I've been pretty busy lately, not only with my book on medieval guns but also with my latest novel, which is finally gathering momentum. Blogging at Gadling takes a chunk of time every day too. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and decided to cut out something from my work day. I've gone No Mail on all of my writing newsgroups except for the one for Damnation Books, which I'm using to get aquainted with my fellow authors, and a gunners group I need for my book research.
Until I did this I didn't realize how much time I spent on these groups. Even skimming through them takes a decent amount of time every day, and when you add it up over the course of a month, it's just too much.
Newsgroups have their place. I've made some good cyberfriends and even gotten a bit of work through them, but I'm beginning to feel they cost more time than they're worth. So much of the talk tends to repeat itself: how to find an agent, copyediting questions, self publishing, and endless debates over ebooks. This is all useful for beginning writers (although there's a lot of misinformation out there too) but I'm thinking midlisters don't really get much out of them. Perhaps there needs to be a midlist newsgroup?
What do you think? Are Yahoo and Google groups for writers worth the time?