Well, I don’t log on all the time but no matter what time I do there is always the same group of people there, night or day.
Now, like many writers, I visit social network sites more than I should.
Usually when I am feeling tired, or a bit stuck for words. I admit at these times the temptation to lose myself on the Internet can be overwhelming.
It’s nice to get lost sometimes…
Writing groups are one of the places I go when I need a diversion. Writers groups can be great – you can learn all sorts of stuff. Not just about writing but about marketing and software – all things writing are covered.
However, one of the things it’s hard not to notice is the amount of sniping that goes on.
It usually starts with an opening post by an unsuspecting writer asking for advice or passing on something they’ve learned.
It doesn’t take much to trigger some people – especially those with strong views about what actually constitutes a writer.
Why does it matter to one person what another person does?
The answer is – it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter one bit what anyone thinks. But, it’s hard to remember that sometimes.
Maybe it’s a marketing thing. Some of those doing the sniping seem to be those who call themselves successful.
Are they hoping to discourage other writers in the vain hope that by eliminating or discouraging the competition they will remain at the top?
Or, is it because they think their assured confidence will make others look up to them, maybe even afraid of them.
I don’t know the answer to that I’m afraid. It’s probably to do with some unconscious inferiority complex or a need to impress. Frankly, I don’t care.
All I know is that while they’re busy sniping, others are busy writing.
Don’t worry about winning or losing an argument. It doesn’t matter.
As long as you go back to your writing you’ve won.
I have set strict limits on my own Internet activity.
I only allow myself Internet time after I have written at least 3,000 words.
That’s it. If I haven’t written 3,000 words then there is no Internet.
This works like a dream. I could disconnect totally and get more done but I do need to do a little promotion and working alone all day I enjoy a little interaction with friends.
If you find yourself caught up in some fraught discussion, ask yourself how much writing could you have achieved instead of arguing with some stranger on the Internet?
Remember that social media sites are designed to be addictive.
They are data mining companies and they’ve spent a lot of money and effort to study and mine our Internet behaviour and choices.
They show you what they think you will like and when you like it, they show you more. That’s how they keep the ball rolling.
Think about those same faces, there all day waiting for something exciting to happen on Facebook.
They’re not doing it for the good of their health – they’re doing it because they’re addicted.
So enjoy visiting your social network sites but be careful out there, don’t get addicted, set a time limit and keep to it.
In the meantime, try some creative writing exercises and don’t waste any more of your valuable time.
Good luck with your writing,
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