Whether to spend time engaged in social network sites is indeed the question that plagues many of us. Writers seem most pressured to participate in this activity in the hope that it will increase the awareness of their name and their product, usually a book.
Opportunities abound as is evidenced by the millions of sites offered by MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social sites out there. We writers are exhorted by publicists, editors, agents, and other writers to make our Internet presence known. We get sucked in.
There's only one drawback to this. Time spent on all these sites not to mention the website and blog that most of us maintain is time spent not writing. If you're a freelance writer, time spent writing for social network sites (yes, plural because most don't limit themselves to just one) means you're not writing for clients that pay you. If you're a book author, time spent tweeting or writing on walls or collecting followers in whatever venue is time you're not writing a manuscript.
It's hard to gain perspective in this issue, but a few big authors already have admitted that they just can't do it all nor do they want to. Write big contracted books and maintain a presence on the most popular of all the social networks and blog? Nope. At best, you have to pick and choose where your precious minutes will be spent or even whether to spend them hitting the social net scene at all.
Quandary Shared By All
I maintain my own website though many pay someone to do this task. I not only like doing it; I like being able to update it when I want it updated rather than being placed in the client queue for it to be done by a third party. I also write two blogs. I'm on Facebook because my daughter made me, but I seldom check the site. Same with Squidoo and Twitter. I simply don't have the time to:
(1) post to these sites or update them not to mention give attention to those poor individuals who signed up to follow me (I'm sure they've been disappointed.)
(2) write my daily contracted work
(3) work on my spec novel
(4) write my blogs
(5) have some sort of relationship with my family(they get cranky when I spend all my time in front of the computer)
(6) devote the minimal amount of time to what I laughingly call "household chores"
(7) devote an even smaller amount of time to taking care of myself i.e. exercise, etc.
(8) then there are the long distant family relations that take time in phone calls each day at the minimum
(9) all the other minutiae of life from meetings to balance the bank statement to taking care of our rental property and a gazillion other details
(9) and fun. What happened to fun? Where did it go? It's hidden all these other obligations.
I'm tired just thinking about all of it. So if you signed up to follow me on anything for which I signed up, I apologize. Just follow me on the blog because that's the only thing for which I have reserved time to which I am truly committed.
Time is more precious than money because you can make more money, but you can never make more time.