Balancing Act, Part I

One of the great things about being an aspiring author in 2011 instead of, say 1982, is the little thing Al Gore invented called the Internet.  Yes, the information superhighway is chock-a-block full of adorable vehicles of information.  Cooper Minis of query statistics, Honda Odyssey minivans of Publisher Marketplace deals, Subaru Outbacks with blog inspiration and humor, school buses of writers’ forums and discussion groups, and, of course, eighteen-wheelers full of advice.

Less this...

Recipe for gridlock? You bet.

...and more this

Somewhere around a month ago I realized that I was spending the vast majority of my non-paid-work/non-parenting time online, perusing the writing world.  I read blogs, followed hashtags on Twitter, joined threaded discussions, and researched agents on QueryTracker.  All useful endeavors, no doubt.  But there was one problem.  I was no longer writing.  Um, at all.  All of my would-be writing time was sucked into the traffic jam on the information highway (are you loving my ongoing use of this metaphor? You are, right?)

So now I’m trying for balance.  I get a lot of great stuff from the internet – not just information but inspiration, sympathy, belly laughs, and concrete advice from some wonderful writers who I consider friends despite the fact they live in Korea or Hawaii or Minnesota.  But while the internet might be made of awesome, there’s one thing I can’t find there, and that’s my novel.  When it’s time to write, I need to pull the plug.

How about you guys? How do you balance time spent (wasted?) online versus time writing?  Leave it in the comments – even if I don’t get back to them until tomorrow.  I might be writing.

4 comments to Balancing Act, Part I

  • Love seeing comments from my excellent author-friend! I’m curious about the various apps – I too think it’s time to try that…

  • Dana, I totally get what you are saying. The internet and all it’s wonderful ways that it connects you to so many others and to a plethora of information is great, but it is a MAJOR time suck. It is the vampire of my life. I have my group of online support girls that I simply cannot give up because I learn so much from them and I am inspired everyday and they keep me in the know of the biz, but blogging has taken a major hit. I’m a total Twitter FAIL cause I’m totally new to it and just don’t have the time to sit and just figure out how to fully use it to my benefit. I miss blogging. I miss my blogger friends. I want to get back into it, but have to figure out another way to do it. Maybe I will try doing a once a week thing and that will take the pressure off of feeling like a blogger FAIL. I also think everything is harder when you have young kids. They come first. They HAVE to. No if, ands, or buts about that. 🙂

    Great post!

    • Mel, yes, the internet is the sparkly vampire of my life…it is my own personal brand of HEROIN! (Sorry, got carried away there). Don’t beat yourself up for the blog – I like your idea of once a week – it gives you something to shoot for without feeling like endless pressure. Good luck!

  • Writing always take priority. If I have a free time, and I’m able to write, then I do. Once I’ve gotten a good word count in, I can go comment on blogs, etc., but I never spend time on-line when I *should* be writing.

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