It’s easy for writers to get distracted, especially on those days when it’s difficult to focus on work. Distractions in the home, friends and family can be hard to deflect; but one of the craftiest thieves of your time is the worldwide web. Social media, surfing and blogging are the best friend of procrastination, embezzling precious time away from writing. It’s easy to say you’ll only spend a few minutes browsing, but those minutes have a peculiar way of turning into hours. There’s always an excuse to read “this article” or “that blog” – suddenly, two hours have frittered away, and an empty page or neglected document sits abandoned on the desk. This is where a writing schedule, and a handful of discipline, is beneficial.
The internet is a prime source for marketing and research; there’s no denying it’s a valuable tool for writers, but if you are the kind of writer that finds it difficult to manage your time, the web will suck you in like a black hole. I spend time online for research and marketing, and I enjoy interacting with other authors and reading their blogs, but like many writers, I only have so much time in a week to devote to writing. In order to get the most out of my time, I make sure to include time in my schedule specifically for web browsing. I set a time limit, sometimes setting an alarm to let me know when my browsing time is up so that I can get the most out of my day. There are days when I spend more time on the web than I planned – at that point, I make a judgement call –is this extra time needed to reach my final objective? Is it beneficial to a piece I’m working on? Will it be advantageous in pushing me forward?
Enjoy your time online, it’s meant to be fun and informative; but don’t let it steal time away from your writing; make sure your words comes first.