Tag Archives: Facebook

Stop Wasting Valuable Writing Time


I, like a lot of writers, am a master procrastinator. There are some days when I will use anything to put off work. Stressed, can’t work. Laundry to do, can’t work. Cat box needs to be scooped, can’t work. It’s sunny outside, can’t work. It’s cold and rainy, can’t work….it goes on and on. Part of my problem is that I work from home, most days alone. When you have no one but yourself to police you…well…let’s just say I can be a pretty lenient boss. The other part of my problem is that I tend to get wrapped up in other projects or small menial tasks. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest….yep…they can all be an issue.

From time to time I also try and convince myself that any writing is “writing”. While Titter and Facebook posting can be fun…it ain’t writing folks. It’s playing, it’s being nosy, and it’s a ridiculous waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to marketing those sites have their usefulness but overall it is best to avoid or at least limit your time on them. I get up every morning allot a period of time to answer e-mails and social media update and then I try and let it go for the rest of the day. I am not always successful but if I am to be honest, I need to get a better handle on it.

The bottom line is this….if we are spending all of our writing time updating Facebook we will never be successful writers. We will be that writer with the Facebook fan page who never finishes an actual book. Don’t be that writer. You must, as a person who works from home and a writer in general, police yourself and make a point to put Twitter, Facebook and any other social media in its place…in the back of the room only to be played with when the rest of your work is done. If you don’t you may well go down in history as a great social media poster but never a published author.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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I’m so Good I Could Teach it

There are a number of things that I am pretty good at. I’m pretty good at making stir-fry. I’m really good at annoying my kids. I am an expert at making the spouse question why she never questioned my dusting skills at the beginning of our relationship. You know what else I am good at? Procrastinating.

Yep, of all the really annoying things that I am good at I have to admit that procrastination is on the top of the list. Keep in mind that I have the best of intentions when I sit down to work but then I have to answer my e-mails, check out what’s for dinner, cruise the internet, wait…I HAVE to check Facebook…damn it now I have comment on Facebook….it goes on and on.

I know I’m not alone. Procrastination is the bane of any one who works from home. It’s too easy when there is no one standing over you cracking the whip. No one is going to tell me not to check Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram, or Google+) and no one is going to tell me to get back to work. There’s only me and sometimes I suck at cracking the whip.

So here’s my secret to getting things done…and it doesn’t always work but most of the time I can get something done. I have to schedule the crap out of myself. Yep, I have to schedule everything, checking e-mail, Facebook time, writing, editing, annoying the kids…all of it. I sit down at the beginning of the week, usually on Sunday, and I lay it all out. Keep in mind that life sometimes happens and things get moved around or delayed but having a basic plan helps.

So if procrastination is the only thing on your list of things to do most days try scheduling your week out and schedule EVERYTHING because it is amazing how the smallest of things can bounce us back into the procrastination zone.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on April 24, 2023 in Writing, Writing Tools


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Grab a Whip and a Chair – It’s Time to Tame That Social Media


Social media is a good thing if used for the right reasons….misuse it and you can forget ever finishing that current book you are working on. Let’s face it folks…social media can be an addiction worse that drugs for a writer.

It is easy to get hooked on the drug “social media”. You try it once and are almost instantly hooked and why wouldn’t you be, it speaks to the very primal part of human nature…the part that makes us innately nosey. I mean, what a great invention…we can go on, spy on our friends, potential new partners, we can even stalk someone and they are none the wiser until the rabbit is boiling in the kitchen. Social media can be a dangerous tool.

For the writer a “tool” is what social media should be. We can get some great PR off of it and what a great way to announce current and future projects. Facebook even allows you to do separate pages to promote just your work…how cool is that? The thing is, just as it can be a great tool, it can also take over your life. I have seen writers get literally obsessed with their web stats, visitors and even followers. (This applies to all social media by the way, Twitter, Myspace, all of it) You can spend so much time on your social media sites that you never actually do any work.  I have one writer friend who hasn’t actually written a book in four years and she blames Facebook. She says that the pull to check her Facebook status is so strong that she sits down at her desk, logs on and it is hours before she looks up again.

