Bracing for the hiatus

Today’s a sleepy, do-nothing sort of day, which would work out far better for me if I didn’t have work in about an hour. (Well, in an hour from the starting time of this post, anyway.) I also can’t help but feel a bit obligated to actually try writing posts with actual depth to them, as I have four days (three after today) of blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, and so on, before I start my self-imposed month-long hiatus from most social media and blogging, operating under the assumption I’ve probably reached the goal of One Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0. Given that I started this back in January, I’ve probably exceeded that goal, and this might be a small admission that it’s actually quite difficult to keep track of if I’ve blogged for one hundred consecutive days. I imagine I could have crossed off days on a calendar, but hindsight and whatnot. 

Going cold turkey on many of my internet-associated distractions won’t be an easy task. I’m already fully aware of this. I’m easily drawn to checking my various social media accounts during downtime, which is why I’m making sure I put forth even more effort in preventing myself in doing so for this next month. I’m allowing Instagram so as to be at least a little realistic (I’m capable of restraint, but I’m also not that good). I’m also giving Messenger a free pass, as it’s the only method of communicating I have with some people since phone calls and texting aren’t always the answer. I chose those two particular methods of internet-related procrastination because they both have a shorter distraction-life (the time it’s possible for one thing to consume my time with mindless procrastination, laziness, or general boredom time-wasting before I decide to move on to something else) than Facebook and Twitter’s endless scrolling. Blogging’s included simply because I’ve hit a point where if I reflexively cringe at the thought of writing a new post.

What all of these rules and restrictions leave behind is plenty of time to accomplish actual things I’ve been putting off. There’s a partial novel sitting, dusty and frustrated, in the Documents folder of my OneDrive. I have short story ideas that need written, edited, proofread, edited some more, and sent off for publication consideration. There are undoubtedly at least three projects I could be working on around my apartment so as to make it less of a living space and more like a home. Then, of course, there’s the small matter of taking my hiatus during May, a month which includes Free Comic Book Day, Sci-Fi Valley Con, and the week-long vacation with my family to The Outer Banks. Plenty going on in addition to wanting to find more time to actually write instead of wonder why my fiction has been stagnating in dark corners of my brain.

“How will you be held accountable?” one might ask. The easy answers are as follows:

  1. I will be deleting the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media apps from my phone, save for Messenger and Instagram
  2. I will be limiting my use of Instagram and Messenger. If I feel I’m using them as a crutch to make up for not having access to the other apps, I’ll delete them.
  3. The only time I’ll be using the browser on my laptop is to find sites to send story submissions to, for Messenger as needed (contacting people to ask for proofreading, for example), e-mail, and attempting to keep up with the news (I almost never remember to actually watch The Daily Show or The Nightly Show when they air).

Those things are all pretty straight-forward, except that it’s never been difficult for me to get caught up in screwing around on social media. Removing it from easy access is good, but it’s still readily accessible from my laptop, my desktop, and my tablet. Since I’m not about to abandon using those devices, simply hoping I can actually manage to create documents in the Android copy of Office I have on my phone (it would take me the entire month to write one short story, I fear) I’ll just have to exercise some level of self-control. How well that goes? Well, that’s something no one will know until the end of May, at which point I’ll make my (hopefully) triumphant return, write about all of the not-so-scandalous details, and resume business as usual.

Or I’ll go through horrible social media withdrawal, lose my mind, and resort to sending analog tweets by way of Post-It Notes.

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