Is There a Pause Button Somewhere?

Meditating Monk
Meditating Monk by CanvasOfLight

What a year. I could do with a more time for meditation, introspection, prayer, writing. Summer is usually quiet in the office, but right now it feels like I’m strapped into roller skates and a jetpack. Unfortunately, very little of this has to do with writing.

So I’m stripping down to the essentials: rest, food, determining what base level of ‘clean’ I can live with at home. I haven’t been online as much, or watching TV as much. These things add too much noise. My introvert side needs some space. I’m still around, but the blogging and comments will come slow.

Slow blogging? How about that for a movement like slow food? The current wisdom is, the more you post, the more you’ll find followers, but that doesn’t work for me.

I know some of you are just as busy. What do you do to find some peace of mind?

18 Comments to “Is There a Pause Button Somewhere?”

  1. Honestly? A lot of the time I don’t find peace of mind. Not enough time to write. Not enough time to do a lot of the things that I want to do and that fulfill me. I haven’t even been to a movie this year (missed Brave so far, likely to miss TDKR for several weeks as well).

    Dear Wife and I have a getaway place we retreat to sometimes, a place in the mountains a , and that’s great. But it doesn’t always help. I find a lot of refreshment from watching movies and playing video games (as well as reading), but I don’t get to do those things very often at all (and can’t really do the non-reading ones in the mountains).

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I don’t either. I was hoping people had more suggestions about how they integrate some practice into their regular routine. It’s not always possible to get away πŸ™

      1. No it’s not always possible to get away. For me, when it works it’s because I’ve found things that help me feel rejuvinated and refreshed – among them sleep, of course, but also reading, watching movies, and playing video games. Stuff like that helps me refresh my creative batteries.

        The challenge is… there’s not enough hours in the day to do everything I’d like and even need to do. So I tend to mostly focus on the most important stuff, which doesn’t always work, because then I don’t have time for those rejuvinating activities. But I’ve developed a sense for when I’m mentally or creatively exhausted, and… when that happens I don’t force things. I try to take a break and focus on those other things for a while.

        Of course I feel guilty if I’m playing a video game or something and not either writing or doing one of those myriad other things that’s technically higher on the priority list. But that’s all I’ve got to keep my head level.

        Speaking about everyone else’s point about daily vs. non-daily posting… I think you’re right that’s the conventional wisdom, but I think very few bloggers (a) actually pull it off and (b) can actually succeed at pulling it off and keep their blog fresh and interesting.

        Very few of the blogs I follow are daily. There’s Whatever – but even that occasionally has days where the post is basically “I have nothing interesting to post today, but I’m posting anyway because if I don’t I’ll get thousands of people e-mailing me to check if I’m alive” – which only works because he has thousands of followers. I also follow Jay Lake who’s usually interesting on a daily basis, though some days the best part of his daily posts is his regular link roundup. After that… there’s almost no daily blog that I follow closely every day… some days I give them attention when there’s time, but a lot of posts slip past the radar because I don’t have time.

        I think that’s more and more true of the audience for blogs: we don’t have time to read another and another daily post every day. Myself, I’ve been mostly trying to focus on the quality of my posts far more than the quantitity. I think that’s more important to drive audience engagement, which I think is better for long-term success. Daily posts help to build up a back-log of content, which probably helps Google ranking (I’m no SEO expert so I really don’t know), but engagement, I think, is what keeps readers coming back: because you have something interesting to say, or because the audience is interested in your work or your career or you as a person or whatever.

        For those who do post every day that we readers actually follow… I think it only works because those people are consistently interesting, but if as a writer we don’t have the time and attention to be consistently interesting I think it hurts more than it helps to force ourselves to post when we don’t have anything interesting to say.

      2. T. S. Bazelli Author

        You know, my favorite blogs are (in general) ones which don’t post daily. I think once a week is enough to keep a blog active. I may not be accruing masses of new followers, but that’s not my goal either. I kind of like that this is a really quiet place on the internet πŸ˜‰

      3. oh gee… I just thought it was gone, and now I’ve gone and double-posted the same thoughts.

        Oh well… feel free to “edit” the comments if you’d like, since they’re largely redundant.

  2. “The current wisdom is, the more you post, the more you’ll find followers, but that doesn’t work for me.”

    Is that the current wisdom? I’m not very wise then. And personally I get overwhelmed by blogs that post every day. As you said, it’s too much noise.

    (Which doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t follow any daily blogs. I just tend not to follow them as closely/deeply.)

    I hope you find some zen soon!

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Wisdom if you follow any marketing discussions, but I’m not really doing that. πŸ™‚ I don’t have time to read that many blogs either! I always read yours though, haven’t had a chance to comment, but I wanted to. And thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Daily blogs tend to tire me out (with a couple of exceptional exceptions).

    And, even if posting all the time brings more followers (I have no idea if it does or not), I always keep in mind that I’m not trying to be a professional blogger. I write stories (and I don’t do that professionally either), and the blog is pretty much secondary to the stories. If I delay a blog post because I have a good idea for a story and I’m cooking on that, that’s how it should be. πŸ™‚

    Writing is my main form of relaxation (well, that and movies — mostly on DVD). I always have paper and pen on me — like when I was trying to see Prometheus and the movie projector kept malfunctioning. Most of the other patrons were quite stressed, but I was happily sitting in my seat, scribbling away.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      That’s a good point. I’m a writer who blogs occasionally, but my goal has never been to play the blogging game, other than to connect with other writers from time to tome.

      You were writing in the dark? πŸ˜‰

  4. I feel like there’s always “noise” in my head ’cause I’m always thinking about stuff, but lately–because unfortunately I’m not actually working at the moment, lol–I’ve been doing a lot of housework: painting, assembling furniture, cleaning while playing some instrumental music in the background…

    It actually makes me feel kinda peaceful. (Unless I run into a hitch and have to undo something I’ve just done, heh.) My hands stay busy so my brain doesn’t get the chance to go back to speculative la-la land. πŸ˜‰

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Hmm that’s a good strategy! There are some days I really enjoy cleaning up the house (turn up some music, and go at it). Lately I’ve had the opposite problem though, too much other stuff, and not enough dreaming…

  5. I find peace of mind in neglecting my blog and working my tail off…

    Okay, just the neglecting part. But the working part makes a convenient excuse for it. πŸ™‚

    I miss my bloggy peeps!

    I’ve been reading and writing a lot. And imagining. Without imagination I kinda die a little. Also, lounging on a hammock hanging out with a friend, drawing with crayons, and eating cake on a Sunday morning.

  6. I know you’ve been struggling with this, as I have. My job keeps me hustling, always on the go. I’m out of town the rest of this week, and then flying out to Dallas on Sunday and will be there until Friday.

    Leaves very little time to myself, unfortunately. I don’t know how I keep my sanity. Maybe that’s just it…maybe I’m not so sane!

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