Summer Update: Writing, Music, Meditation & a Social Media Sabbatical

Hey, friends.

I’m alive — just trying to hold it together as we’re in full swing this summer. It’s a busy season for sure.

Lots going that I hope to share with you all soon. Here’s a quick (for me, anyway) summary:

 

I quit Facebook and am detoxing pretty much from all social media other than interactions with blogging friends — it’s not permanent, but I’ve needed to focus on writing and other delicate personal matters. There is so much I want to share about this experience, so please stay tuned. It’s been a very good and healthy thing for me — I’m about three weeks in and I feel clearer headed than I have in ages.

 

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I’m back playing the guitar and dabbling a bit in the ukulele. I haven’t discussed much of my musical background on Grief Happens, but music has always been a big part of my life and I want to rekindle my relationship with it in a more intimate way.

It’s a hobby that truly feeds my soul. I’ve played the piano since I was sixish; I’ve dabbled with the guitar in more of a self-taught fashion, but I’ve always wanted to play better. I recently got a guitar that feels better for learning, so that’s been a positive something in my day-to-day. Both of my kids are itching to play an instrument, so I’m having fun refreshing my own skills, both for myself and with the goal of being able to assist and encourage them.

 

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The meditating is going well overall — I’ll do my best to post a more thorough update soon. I’ve definitely noticed some changes in my demeanor and focus since practicing more regularly.

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And finally, I’ve been writing more and trying to stretch myself creatively.

I’m still debating how to best archive and showcase my work. I freelance here and there as a way to pay the bills, and while I enjoy the flexibility, it can be stressful, often more analytical than creative — I need a healthy balance of both.

One nugget I took away from the 30DaysofGenius series I watched recently, was that I have more work to do breaking up with my buddy, Perfectionism. More specifically, several of the creatives interviewed in that series spoke of the importance of sharing our art. You can check out previous posts where I mentioned this series here and here.

Perfectionism hinders us in so many ways, but in terms of art and sharing what we create, I see major parallels for me. I struggle with sharing my work, even when I’ve crafted, curated, and quadruple-edited. Part of it is privacy, but fear has lot to do with it and is a big reason I typically write under a pen name.

I’ve worked through many of these negative perfectionistic tendencies, but watching the 30 Days of Genius series opened my eyes and reminded me that I still have a ways to go.

Perfectionism is paralyzing. I often don’t want to share my work due to fear that I might have made careless errors, deeming me unfit to actually be a writer. Attention to detail is important…but it’s also critical to differentiate between what’s helping and hindering.

I’m grateful for many lessons I learned from that series and I encourage you to check out the interviews  — loads of great information and variety with take-aways for anyone in any field.

I’m most thankful for the encouragement to be bolder in pushing through my fears. This series was more powerful in this realm than any book or program I’ve run across thus far.

One tangible step I’m taking is to start responding to writing prompts.

When I say I HATE prompt writing, as strong as that sounds, it is still an understatement. I once dropped several creative writing classes in college because of my disdain for prompts. It’s almost like my brain shuts down and I see it as I’m being forced to write what someone else tells me to  — regardless of how much I’m encouraged to make it my own (this phrase always mentally takes me back to the early days of American Idol and good old Randy Jackson… pardon the digression…) This limits me. I have to push past my stubbornness.

So…I created a blog where that’s all I plan to do — respond to prompts.

I’m open to what it becomes, and my only parameters are that I have to create something based on a prompt from someone who is not me. I’m only a few days in and I’m already enjoying the challenge.

In the beginning I’ll mostly respond to WordPress prompts, but there’s no limit to what it can be as long as I stick with it. I’m trying my best to write daily, and I HAVE done that, but I haven’t posted everything I’ve written. I’m sure my draft folder will be jam-packed over there.

Check it out here, and I’d be honored if you’d follow along

I’ll cross-post some here at Grief Happens. I’m slowly accepting that to a degree I can churn stuff out but am a bit all over the place. I’m trying to see this quality as an asset rather than a setback. Baby steps.

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What about you? How’s the season treating you? What are you working on? Have you ever taken extended breaks from social media? Do tell. I love hearing what’s going on in the world of my blogging friends!

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7 thoughts on “Summer Update: Writing, Music, Meditation & a Social Media Sabbatical

  1. I returned (a tad late) but I’m in a totally overwhelmed state, my friend!
    I cannot WAIT for both my girls to finally be in summer activities next week- low-cost day camp for Rilla & theater for Avi!

    Then I hope & pray I’ll return to rolling better with the chaos within and without! 😉
    You give me hope it can be done because if anyone can do it, it’s you!
    Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • ha! We were both writing here at the same time. I’ve got one going to a day camp next week while visiting my mom and the other one and I will be on our own unless I can find a last-minute local camp for him (and you better believe I’m searching!!) This mama needs some down-time. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Comment Part One – Part Two comes manana!

    I LOVED reading the latest with you, and I think the social media break is an AWESOME idea!
    I’ve done it before when we went to Lake Tahoe and while it wasn’t intentional, it turned out to be a blessing. It was only 2 weeks, but each day was like a dog year, if that makes any sense. (I’m wiped out tonight!)

    I joined your new blog and I want to catch up with it this weekend!

    I didn’t know music was such a big part of your life. That’s wonderful you’re taking time to play and you’re keeping your kids in mind so they can learn instruments too! I’m sure they got your talent! 😉 My eight-year-old Marilla got her first ukulele a few weeks ago – there’s a uke store five minutes away! Craig restores Martin guitars as a hobby, sometimes re-selling then. He’s a talented guitarist. Now he has decided to restore a Hawaiian-made koa wood uke that he bought online. My other daughter may lay claim to it – I’m not sure yet.

    I’ll be back with some follow-up remarks. I’m sitting here about to fall asleep. Not because of your post, which I find fascinating, but because Avi has had terrible pain from a swimmer’s ear infection. She has been up quite a bit over the past few nights. I’ve had to get her medicine and soothe the poor thing at mdnight, two, three in the morning…. thank God the pain finally subsided today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know Craig was a musician. I know you’ve mentioned your dad — piano, I think? Restoring Martin guitars sounds very interesting. Gil is a musician as well — talented singer, plays guitar and stand up base, etc. He actually went to college on a music/theatre scholarship moons ago and has played in many bands. My dad was a talented, somewhat organic musician who sang, wrote lyrics and played piano and a little guitar. It was more of a hobby for him than anything, but he was very talented. My mom is a classically trained pianist, so I guess I come from pretty musical people. I can’t say I’m great or especially talented, but I certainly enjoy music and appreciate numerous genres. Picking up the guitar again and the ukulele has been quite fun for sure.

      I hope the swimmer’s ear is gone (those are NOOOOO fun at all) and hope you are enjoying the beautiful outdoors, my friend. I’ll all over the place for sure these days but am taking it easy this weekend as several household members have been hit with a nasty virus. I’m striving high today and attempting to make a dent in our laundry pile. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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