As with any “drug”, social media needs to be a thing handled in moderation. It’s okay to use the sites to promote your work but try not to get sucked in to all the social interaction that goes along with these sites. (By the way, hopping up on my soapbox for a sec…it isn’t really “social interaction” if the only interaction you have is online. I know that many people say that it is, but it isn’t…it’s simply you on your computer, alone…it’s creepy if that’s the way you live…stop it! Hopping back down now) While these sites are a great tool it is important to ensure that they stay that way and not take over your life. I have found that the best way to deal with the time loss these sites cause is to schedule the time you spend. Visit, check it out and then leave closing the virtual door behind you and then don’t visit again until the following day. If you don’t handle it this way you will soon find yourself hemmed up in Candy Crush hell along with the zillions of other people spending real money for virtual items. (THAT’S a whole other column)

So keep your social media interaction in check. If you don’t you will look up one day to discover that you no longer have a life and the kids have even moved on without you. Get your nose out of Facebook and back on that book project.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on July 23, 2022 in Business of Writing, Writing


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I Can Do It! I Can Do It! I Can Do It! (Well Maybe I Can Do It)

6017_484893534910943_2003066770_nSelf-doubt…it is the kryptonite of the writer. It is our garlic, it is our silver bullet, and it is our road block on the highway to getting published. It sucks.

For me personally self-doubt can stop me cold. I can become so overwhelmed with self-doubt that I can hardly open the laptop. I have (in the past) found myself sitting at my desk, playing Candy Crush and self-talking myself out of working at all just because of self-doubt. What if I really suck as a writer? What if no one wants to read my work? What if they laugh when they aren’t supposed to? What if I should have been a plumber and I have missed my calling? These are all questions that run through my scattered mind from time to time. Self-doubt can paralyze you and your work.

I believe (and this is just my opinion) that we writers are so loaded down with self-doubt because what we do is such a quiet thing until it is published. Let’s be honest, we are building something but it isn’t like an addition onto the house that everyone can readily see. Other jobs allow for the person doing them to get updates from fellow workers…”hey great job on that lawn Bob” or “Great report Tara”…writing is a lonely job and more often than not there is no one to read through the previous day’s work and say, “great job Jai…you’ve got a real winner here…keep writing”.

Writers also have to deal with the fact that most people don’t understand what they do so it’s not like there are a lot of people to talk to when the self-doubt does creep in. For this reason it is a good idea to create a database of writers whom you can talk to when you do need to bend an ear. It is important to talk about your work and get some sort of feedback. If you don’t get feedback self-doubt will settle in.

So what are some of the things a writer can do to combat self-doubt? Here are a few things I have learned over the years….

Know you goals – You have to set goals and then you have to hold yourself accountable to those goals. Because writing isn’t like other jobs where there is a boss to scream at you, you have to do the screaming yourself. Set a goal and you won’t have time for self-doubt.

Create that database of writers - The internet is wonderful for this…I have writer friends on Twitter, Facebook and Google +. Just because your support group is digital doesn’t mean they are any less supportive.

Remind yourself why you love to write – I have a screen saver that I created that lists all the reasons I love to write. When I am really full of self-doubt I make it my desktop so that I can be reminded of why I do what I do.

Put the self-doubt in a drawer – Self-doubt is a fact of life. Plumbers, electricians, even parking garage attendants experience self-doubt from time to time; see it for what it is and file it under “crap I need to ignore”. Self-doubt is just the fear that we might fail…and we might…but if we see failure as a lesson and not a life altering event, we can get past that self-doubt.

There are no boundaries to hold you when you are a writer. The universe is our notebook and we have the ability and the privilege of writing down what we see, real or perceived. What a great way to spend our time. Now put self-doubt in a drawer and get back to writing….


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on March 21, 2023 in Healthy Writers, Writing


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Spread Out People! There’s a lot of Media to Cover

Last year I wrote a blog about not getting too trapped into social media and I still stand by that today…HOWEVER…I do want all of your writers and creative out there to know that it is possible to take advantage of all that social media has to offer without having to waste an enormous amount of time on it. The key is…in the words of one of my friends with obvious issues…to hit it and quit it.

Social media takes some time to set up but once you have your “pages” done there is no need to be on them 24-7. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit require very little maintenance. I have mine set up on a schedule to go on to each site, check the postings, post something of mine own and then move on. There is no law that says you must babysit those sites….

Take advantage of all of the media sites you can…each one connects to a different aspect of your audience but make it short and sweet, then move on to the work. In the name of helping some of you who maybe aren’t so familiar with how it all works, I discovered some links that may help and have listed them below. Remember, hit it and quit it….



© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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For Sale……ME!

Self-promotion…it’s a scary phrase. My reaction when I was a young writer just starting out was, “I have to do what???” I didn’t want any part of self-promotion. Why should I have to do that? I’m a writer after all. I don’t sell things; I write!

And that attitude is all fine and well, unless you actually want to make a living writing. I mean if you are independently wealthy and don’t rely on your writing in order to hit the drive thru at Taco Bell…go ahead…don’t tell anyone how special your work is. As for me…well my writing has to feed my family, buy my sweats in the winter and keep the electricity on. Self-promotion is a fact of my life.

So how does it work…this self-promotion? (It sounds so…well…you know…) First and foremost, a writer has to write, but then they have to sell themselves. We have to be able to convince people that we are worth taking a gander at. And then we have to convince them that we are worth their investing their time and money into us. After all, when a writer is selling their work, it is, in a sense, selling themselves.

There are a lot of ways that writers sell their selves.

  • When you write a blog - you are coaxing people to follow you and maybe buy your work. Your blog is one way you get your readers attention. Sort of a “hey, look at me” thing. Followers equate to readers which equates to word of mouth. Word of mouth=Good!
  • When you pitch a magazine-you are convincing the editor that you have the qualifications to write for their magazine. That query is your how-do-you-do handshake. You have to make sure that it is a firm handshake otherwise the editor will move on to the next writer. You have to yell “pick me, pick me” louder than the rest.
  • When you query an agent or publisher- You are selling an idea or a novel. You are telling this person, that you probably don’t know, that your work is worth taking a look at. Your book proposal is the make-up you dawn every morning…a way to say, “see….aren’t I purty???”
  • When you leave a comment on a blog, Facebook or Twitter-Even when you are leaving these you should be selling yourself. You best face forward all the time means potential attention to who you are and who you are is your work. When you comment on certain social media sites think about what you are putting out there.  These days those comments can come back to haunt you so why not make them work for you too?

These are just a few ways that we can self-promote and although I know that the thought of doing so can make you a bit queasy…get over it. You have a duty to put your best face out there so that your work can be shared with the world.  Heck you have a bit or a moral obligation of sorts. So think about how you can self-promote and then just do it…then pay a bill with your rewards when your work sells…or go to Taco Bell…because sometimes…. getting a burrito makes it all worthwhile. (I am in no way promoting Taco Bell…in fact, I can’t stand it, but it was funnier than Wendy’s)



© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on August 4, 2022 in Business of Writing


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When I’m Alone I Google Myself

Hey writers, the internet is your bi-polar neighbor. No…really…it’s the neighbor who can be helpful with a borrowed cup of sugar or who may just mow part of your lawn to save you the trouble. But he/she has a dark side too….one you have to be aware of and accept that, left to its own devices, may destroy everything you are trying to accomplish.

I love to Google, explore for unusual stories and research future stories on the internet. I am not your regular internet user in that I don’t check Facebook 100 times a day or stalk people on Pinterest. I use the internet for research….most of the time…. There are times when I do get stuck in a loop though. I check Facebook, one of my friends mentions a new site, I look it up (just for a minute) and 7 hours later, I haven’t written one damn thing. It’s like quick sand for the brain.

So what is a person to do in order to ensure that they don’t find themselves screaming “Google” at passersby in the mall? The answer is to put your writing above everything else. When you sit down at your desk, make a deal with yourself….30 minutes to check e-mail, check Facebook, check Google +, Tweet, check your blog and chime in on Tumbler. (and whatever else you do…there are probably more than a few people still on Myspace) After those 30 minutes, you write. Set a word, page or chapter goal and stick to it…no internet until that goal is met. I know it’s hard, I have issues with it too, but if you don’t make some kind of deal with yourself, you will never get that book finished.

Remember that checking Facebook can become like checking the refrigerator…no matter how many times you open it, it’s still full of the same food. There are no little minions in there adding pudding cups when you close the door. (Damn it) Sure Facebook has a zillion posts on it every hour but honestly, do you really need to be THAT up-to-date? Frankly, I personally don’t need that much information about anyone…. So check it and leave it so that your characters can have some of your time, because if they don’t get any time, they will eventually go away….. no time = no book = no money. Now get off the internet!


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on May 19, 2023 in Writing


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