From my Mission Statement 2.0:
To be a leader and member of a supportive writing community, through blogs, critiques, and social networking.
Oh, to be young in blogging and full of the heady steam of the online community! After a year of blogging, I have a more clear-eyed view of the benefits and drawbacks of blogs, twitter, and social networking (for me, Facebook).
Some of my best story-saving critiques have come from writers I met through blogging. Some of my favorite author-friends I have met through blogging and social networking at conferences. Some of the most insightful craft advice I’ve heard has come from writers, blogging in the trenches as they learn the craft. The stories and inspiration of my fellow-authors have pulled me through the inevitable lows of writing many times. There are too many powerful benefits to opt out of the online writer community completely.
Lesson #2: THE ONLINE COMMUNITY CAN KILL YOUR WRITING
Not directly, of course! Online writer-bloggers are some of the finest people I’ve met – varied and rich in their backgrounds and wonderfully positive in their support of each other! But social networking can be like drinking from a fire hose. I have to carefully control how much time I spend on it, or my entire day will be spent blogging and tweeting. More than that, though, the interwebs can be a massive distraction. I have steely eyed focus powers, and it still calls to me with a siren song of community and support and LOLcats. And there is no critique, no inspiration, no blog post that will get the writing done. No online help that will rewrite the opening scene of my WiP or distill my novel down to a single line hook.
Writing remains solitary.
It requires that I dive into my own head to fabricate the SpinNet and inter-dimensional faeries. It demands that I craft and re-craft the first chapter and spend half an hour conjuring just the right word. Because that is writing. It is easy to forget. If I am strong-willed enough to only partake of the pleasures of the online community as much as benefits my writing, and not detract from it, then I can continue to blog and tweet and facebook. Social networking is inherently giving – which is why the word “supportive” comes early in my mission statement – but I have to selfishly limit the time that I spend on it. But this limit allows me to continue to blog and not have Ink Spells fade into the sunset.
Which would make me very sad.
How do you keep blogging from interfering with your writing?