One Writer’s Resolutions, Part One

by Jeff Abbott on December 29, 2010

I’m not normally a big believer in resolutions (they seem to last as long as milk left outside the refrigerator). But I have so much going on, and have been trying to be much more thoughtful about my time, resolutions seem like the best idea ever right now. And I’m sure telling all you nice folks about my goals will help me stick to them. So here are my first two resolutions, with a part two to come tomorrow.

1. This Blog: obviously it’s not been a priority. I’ve written two books this year (more on that later) and I figure you would all rather have more books than blog postings. That said, I’m going to try and be better about using the blog in a smart way to stay in touch with readers and share more about what’s going on with the books and my work. Think shorter entries, and more frequent, and a balance between writing, publishing, reading, and general life.

2. Be Smarter About Social Networking. Time that could have been given to the blog has been spent instead on Facebook and Twitter. And you know, some days I love Facebook and Twitter–they are the water cooler for those of us who labor alone–and other days they feel like an obligation. The best nonfiction book I read this year was Hamlet’s BlackBerry by William Powers, which talks about how the hyperconnectedness of everyday life mirrors past historical revolutions in communications and information access. He also talks about the huge amount of time we’re spending in front of screens, and how to step away gracefully, reclaiming your life while still garnering the benefits of our information-driven world. There’s a passage in there where Stephen King–one of my writing heroes, and someone I have always thought a model of writerly disclipline–said he was spending “half the day’s consciousness in front of a screen” before he decided to disconnect more. Stephen Freaking King! It’s not just me.

So, part of the rebirth of the blog will be to drive my presence on social networking sites. My personal page on Facebook is going away at the end of the year; my fan (or reader, as I prefer to call it) page will be my Facebook presence. My Twitter feed will have less random stuff and more stuff tied to the blog’s content. (I still reserve the right to Twitter during Saints games, though). We’ll see how this goes. But I know that my participation on social networking this past year has taken time from my writing, my reading, and my family. I am going to do better.

And if you haven’t read Hamlet’s BlackBerry, I think it’s an excellent book. Highly recommended.

The rest of my resolutions, tomorrow. If you have a resolution  you want to share, please do so in the comments.

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