Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Reading and Writing Reboot!

Matthew Paulson via Flickr Creative Commons. 
Summer is an interesting beast. Last year it was a reading bastion. I was full up with words. This year is something different. I feel like I've been fighting a reading flu for months with stretches of great books and then barren weeks of no reading urge whatsoever.

Admittedly, this year has served up a lot of responsibility. I got married. The kiddo is growing like a weed with all of the pains that come along with that. I've expanded my writing responsibilities. Work has been far more demanding of my sanity than it was last year. Recently, I found myself in a bitchy funk. It all came to a head a couple of weeks ago when I was juggling Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (my own and the university's), and I just didn't give two fucks about it all. That's when I knew I needed:
  • A day off from work
  • Daysssss off from social media and writing
The first thing I noted after shutting down the social media was that I didn't feel frazzled. I wasn't multitasking all. day. long. And that was great!

The second takeaway, I had more focus. Because duh. See above. 

Also, I'm sick of being indoors all day. I've never been much of an outdoorsy person in general, compounded by the fact that Texas heat is generally incredibly oppressive. Luckily, we've had a mild summer so far (for us), and I wanted to hit the pool. Above all things, I wanted to float away with a margarita in my hand. I made it happen and it helped lift me up. 

When I returned to work after a long weekend of complete and utter slothfulness, and when I came back to the computer after several days off, I felt absolutely refreshed. The ideas that wouldn't come to my fingertips before suddenly started flowing again! Huzzah!

But I also came back to the 'puter with some realizations. If I'm going to do ALL THE THINGS, I have to shift my schedule around a bit. I'm planning to cut back my blog posts from four or five per week to more like three per week. If I have more to write, I certainly will, but I need to lighten the load of responsibility a bit. 

I'm not even worried about any of this, but I did think I'd share. I know several of my favorite bloggers have been slogging through some feelings very similar to this, and it's better to head those funky feelings off at the pass. 

Now...I think I'll take a few more days off from work. That felt GOOD!




56 comments:

  1. It's been so nice to be too busy to be around social media the past few days, I kind of want to just take the rest of the week and ignore it, too. Really glad you figured out that cutting down will be best for you (and will have more time to float!)

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    1. Ignore it! You'll feel great by the time you get back. I swear it. Yay for floating! ;)

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  2. Earlier this summer was the first time I ever took a conscious and deliberate internet/blogging/social media break, and it was glorious! Definitely something I need to do more often.

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    1. Glorious indeed! Yep. I can see this becoming a normal, maybe quarterly thing.

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  3. I just this minute read an article about unplugging from social media for stress relief and then clicked over here. A couple hours totally unplugged each day would be nice and three blog posts per week seems much more manageable. I rarely do more than four. Good luck!

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    1. I have no idea how I slipped into four or five posts per week! I have no idea how I've maintained it! lol

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  4. I don't like being so much online either. I'm probably on all social media accounts but don't check any of them except Facebook, and the latter mostly for posts from my local pet shelter. I've been wanting to write more and read more but without the pressure of it all. Good luck to you at making it work - it's really an awesome feeling knowing that half the things we do, we don't really have to do - we just create an unconscious stress on ourselves to do it all.

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    1. Lately I find myself more engaged in Instagram than anything because it's so passive. I like a ton of photos but I don't feel bad for not commenting. Thanks for the good luck wishes!

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  5. I do know the feeling. I love blogging, but I'm not so keen on social media, and the more I go on it, the more I feel like I have to keep doing it.
    With my blog, I stop it feeling like a job but putting no pressure on myself at all in terms of posts per week or anything like that, I just post when I feel like it (and when the baby is asleep!).

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    1. Overall I enjoy social media a lot, but it can so easily become overwhelming. Taking a break helps put things back into perspective. Posting when we feel like it is the way to go!

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  6. Social media is a blessing and a curse. It's great to take a break from it every once in a while.

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    1. Yep. Breaks are gooood. Gotta refresh!

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  7. Glad you made that reboot happen -- we can all relate, I'm sure! I make it a mission to avoid my phone for the most part on vacation, and this weekend I took a little hiatus from it all, too. It felt great.

