When I last posted two-and-a-half weeks ago, I was taking a break from social media and blogging, in order to focus on starting my new writing project off on the right foot. It has been a wonderfully creative time for me, and I’m trying to make the benefits of it continue into the future by not going back to the same place as before — namely, the place where I am spending way too much time each day trying to keep up with Facebook and blog reading. I don’t hang out on Twitter all day anyway, and I think the benefits of my writing two or three regular blog posts per week outweigh any time constraints I feel from them. But reading blogs had begun to eat away at my mornings, and Facebook was something I found myself turning to several times throughout the day, when I had two or three minutes here or there, which always drags out to ten or fifteen minutes. Not good.
Honestly, I haven’t missed most of the blogs I stopped reading these past two weeks. A very select few (I’m talking less than five) still pique my curiosity enough that I check them every couple of days. But I am not missing the 25 or 30 others that I’ve taken off my regular reading schedule. Most of those are related to publishing, writing, freelancing, etc. I know it’s considered good practice to stay up on industry news through blogs, but I just can’t do it any more, not every day, not in those numbers.
So, what have I been up to in all the wonderful and glorious time I’ve inherited by making this decision?
* I’ve been on a lot of long runs. Running is one way that I am able to get my mind loose and relaxed so that I can think through things — and this past couple of weeks I can really tell that it’s helped me feel healthier (both mentally and physically), which also helps me feel more creative. On a side note, all this extra running has led me to start training for a half-marathon at the end of September.
* I have stared at the living room ceiling a lot. No kidding, this is a great way for me to come up with ideas, lying on the floor, being still and quiet and just thinking. Last week I came up with a name for my new project by lying on the floor for about twenty minutes — and titles are one of the more difficult things for me to write. It sounds crazy, I know, and if I ever get a roommate she’ll probably think I’m nuts when I explain that this method can be part of what I mean when I say “I work at home.”
* I’ve read a lot of books, particularly ones from the publisher I’m interested in for my young adult novel. Reading is the best thing I can do to improve my writing. (Note how I cut down on reading blogs in order to read more books. A good trade off, I firmly believe.)
* I made first contact with above-mentioned publisher. A big step for me. And now the waiting begins.
* I’ve done a ton of research on successful Kickstarter campaigns. I’ve read articles, looked through successful project descriptions, watched sample videos, analyzed successful reward offers. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.
* And I guess I’m going to do it, because my project was approved by Kickstarter. Now I’m writing my project’s narrative, editing my video, planning rewards for my backers. More to come on this in the next couple of weeks. Lots more to come.
* I bought a gorgeous hanging basket with verbena and petunias and ivy from Selph Landing Nursery. Flowers on my patio are another of life’s greatest pleasures. I bask in that pleasure each day now, as I water and snip at and admire my huge basket of flowers. It’s equally as relaxing as running.