Friday, February 10, 2012


The other day I was cleaning out one of my old blogs. One of them. Yes, I’ve had many over the years. I dabbled in an anonymous blog, attempted a serial story blog, played with Tumblr, created one for Amazon Affiliate sales with Blogger, started up a free site, bought a domain name, and recently launched a book review site.

Sigh. What was I thinking?

Sure blogging is a great way to stretch our creative minds. It’s also a great distraction, along with Twitter, writing groups, author sites, book clubs, Facebook, critique groups, forums, Etsy (aka: porn for women) and the latest, Pinterest. Each of these items can help grow our platform, but they all pull us away from our main objective - to write fiction.

As I was cleaning posts off my old blog, I came across one that gave my readers an update on my writing life. Healing Touch hadn’t been released yet and Off Leash was a WIP still listed as “Untitled”.  There were others. Some I’ve completely forgotten about.

I read through that post and noted my excitement regarding each story. I couldn’t wait to get them out and have readers get to know my characters.

My jump drive contains approximately thirty WIP ideas. I’ve started roughly seven to ten of those. Looking back I know I spent more time blogging and surfing then I did writing. What happened? How did I get myself so far removed from the fiction?

I know we all get into this position in some form or other. We look back on the weekend and know we had ample opportunity to write. The kids were away, house clean, and groceries bought. We had hours and hours to write, but we didn’t.

A writer writes. Having a blog and Twitter account with high follower numbers is great. I’m glad I have this audience. Unfortunately, my free time has become dominated by this quest. I know many, many authors through my activity online. At what point will I have to remove myself from their company because I am not an author putting out new stories - merely someone who hangs out with them? I tweet, blog, Facebook, and surf writer blogs. The definition of an author contains none of these words.

I’d like to thank Tonya for having me as a guest on her blog today. It’s a great opportunity for me to ask - have any of you ended up in this position? How do you balance writing activities with actual writing? Be sure to leave a comment to be eligible to win a copy of each of Jenna's novels!

~ * ~

I'm a fulltime mom, wife, sister, & friend. Throw in a little housework, an irritating lapdog, the need to watch every episode of Forensic Files & I guess you could call me a busy woman. There are just not enough hours in the day. My escape is writing. I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

~ Jenna Anderson


  1. Jenna, what a wonderful and timely blog. Social media is becoming such a huge part of any writer's promotional life, yet reviews are decidedly mixed when it comes to whether or not (or how much) they actually help a writer sell books. It's so hard to know what to do!

    I find it's not actually Twitter that sucks my time... but freelance work. Writing *is* a paying job for me (finally) but it has been an indulgence for so long, that now that it SHOULD be getting all the love... it's still not. I still retreat back to client work. (sigh)

    But for me, the only way to get focused is to set a timer. If I'm on the clock with fiction... I'm writing, same as if it's a client. So that's a tool that's worked for me!


  2. Tonya - thanks again for having me.

    PJ - I soooo agree.

    Jennifer - great tip. Treat it like a job (it is, in a way) and punch an imaginary clock. I also like to give myself a goal such as, "I'll write for the next hour." If I block out all other distractions during that hour, I find I want to keep going even after the time is up.

    Having a word count goal does NOT work for me. I always have the out of - "I'll finish the final 300 words later." The dreaded *later*.

    Using a time block works much better for me. It's just getting to the block that can be tough.

    ~ Jenna

  3. Jenna, you are spot-on with how we can get so wrapped up in all the things that help build our platform & some how seem to whittle ourselves away from the joy of writing. I'm embarrassed to say that I have days where I'm geared up to write (8:00 a.m.) & find myself, hours later, (1:30 p.m.) still doing the social media thing without having put down the first word on my WIP. I get miffed at myself and the creativity locks itself up. Day wasted (well, not entirely, but the writing opportunity definitely). Thanks for a reminder to get back to what we 'love' and to make social media a thing that we 'like'. Have a great weekend :-)

  4. I've been noticing the same thing with my own writing--or lack thereof! I spend so much time at the computer promoting that I forget I need to write to have something to promote!

  5. Jan - yes, that happens to me a lot as well. I usually am also still in my PJs at 1:30 pm. Ha ha

    Michele - Exactly.

    One other trick I use, besides a time block dedicated to writing, is I tell myself I CAN'T open the Internet until the time block is over.

    Has anyone tried that?

    There are also Internet blocking tools - but they don't work on my smart phone. That evil device is always next to me whispering, "Check your sales. Someone may have left you a Twitter message. Check your sales again."

    ha ha

    ~ Jenna

  6. Haha, PJ! YES time is so hard to find. BUT I do find it:)

  7. Jenn, that is a GREAT tip!! I actually might try to use that for my social media time. I always spend waaaay to long on here:)

  8. Jan, I totally agree. There are days that I do the same thing. I have a day job, so finding the time to write is super number one to me. I'm off on Fridays, so I make sure I'm up and ready at my desk by 9am and work until 2pm. Then I get on my social media:)

  9. Michele, it is such a fine line and it's hard to know when NOT to promote. Smart promoting is the key:)

  10. Great advice! I'm starting my social media efforts, so I'll make note to NOT let it take over. There are already so many distractions to writing as it is.

  11. Thanks, Joanna. Good luck with your efforts.


    ~ Jenna

  12. Great Interview! This post really helped me learn a few tricks of the trade. I also like to read TL Sumner too. Check her out.