If You’re Truly Serious about Writing, Where are You Focusing Your Time & Energy?

We live in a connected society. And as writers, everywhere
we turn we’re being told to get more connected. Platform building is an
industry-wide focus.
But all that platform building won’t make you a successful
writer if you can’t…well…write well.
So my question to you is this—
Where are you
focusing your time and energy?
If it isn’t on writing, you’ve got an problem. Don’t get me
wrong, I know we all need to build a viable platform and that includes an online
presence. Most of you know I travel around the country teaching writers to do
just that. But even though I teach platform building, I still only spend thirty
minutes a day, five days a week, on my personal social media; and one two-hour
block of time each week generating blog posts.
Why such a small amount of time?
Because I am determined to become the best writer I can be.
And I won’t make it if I spend all my time on Facebook, Pinterest and blogging.
And at the risk of bragging, I’ve built a pretty good
platform with this formula. More importantly, I’ve stayed focused on learning
my craft.
I’ve done it by working smarter, not harder. Here are some
of the tricks I’ve learned to help me build a platform without sacrificing
valuable writing time.
  • I’ve determined my
    best time of day to be creative.
    For me, it’s the morning. Not before dawn
    early, but about nine until noon.
  • I guard my
    creative time.
    If I need to do something that’s not creative, I make sure I
    do it before or after those magically creative hours. I don’t want to squander
    that time on making up interesting stuff to share on Facebook. Instead I want
    to use it writing books.
  • I use an ancillary
    program to schedule my social media.
    I personally prefer Hootsuite, but
    Tweetdeck or Buffer both work well, too. This allows me to schedule Tweets and
    Facebook updates throughout the day, without having to actually be on Facebook
    and Twitter.
  • I check social
    media periodically during the day.
    I peek at Hootsuite every couple of
    hours to see if anything interesting has popped up or if anyone has mentioned
    me. By peek, I spend no more that FIVE minutes. After that, it’s back to work.
  • I keep regular
    hours.
    For me, writing is a priority and I make sure my life choices
    reflect that. I don’t sacrifice my time with God or with my family to write,
    but after those, it’s always next.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to
guard your writing time? 

Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, TheWrite Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media& Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.