Wednesday, 14 November 2012


The statistics are staggering. Facebook now has 1 billion users, Twitter 140 million users and there are 4 billion views a day on YouTube.
A leading neuroscientist has warned that a generation of children risks growing up with various disorders, including a poor attention span and little empathy, due to an addiction to websites such as twitter. She said that a decline in physical human contact meant children struggle to formulate basic social skills and emotional reactions and suggested that a reliance on social networking and use of computer games could effectively ‘rewire’ the brain. The researcher also said that websites like Facebook and Twitter were creating a generation with a child-like desire for constant feedback on their lives.
We, Ruth and Mary, have at times felt overwhelmed by the need to network as writers. There is a fine line to draw between giving the best to, and getting the best from, networking and allowing it to engulf us.
Being part of a writing community and able to share information is a definite plus. The negatives are the constant pressure to keep sites and blogs up to date, read comments, respond and take on board what’s being said as well as acclimatising to the technology.
We’re unsure how much personal information we want to put on the internet. It’s also very time-consuming scrolling through screeds of unwanted information on a website when one is trying to find out about the nitty-gritty of writing. How much time do we as writers spend networking? How important is it and would our time be better spent writing?
We would be interested to hear what other writers think as we are sure there is a wide spectrum of views and experiences.


  1. How interesting, ladies. I agree that my time is better spent in actually writing but is this doing what I need to do? How much time would I have to spend in getting the word out there? I do have a website ( which is visited by some folks at various times but as for twitter and facebook, I'm a total non-person. I did start a twitter account but really can't be bothered with it! As for spending time marketing my work, I rely totally on the publishers, though I do post messages here and RNA site. I look forward to other folks comments. Love, Chrissie(in case I come up as anon)

  2. I am not on face book and I am not on twitter - I would like to keep it that way (as I am eesentially a private person) but am unsure whether the pressure to conform might get to me one day and I will succumb. I just have my little blog Wendy's Writing Now which I only started writing three months ago after my first short story sale. My friends and family don't know about it as I just wanted it to be for other writers (who don't know me but might be interested in some of the things I have to say). I am sure I am very unusual!

  3. I am on Twitter and I have a blog. I only use Twitter professionally. I feel it does get your name out there. For instance this week I won a free book from Choc-Lit as a result of a Twitter comp. They now know my name and hopefully I will be able to pitch a new book to them. It has created a possible new market. However, I agree that some people are never off it and that is absolutely ridiculous. I am not on Facebook. I don't see the need as I have Twitter and my blog.


  4. Very interesting post. I love the online friends I've made through online activity, especially blogs and FB, but I do sometimes need to take a break from it all (2 weeks in the summer this year). That keeps it in perspective and lets me breathe (and write!) - but I did have to find a better way of keeping up with all the forums so I could keep better control.

  5. Thanks for the comments. Just as we expected everyone seems to have a different view and experience of networking. All very interesting.

    1. I find it all very daunting. I did set up a blogpage but have let it slip and when I think of it, I feel guilty. When I got a book accepted by Astraea, I had to create a facebook page but to be honest I rarely look at it and am not sure exactly how to use it. There is so little spare time and what there is, I'd rather use writing. However,there's no use writing if you never promote and never sell any copies!

  6. Hi I have tried all of the ones I can cope with, Facebook, Twitter, I blog at and I am having a website constructed which will be at but it is all terribly time consuming. Anything which eats into writing time has to be thought about carefully so I have drawn back a little lately which I don't think is a bad thing. Essentially, I think a writer needs to have SOME online presence, whatever that is and make that work for him/her. I quite enjoy blogging and I know I reach people in the wider community so that's my preferred choice. By the way, I have been asked by author Kate Jackson to do a blog post on The Next Big thing which is basically answering a series of questions on the piece of writing you're working on and posting it on your blog. Would anyone be interested in taking up the challenge, it's quite a fun thing to do! You then just have to find another writer to pass the challenge on to.

  7. I have a website, blog page [including Pocketeers, of course] and author page on Facebook but I'm fairly casual about all of them. I only post my latest book release, cover pic, etc. and don't advertise or post much otherwise. It hasn't increased sales for me which are probably predetermined re distribution and print runs by My Weekly, Thorpe, etc. anyway. Plus, as others say, it's so much of a distraction and temptation, you have to make the choice - Am I a writer or a social networker? I'm the former. I write, and I put that first in my day. If you're a social butterfly, then maybe modern day networking is the way to go for you ... but making the effort to self publish my previously published books as ebooks and in print has been the most worthwhile and creates a steady, if small, extra income. :)