If You Give a Writer an Interesting Link…

Before I considered what I wanted to accomplish in 2014, I took a look back to assess 2013, to see what I’d accomplished. And friends, I had a moment.

It was not a good moment. What, I said (probably “screamed” would be a more accurate word choice), happened here? Because not a whole lot, in fact, did happen in my own little writing world. There had to be a reason, I figured, and it wasn’t long before I figured it out.

Facebook. I shouted to the heavens, with my arm upraised, gripping blank pages. FACEBOOK!! (It was an Oscar worthy moment.)

Facebook itself is not a bad thing. I rather like keeping up with friends and seeing pics of the family. I enjoy a little social networking as much as the next guy. But I’m a writer and I have this ridiculously overdeveloped curiosity. So if a friend posts a link to “The Six Worst Crimes in History That Happened in January”…well, I have to stop and read that juicy tidbit. It’ll only take a few minutes.

But at the end of that article, I find a link to “Serial Killers of the Renaissance–Who Knew?” and I click on that link, too, because come on, people, it’s the Renaissance. And I gobble up a few more minutes of my writing time.

Many of my writer friends are on Facebook, too, and they share the most interesting links about writing (click!) or something in their field of interest (click!) or just the most absolutely fascinating random subject ever (click! click! click!). Well, you can see where this is going.

Unfortunately, I did not until the end of the year. That’s when I realized I’d spent a ton of time clicking and not so much on writing. And though I now know an awful lot about Famous Horror Movie Scenes that Landed on the Cutting Room Floor not to mention Famous Duels and How They Backfired, I do not, as far as actual words-on-paper, have much to show for the year.

So for the first week of 2014, I limited myself to a daily seven minutes on Facebook. Seven minutes to quickly scan, to check on messages. And by January 5th, I’d submitted two pieces of writing.

I love you, interesting, fascinating, glorious links. But this little writer has learned her lesson.

(How about you? How do you tame Facebook? Inquiring and curious writers want to know!)