    As far as posting goes, you do you! I've kind of unofficially started whittling down to three or four posts per week, and it's definitely helped me feel calmer and more focused about what I do want to share. Sometimes the compulsive need to post something means I'm not always thrilled with my writing, and I need to change that. Blogging is, after all, supposed to be fun! :)

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    1. Thanks, Meg! I'm pretty good about disconnecting at night, but even that wasn't enough when I decided to reboot. That was a weird feeling!

      Calmer is so important, and I hope the quality of my posts goes up! Since I won't be cranking out quite so many. We'll see.

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  8. Everything goes in seasons, right? Kudos to you for figuring out what you needed and taking care of yourself! :)

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  9. Sounds like you needed a break and I'm glad it refreshed you. Definitely cut back and figure out what works best for you :) I need to do the same. Sometimes I forget that blogging is supposed to be fun, not work. Great post, Andi - thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yep, I definitely did. Thanks for commenting, Nadia!

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  10. Glad to hear you're feeling better. With kids and jobs and homes and all the rest it gets so easy to get caught up in the madness. I know there's plenty of times that I need to step away but it's hard to do. Great job knowing what you needed and then actually doing it!

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    1. Definitely toooo easy to get caught up in it all and get totally overwhelmed. And yes, it is hard. I think cordoning off a block of time helped me in this case because I was committed to it.

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  11. Sometimes too much of a good thing is still too much. Glad you got the break, and rest, you needed. CAUSE I MISSED YOU.

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    1. Yep. I need another one already. Not social media, but days off! lol

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  12. Oh man, count me among the sloggers. I feel like my mojo is starting to trickle back in, but a few days off would be wonderful! I need a vacation. A real one.

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    1. We all need a Caribbean vacation together. Books and booze.

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  13. I am online all day for work as well and it's hard to get excited about any of it when you are being pulled into different directions all freakin' day, week after week. I went through a re-org May, got a new boss, but my old boss is still here working within the dept and to be honest, I need a break from her, it, all of it.

    I do find that if I spend time outdoors, I feel better about it all. I am going to a concert at the park this weekend and plan to lay there like a lump and stare at the sky.

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    1. Amen sista! You nailed it. The last thing I want to do is go home and open my computer, though I do occasionally. Outdoors seems to be the key for me lately, too. Just looking at something other than a screen. Multiple points of view! lol

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  14. Good for you! I completely know what you mean about getting in a "bitchy funk." Leaving facebook was the best decision I have evah made! And now look, you are a reading machine!

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    1. That's my next attempt. At this point I don't think it'd be too hard. lol

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  15. Yes, I've totally been feeling this lately! I'm thinking about cutting back on the frequency of my posts, too. Or at least give myself permission to scale waaaay back when needed (I think this week is going to be one of those). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this!

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    1. Yeah, I know I'll have some rough weeks coming up with school starting. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

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  16. I have those weird barren reading weeks, too, sometimes... What is up with those? I never know if I should just slog through and read different books, or just give up and binge-watch a TV series on Netflix when that happens. That's awesome that some pool time rejuvenated you! Yay for the pool... And margaritas!

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  17. Extremely valid points. I love that you've shared this. I agree, sometimes walking away from social media is the best thing for you! (And me!)

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  18. I believe with all the comments you have hit the nail on the blogging head with finding the balance of it all. Otherwise what you (we) began as something as a joyous outlet for book love becomes more work. And who wants more work? If there are any openings for that Caribbean/books/booze vacay, save me as pot!

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    1. same me a *spot! See? I need to log off now!

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  19. Honestly... I believe cutting back blog posts can really be a time saver. I've noticed you are like me.. and we comment back to all the comments. So if you are posting 5 times a week that is even more comments you are replying to. I post average three times a week and am happy with that. I barely have time to read even with that number of posts. So I think everyone will still be here following you.

