Does keeping up with social media take time from writing?

The literary agent Rachelle Gardner, whose blog is a treasure trove of useful information for aspiring writers, has an interesting post entitled My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media. In her post, she poses a question to her readers: Is social media worth the time we spend on it?

She also points to issues such as distracted focus (if we spend too much time on social media ), anxiety (we never know what we’re missing out on when we start filtering), time lost (from our writing or other pursuits, or even down time) .

I enjoy blogging and following other blogs and I feel I learn a tremendous amount from all the information available out there, and the opportunity it provides for an exchange of views  and ideas with other writers and readers.

But, unlike Rachelle Gardner, I don’t keep up with Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest. Doubtless, I should, but one has to draw the line somewhere, and between a family, a full time job, friends and other interests and the need to set aside writing time each day (well, okay … ideally each day), I have to make choices.

What do you think, writers? Social media is certainly a Godsend for aspiring writers breaking into the business today, but does it also slow down your writing? Is it, in Rachelle’s words, worth the time we spend on it? And if so, what do you do to ensure your writing schedule stays on track?


  1. travellingbag on June 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I tend to agree that, although, social media is very helpful for us writers and gives us such a wide variety of views and opinions, for me at least it does tend to take away from my writing time. I had a weekend recently where I stayed away from the internet completely. Not easy I must admit, but I found I did get more writing done. 🙂

  2. kimberlysullivan on June 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for your comment! I think many of us are finding we need to have internet-free time in order to fully concentrate on our writing. Your weekend-free plan sounds ideal!

  3. Janet on June 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    It definately takes time away. Some things I enjoy (blogging) others I’m not so fond of. Some things I get addicted to (there was that blog stats addiction for the first month or two) but generally I try to keep it balanced.

  4. kimberlysullivan on June 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks, Janet. I tend to agree with you, and I also think balancing social media and strict writing time is key… unless we give up on sleep, that is. : )

  5. Julia on June 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    It is nice to be in touch with other writers, but I do set time limits because a writer’s inner world needs silence. We need to connect with our own thoughts, emotions and ideas in order to write.

  6. kimberlysullivan on June 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Good point, Julia! I suppose this is the issue with all modern media: that it forces us to think and read in a different – and often superficial – way. As writers, I think we do have to carve out sufficient creative time to allow our thoughts to run free and to focus on reading and writing in a more thoughtful manner.

  7. […] I guess my main concern centers on taking time away what is my already very limited writing time. I’ve already posted on whether keeping up with social media takes time away from your writing. […]

  8. wordfoolery on April 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    My solution is to only blog on Mondays. But at times when I need a block of writing-only time, I pre-write my posts and avoid opening email/facebook/blogs etc. During the first week of NaNoWriMo I even let my husband hide the internet router until my daily word count is done. Extreme but it works!

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