Buy “Runway”



How to prevent social media from taking over your life (and your writing)

If you’re like me…

You remember that you never RSVP’d to your friend’s book launch, so you log onto Facebook to search for the invitation and you see that another friend finally gave birth to her long overdue baby. You congratulate her. Then you notice that a third friend has posted a fascinating article about orcas and having just watched Blackfish, you can’t help but click the link. Oddly, you recognize the name of the author of the orca article, so you click on that, which takes you to the author’s blog and you see that oh, yes! She is the next door neighbor of a boy who goes to kindergarten with your daughter. You met at a bounce house party. You see that she has a new book coming out, one about…kindergartners! So you click the link and pre-order a copy from Amazon, which suggests that you also read this other parenting book you’ve been meaning to check out for months, but wait…shouldn’t you be supporting independent bookstores? And you have a gift card for Powell’s Books. So you search “Powells” and Colin Powell pops up too and you see that it’s his birthday and that he…what a coincidence…was born on the same day as your father! Which means that…oh crap…today is Dad’s birthday, so you go to his Facebook page to post a message on his wall and…Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Weren’t you supposed to do something here? Something to do with a party, an invitation…but for what? A birthday party? A kindergarten class event? You can’t remember, so you log off. Then you click on your Google calendar and realize that your friend’s book launch party is this Friday and you haven’t yet RSVP’d.

It’s easy to get lost on social media—whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or blogs. It can take over your life, leaving you with time to do little else besides eat, sleep, and pay the bills. Definitely no time to write. But that’s okay because no one cares if you write. No one’s going to be disappointed if you don’t finish that chapter of your novel by this weekend. Right? WRONG! I care! And you should care, too! Forget about everyone else. You and I—we’re all that matters. But how do you shut out all the noise and hunker down to write?

Pay Yourself First


If you’ve read any personal finance books, you’ve probably heard the phrase “pay yourself first.” The idea is that if you pay all your bills first, there will never be anything left to save—because your spending will always increase to meet your income. But if you “pay yourself first,” put some money in savings BEFORE you pay your bills, then you will be forced to make ends meet AND you will save money.

The same goes for writing

DO NOT wait until you catch up on blogging and Twitter and cleaning your closets and making enough money to take that vacation to Hawaii before you sit down to write. Forget Hawaii. Ignore the closets. Write FIRST. Then, if you have any time left over, eat, sleep, mop the the floor, maybe pay a bill or two.

Because *I* care, and you should too!

Now let me ask you: What are some of the distractions that keep you from writing? Could you put them off until after you’ve spent an hour putting words on the page? Why don’t you?

14 comments to How to prevent social media from taking over your life (and your writing)

  • pattynicnac

    Thanks, Meghan. Timely piece, social media does have a way of sapping all of my time and energy. I'm still learning how to manage it.

    • Meghan Ward

      Patty, I need to heed this advice myself. I'm good at putting money away first. Not so good at writing first. It's a big goal for me this year to get back into the habit.

  • annerallen

    I sure needed to read this today! I'm back to the WIP. Right now.

  • This is a great post — just in time for me to read as I launch into my first e-book! Thanks for the great reminder that getting sucked into social media really is just that — a suck. I sat down to write yesterday for a good couple of hours, and it felt great to just get it all out. I hope I can keep this post in mind as I inevitably battle procrastination to get this ebook off the ground!

    • Meghan Ward

      What is your first ebook about, Toni? I want to hear about it!

      • wellnessatacmc

        Sorry it took me forever to write back! I'm slammed with the busiest time of year at work right now. Wellness Fair season! I'm writing a How-to guide for easily and DELICIOUSLY going gluten-free. Basically step by step instructions for removing the sense of deprivation that comes with eliminating a food and inserting flavorful, delicious, filling, and satisfying meals in its place. 🙂 I just sent draft 3 over to my friend who's helping me structure it. Hoping to have it done before the end of June! I actually have some questions for you if you don't mind!

  • Excellent site you have here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  • I fully agree with this idea! we should try to control everything

  • Your post about How to prevent social media from taking over your life (and your writing) have very useful and informative points which are new for me and i can not read such information about social media in any other website. You did work very well. Keep sharing.

  • The influence of social media is becoming increasingly dominant, especially because it is gradually becoming a part of our lives, that we can not give up from various reasons . First, if you own a business is well shift to go for strategies aimed at social media marketing, just because they have a tremendous success rate. In terms of personnel , facebook , twitter , instagram and pinterest are sometimes our main source of information, and therefore that's why so hard to give up this addiction.

  • maria

    I realise that we have become enslaved to technology and we need to make efforts to regain those best things in life which are free but are so valuable especially QUALITY TIME

  • I totally understand what you're saying! It happens to me all the time. I feel like whenever I open my laptop I don't end up doing what I wanted to do in the first place. It can get very frustrating!