Goodbye, Offline February!
1st Mar 2011 in Personal
Offline February is over, and I am back online! Observe this visual representation of being back on Facebook/Twitter:
I missed reading about people’s lives as lived online, but I kept myself busy. Things I did:
- Listened to a lot of 90s hip-hop.
- Wrote a short story for Algebra, the new lit-mag app from the Tramway.
- Read eight books (mostly trashy).
- Had new stories/poems published in Parcel, Gertrude, and Frostwriting.
- Found the notes my father made for a novel he never wrote.
- Went on a lot of bus trips across the city.
- Played SushiBoy on my phone for far too long.
- Had an article in the Boston Globe.
- Developed a crush on every girl in the ‘Do It Like a Dude’ video.
- FINISHED MY GODDAMN NOVEL.
That last one was really the point of the whole exercise, so that’s good. I won’t say that a month off social networks changed my life in any large or small way, but I liked having a bit of quiet inside my head.
Now tell me all the interesting, unusual, exciting, boring, pointless, bizarre things you did in February!
That’s absolutely blooming marvellous! What a list.
My February consisted of – 10th: host a fab event with some great writers from London
11th: have a minor breakdown involving not so funny moments when the physical stomach-related symptoms manifested in the middle of a work conference; funny in retrospect moment when I sat at my desk crying, unable to call for help because I had forgotten how to use a telephone; and a hopefully healing moment when I decided to take a full month off anything remotely related to publishing.
So I’ve had an internet break as well, and am not even touching my e-mail accounts (which I know are full of people wanting me to do “just a little something”) or my eightcuts work until mid March. So it’s been a Feb of enforced rest, but towards the end doing my onw writing and gentle promoting for the first time in over a year, and I too have finished a novel that’s been nearly done since 2009 (The Man Who Painted Agnieszka’s Shoes), I’ve put the first of my psychological thriller series on Kindle, and I’ve actiely promoted Songs from the Other Side of the Wall for the first time in an age – and this morning it climbed to the giddy heights of #2 in the UK Kindle lesbian literary fiction chart, with only Tipping the Velvet standing between it and the top spot. So it feels like it’s been a by turns terrible and wonderful month.
Happy March to you!
PS – that pic – are they microphoens coming out of her head? So the whole world of noise gets fed into her skull? That’s an almost Boschian vision of hell!
Wow, you finished your novel – congrats!
Feb for me was a stressful mixture of: turning 33, starting my own business, having my oven turned inside out by a mumbling electrician, winning a copy of “By Invitation Only”, having a great run of publishing acceptances and contemplating giving up alcohol. Again.
Looking forward to March!
My February consisted of everybody in the house catching the Death Cold, and of washing my clothes as my friend’s house because our washer has been broken for three weeks. I am loathe to use the Las Vegas laundromats, fancy that! But I’m interested in your experiment. I’ve never gone offline for a full month. Did you feel that it was productive enough to do again, or do you feel like you somehow missed out? I’ve been slacking on social networking lately (which I normally enjoy) and I feel like I’m out of the loop and also like I’ve missed opportunities.
I attended my first WPM! Been meaning to come along for a while but living in Edinburgh means it requires me to plan ahead. I enjoyed it, and hope to come back again! So I am one of your weird slightly stalkerish followers who doesn’t know you, but knows of you! 🙂
I also started a blog.
Dan, sorry to hear about your stomach troubles. I hope you’re feeling better, and I think it’s a good idea to take some time out. Congrats on your new novel and chart-topping successes! That photo represents how I sometimes feel about Twitter etc; sometimes the noise just has to be turned off. RE people who want you to do “a little something”: the most valuable thing I did last year was learn to say no. I realised that I was doing favours for people who I didn’t really know and who probably wouldn’t have done the same favour for me, and it was just a waste of my time and energy. There will always be people who want favours, but if it doesn’t directly benefit you (ie. it pays, they’re a good friend, they’ve done you favours before) then you just have to say a polite no.
Kenny, sounds busy! Congrats on all your acceptances, I love Emprise Review. Hope you enjoy By Invitation Only – let me know if you’d be interested in reviewing it for the PANK blog.
Mercedes, I know nothing about Las Vegas laundromats but now I am intrigued. I’m still ambivalent about my offline month – it was productive for me, but then I think I would probably have done the same amount if I’d carried on as normal. I did fell, though, that it helped with my general sense of impatience/panic about having to write more/achieve more/DO MORE NOW DAMN IT. Of course I’m happy to hear that my writing acquaintances are doing well, but it felt good to take a step back and just think about my own creativity rather than always producing things. Also, the feeling of missing opportunities is one I can relate to, but I’m slowly learning that I can’t write ALL the stories for ALL the magazines/anthologies ALL the time. Sometimes it’s worth giving up a good oppurtunity to concentrate on another one.
Catriona, hello to you! My weird slightly stalkerish followers are my favourites 🙂 I really like what you wrote about your blog being like going to the gym, it’s a good way of thinking about it. I won’t be at the next WPM as it’s my birthday, but I’ll be at the April one – if you’re there, please do say hi.