Print Friendly, PDF & Email


We’ve all heard that dreaded sound. It means that you’ve been caught surfing Facebook. Probably when you should have been working on your manuscript or your book marketing ideas. Someone wants to talk to you.

It feels rude to ignore the chat. So you get sucked into a discussion that last for hours. You’re talking about your book, so that should count as marketing, right? Nope. It’s a waste of time.

You’re a professional writer. Hanging out on Facebook Chat isn’t going to help you write or sell books. All it will do is distract you. Turning it off will help you drastically improve your writing.

Disable Facebook Chat. Now.

  1. Log on Facebook
  2. Click the gear in the lower right corner of your screen. The gear will be on the messaging sidebar.   
  3. Uncheck “Available to Chat.

You’ll still see the pictures of some of your friends. If you want to hop back on Facebook chat, it’s easy. You can click on your friend’s profile picture on the messaging sidebar, let them know you are available (by clicking on the button that suggests it), or reversing your decision and checking “Available to Chat.”

Hide Sidebar

I recommend hiding the message sidebar by clicking on the “hide sidebar” icon. It’s located on the far right of the messaging sidebar. Once that’s gone, you won’t be thinking about the people you aren’t talking to.

Be Sneaky With Customized Facebook Chat Options.

Yes, there are ways to do this. Go back to the messaging toolbar. Click the gear in the lower right corner. Select “Limit Availability.” You’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Customize Facebook Chat

You can choose between “Make me unavailable to” or “Make me available to.” Either option lets you choose which list you want to talk to. This is perfect for when there are certain people you want to avoid (we all have them, it’s okay) or just a select few people that we want to be able to get ahold of you anytime.

Authors need to use their time wisely. Writing is a business and needs to be treated with the same respect as you would give a high-profile job. There’s a place for Facebook in your marketing plan. Ask one of our experts how you can use it effectively.

Do you get trapped on chat? What other time management tips do you have for authors on social networks?

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Muir on Patreon!

Want more help?

Get a weekly email with tips on building a platform, selling more books, and changing the world with writing worth talking about. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!