How to Balance Writing and Tweeting

Have you ever signed online to do “one quick thing” and had your whole writing day vanish? I used to only battle the temptation of e-mail, but now there’s Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Since joining the world of social networking, I confess, I have fallen victim to its seductive allure more than once, and wound up thinking “Wow, where’d my day go?” I’ve also had days when I couldn’t focus on writing, because I kept wondering if I had any new comments to the Facebook Note I posted that morning.

After having this happen a few too many times, I came up with two simple rules to help me leash the addictive beast.

Develop a Schedule

I have learned that I am not a multi-tasker. What I do first thing in the morning dictates how the entire day will unfold. If I start with writing, I write all day. If I start with something Internet related (writing a new blog, working on my Website) that’s what I do all day. Rather than fight it by trying to balance the two, I’ve accepted it. So, I start with writing four days a week, and play on Twitter and Facebook when I’m done. Then, one day a week, I work on promo, in which case, I play online all I want.

Rule for writing days: No Tweeting before Noon.

Create Work Zones

Since I work on a laptop, I’ve established different areas of my house designated for different activities. If it’s a writing day, I sit in my big comfy “reading” chair or out in my garden. If it’s a promo day, sit at the desk in my office. Whatever I’m doing, if I get distracted by one thing when I should be working on another, simply changing locations can help me refocus.

Rule: designate one work areas as a Twitter Free Zone. For me, it’s the garden. I can get an Internet signal out there, but since I’ve never signed onto Twitter while I’m in the garden, it doesn’t even cross my mind.

So, those are my two tricks for controlling the temptation of the Internet when I should be writing. What works for you?


  1. Hi Julie,

    I’m thinking of starting Tweet Watchers. Authors count points for original tweets, replies, DMs, RTs & divide by #words/day.

    Either that or Twitters Anonymous online – oops that would just be one more addiction. A virtual whip-cracking device – crack, slap, crack ….


  2. LOL to Twitters Anonymous online.

  3. karamina says:

    Brilliant advice. I’m a hopeless multi-tasker, and end up getting nothing done all day because I faff about. I’m going to start working at the kitchen table, and noodling online on my comfy chair, and also set some twitter rules for myself.

  4. The great thing about my rules, is they allow me to play guilt free. Hope your rules do the same for you.

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