2 More Things I Have Give Up So That I Can Read and Write More

Last summer, I listed 7 things that I’d given up so that I can read and write more. Today, I want to mention to more things that fall onto this list. One is fairly recent, and a deliberate decision. The other has been going on for a long time now, but equally deliberate. Since I’m appending these to the things I’ve previously listed, I’ll number them 8 and 9 respectively.

8. Actively following the news

I have mixed feelings about this one because I think it is important to be an informed citizen. But I haven’t found the news to be particularly informative in years. I gave up reading newspapers  a long time ago. The only time I catch a news broadcast on TV is when I happen to be somewhere outside my own house were the news is on. I used to actively check news sites online, but I’ve even stopped doing that.

I get most of my news these day, when I see something on Twitter. In those cases, I’ll click on the link and spend a minute or two reading and deciding if it is worth pursuing any further. Most of the time, it isn’t. The time I don’t spend watching the news gives me back time to spend with the family, or read an interesting book or article.

I may not be as informed about current events as I once was, but my peace of mind is in a much better place than it was when I followed the news closely. To me, that is a tradeoff worth making.

9. Facebook

I have some automation set up to send these blog posts to Facebook, and when I Tweet stuff with Buffer, that also goes to my Facebook Author Page. But since mid-December, I am no longer actively engaged in Facebook. I might check my personal Facebook account once or twice per week, whereas I used to check it hourly.

This has done wonders for my mental well-being. I would regularly see so much that I considered idiocy on Facebook that I would grow frustrated.  Now, that frustration is gone. It is very much an out-of-site, out-of-mind thing, but I feel much better for it. I wonder if this is a more general trends we’ll see over the next few years as social media stabilizes and finds its niche in society.


I should add that while in my previous post on this subject, I mentioned that I’d pretty much given up personal coding projects, I have, lately, been doing a little bit more of this than I used to. Nothing big, nothing earth-shattering, and I’ve written about a few of the projects I’ve worked on (here and here and here). But I usually don’t work on that stuff until I’ve got my writing done for the day.

On the whole, I’d say I’m a happier person for having given up these things. And I really do have more time to read and write because of it.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

One reply on “2 More Things I Have Give Up So That I Can Read and Write More”

  1. Re: the news, who was it who said: “If you don’t read the news you are uninformed and if you DO read the news you are misinformed!” Unfortunately, I take the same approach. There is little that is relevant these days it seems.

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