Hello blog readers! I’m back! Of course I didn’t go anywhere. I took a brief blogging break so that I could in theory use the time to churn out more fiction than usual. It was a cute theory.

What went wrong? For starters, I didn’t take a Twitter break. Yes, I’m known to sing Twitter’s praises (see my guest posts from last weekend on Writer Unboxed called “The Art & Science of Twitter”). But I also agree with Jonathan Franzen’s well-known advice in The Guardian’s February 2010 article featuring rules for writers: “It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.”

Mixed Blessings of the Internet by Nina BadzinI wish I could read Franzen’s proclamation and yell, “Nonsense!” But as someone who lately finds herself writing with the smart phone next to her and with minimized Twitter and Facebook windows at the bottom of her laptop’s screen, I know Mr. Franzen is on to something—the well-coiffed bastard.

Why else did my two-week blog break not yield better novel progress? I could use the TRUE excuses of my kids having no camp or school, having tons of family in town, my son breaking his wrist and getting strep, and one of my daughter’s getting sick too.

Yet, somehow despite all those distractions and the-kids-need-me-more-than-usual moments, I still found time to dink around the internet. I didn’t take a break from reading other blogs. I suppose in some ways I felt that only reading others’ posts and commenting on them when I was also promoting my posts, seemed (and still seems) a bit icky and too self-serving. I don’t know the solution there. I suppose the only logical one is to get over my need to be liked, which is of course significantly harder to do than to say.

Ultimately, I see the value of social media. I’ve lived the value of social media. But I don’t want to lose sight of why I got into the blogging and Twitter business in the first place. I want to be novelist.

Friends, this is a cry for help. How are the rest of you getting your daily word count or page count in while managing to keep up with all your networks? And I’m talking about your REAL LIFE “networks,” too, not just the ones on screen.

With baby #4 coming in two months, it’s time to reign in my bad habits. Give me what you got. I can take it.

(Photo courtesy of Wolf Gang via Flickr)

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Nina Badzin is a freelance writer, a writing workshop leader at ModernWell in Minneapolis, ModernWell's book club host, and the friendship columnist at The HerStories Project. She reviews 50 books a year on her blog and writes essays, short stories, and articles for other sites and print magazines. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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