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  20. Laughing a bit to Angie's comment above. When I was responding to comments (which I STILL feel guilty for not doing) that actually factored into how much I posted. Trying to respond to everyone was causing me too much stress and taking too much time. I miss it, and like I said--all the guilt--but it was an easy thing I could let go of (not suggesting you do...obvio).

    You know the drill...we'll be here when you are (or when we can be). I have noticed that many bloggers seem to be writing less and commenting less. I think we all have a case of the Summer.

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  21. I agree that taking breaks are crucial! Better to take a few days off (or longer, if needed) then to burn out and never want to social media/blog again, right? I think that's awesome that you realized you needed a break and then took it. I would love to write more for my blog too, but like you said, it takes time and a lot of energy. I wish I was the type of person who schedules posts...

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    1. *THAN to burn out, damnit! Serves me right for not proof-reading.

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  22. I've really had to let my blog go lately, due to many reasons, one of which is just tiredness! Glad you got your energy back, and will go easier on yourself!

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  23. I'm with you on cutting back a bit. Sometimes it seems like DOING ALL THE THINGS gets a bit overwhelming and I need to rebalance.

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  24. I'm so glad you took the time you needed to get your juices flowing again! It sounds like you had a great weekend that was exactly what you needed :)

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  25. Makes sense! I usually don't post more than three a week and one of those is the very easy SundaySentence. Recharging is important and sometimes you've got to do what it takes to keep that step ahead.

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  26. Glad you got some needed rest! My summer has been rather frazzling too, and I am trying to get myself back on track with some of my ongoing projects. It's so tricky once you're OUT of a rhythm to get back IN the rhythm.

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  27. It's so important to be able to recognize when we need a break! It can be hard to turn off, but it sounds like you did and that it was a much-needed refresh.

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  28. Good for you! You know what you needed and did it! I haven't really been on Twitter in months. I miss the conversations but it's refreshing not to have to sit in front of a laptop for hours at a time. :-)

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  29. I've pretty much ditched Twitter and Pinterest and only check Instagram once (ok, twice) a day. Still too addicted to Facebook, but I'm trying to wean that down a bit, too. I spent a huge chunk of time sitting on my porch with a book last weekend and it was heavenly! When I think of all the hours I've been spending inside, on my computer... eek. Winter will be here soon and I don't want to say I didn't get enough porch-sitting in! Moderation in all things, right?

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  30. Amen to that lady :).
    We talked about this a while back but I was right there with you! When those overwhelming feelings start growing, it's so nice to take a step back and shut off for a while, refuel and reboot.
    I'm so glad you took that time to yourself and made that happen :).

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  31. I have taken some time away thanks to the move, but now I am in a writing funk (not reading!). It's taking everything I have to get my blog writing done. Hoping I can get back into the groove again soon, but until then, I'm just riding it out!

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  32. Hooray for floating!

    I hear you loud and clear on the obligations/social media/attention hogs. I just started a new WFH job which is AWESOME in so many ways (pajama pants all day everyday), but I've started to feel cooped up after just a week (a week!) and I find myself constantly reloading FB and Twitter as a kind of outlet... when really I need to leave the house and go for a walk. Or float. Or something that isn't on a computer, at least. Hope the recharge keeps working for you!

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  33. Huzzah! I'm glad that unplugging helped.

    GURL, I am so close to a blogging break I can practically feel it. I thought I would bounce back after the bar, but it just isn't happening. I might need to take some time.

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  34. I ditched my Tumblr more than a year ago, have hardly been on Twitter in a month and have hardly updated my blog Facebook page. I'm sure I'm missing out on somethings but I didn't start blogging to spend all of my time on the computer and not reading. You've gotta find a balance someplace!

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  35. What a great post! I'm so glad you feel rejuvenated. I'm getting ready to head out on vacation and have been stressing about writing posts to schedule while I'm gone, etc. Your post just made me decide to take a real vacation...even from the blog! I'm going to schedule a few posts, but not worry about social media. I'll be in a place that has internet, but is truly a "no internet type of place" and I'd really rather not log on! So, I'm not! I feel better already!! Thank you :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blogger has been a beast lately, so I hope you do not have any troubles leaving your thoughts.

 
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