my accounts and get the hell out of the web. I had a FB account and I deactivated it in December. My father had died and one friend posted a “I`m sorry for your loss” which is not a wrong thing to say but I didn`t want my friends in BA to know about it through FB. I`m the kind of person that values face to face communication. I was not in good shape, I didn`t know what to do. I deactivated it. Later I was happy I did, when I hear some friends saying things “I won`t talk to her anymore, she didn`t answer my comment on FB” or things of the kind or the stupid arguments about the msg somebody left or the likes somebody pressed. Not sure if I`m gonna activate it again. The same with twitter, I have nothing relevant to tweet, my life is plain and simple. I only kept my WP blog and it`s been two weeks that I cannot post, and another page where I post pictures of BA which is not updated either. Then there are blogs I follow that I like but there are days and days I cannot read them. Now, I stick to those I really like. I work 9 long hours in an IT area, some days even more hours, which means I`m plugged to the Internet and then I need to hug somebody, the screen is not enough, and even if I check the web at home, there are days that I prefer to be in the outside world. I really cannot make up my mind. Why sharing so much, why sharing on the web at all. What is the right balance? what`s so important that I need to share it with the whole world? why on earth somebody would read my ramblings? and then, I feel it`s nice to share and hear about what people have to say, different perspectives, the friends I`ve made, the inspiring words, the rewarding msgs I get … as I said, I`m always in two minds. In the meantime, I try to balance my BA life with my cyber life … not sure how to measure it.

  11. Hi again … this is also an ongoing ‘problem’ for artists as well as writers … how to balance the social media experience with time to actually DO the creating of art. I myself am a creature of habit, and it’s far too easy for me to fall into the pattern of doing Internet activities ‘first’, before attending to the serious business of creating art. I have been pondering this for some time now, and I have to find a way to get back to my prime purpose, and let the Internet connections have whatever time is left … that is not going to be an easy task. I do limit my blogging to occasional art-related topics, on my art website … but of course I have to keep up with friends on Facebook too … it just seems ‘unfriendly’ to ignore them … and being a naturally curious person (nosy?) I do like to read what other people are talking about … I think the only solution is to take up again that long-time quest to find that extra day between Tuesday and Wednesday – anybody know where to start looking?

    1. LOL–if you do manage to find that day, please let your younger sister know! I’ve been searching for a long time without any success. And yes, I think this is an issue that many people struggle with–how much time is enough and how much time is too much? Thanks for your input.

  12. You know, My blog turned two months old last week. Today it got shut down for five minutes because I am boarding 1000k hits for the day. The reason I say this is not to brag because it could go away as quickly as it started.

    First I write humor/satire, so this brings people in. Most people poking around the internet are doing so because they want to escape the mundane part of life. (at least I do) I make fun of myself and talk about sex and life but I am never mean to anyone. I help others promote their blogs and so on.

    I twitter @ladyornot1 but I only tweet my blog posts and reply and retweet to others. I only know of two or three readers that have started reading me from that platform (if you want to follow I will gladly follow you back)

    I also have a facebook fan page. This seems to get me a ton of readers. I get several comments and people are more likely to share my posts.

    Lastly, I try to find people (like I just did you) that are interesting. I like their pages and comment when I can.


    1. Just checked out your blog again–you are a very funny lady! And damn you for now making me decide to follow your blog and take up even more time out of my day (but I’m sure it will be worth the sacrifice…lol). Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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