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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wasting Time

by Jill Monroe

I'll be the first to admit that I waste WAY too much time on the Internet under the heading "research"

I check the yahoo writer loops I'm on - this is under the misguided belief that someone out there has that one gem of advice that I need to hear in order to improve my life, career and finances.

I blog hop to some of my favorite author blogs. In a lot of ways, this has replaced the yahoo groups with all the messages. I can connect with friends that have my same interests, understand my chosen career and generally have a lot of fun chatting. This is similar to the morning diet coke break I'd take with my co-workers when I had a 9 to 5 job.

Visit my books on amazon and B&N - I tell myself I won't do this. What's the point? They're there. They'll still be there tomorrow. AND when the rankings aren't where I want them to be - major energy suck.

Industry blogs/sites - these are review sites, readers who talk about romances whatever. Something VERY BIG happens on one of these blogs/sites at least once a month. Hundreds of comments, bloggers referring to other blogs/sites. It's a circle that can really become toxic to your time.

So why do I visit these when I know they're not good for me?

Because writing can be hard. Sometimes the words don't flow. The cursor does nothing but blink and while I'm at the's so easy to hop away from my word doc. Writing is also very solitary, and it's nice to chat, even cyberly, throughout the day.

So, I'm putting myself on limits. Time limits and word limits.

First, I don't hop away from the manuscript until I have at least ___ pages written. I change that number depending on how close to deadline. It's a minimum of one page though.

Second, when I just have to check out the Internet, I give myself a time limit and I use a timer. I can spare 10 minutes.

Lastly, I do give myself a break from writing. I used to be a firm believer that a writer writes every day. Now I'm not so sure. Now I give myself permission to just have an afternoon of reading. Watching a rom com while the kids are at school instead of writing. There's something about that time away that makes me look forward to tackling a manuscript.

Do you have a favorite time waster? How to battle it? Do you take a break from writing?

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At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do take breaks. Some favorite time wasters are surfing the net, reading, or watching a movie. :)

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Gena Showalter said...

everything you named :) except I break for coffee.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Kristen Painter said...

I shouldn't even be typing that...

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous mary beth said...

Hi Jill! I waste way too much time. Blogs and TV are my big time sucks--especially Thursdays. I've got to get more disciplined.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Kristen - I don't even know what pogo is - now I MUST check it out.

Mary Beth - what's on Thursday?

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Hey, Jill, do you Google your author name? Or the title of your latest book? Those are great time wasters!

At 10:25 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Bloghopping, definitely. Playing with the Tivo. Playing dumb online puzzle games. DVDs.

Jill, Mary Beth and I give our Thursdays to Grey's Anatomy ;) At least, we did ;)

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Celeste said...

I do the exact same things. Nice to know we are in good company, right? I do need to start timing my bloghopping though.

Seriously though, I need a break every couple hours. My eyes get tired, so I usually go do a chore *gasp* or something.

And I'll go on long stints of writing every day, but then I need just as long to recover, read, do Sudoku, go to the gym.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Diane - you know my secret shame!

I wish I were somehow motivated to clean the house instead of bloghop!

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I usually get up and water plants outside, do some laundry, EAT too much, then google things or research like you said. I like the setting the timer idea and giving myself a minimum page count before I can move away from the manuscript. I think I'll try that! thanks!


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