First up, I just want to post this warning that after next week I'm back in school. From now until next mid-July unless I fail, drop-out, fall-over dead, or break, my schedule will be very much like this past Summer. That said, posting will become erratic. I also reserve the right to not read the posts in my RSS feed fully. It's going to be interesting. Not sure if it'll be from the windshield's perspective or the bug's eye view.
I've been blessed by having very smart friends, both of the "meat-space" and online variety. And they often say things that I take to heart, both in the direct sense and the lateral thinking sense. And lately several of my friends comments made years apart have been banging around my head (there's enough room in their for a roller-rink). And all those comments focus on one aspect of my life, the amount of time I spend online reading and posting.
I do a lot of that, in case you didn't notice.
And in my life it's now becoming the "TV" everyone who offers writing advice tells you to unplug and throw out the window. The time spent online has distracted me from what is important. And in reflection it has made me a worse employee, student, friend, son, and husband. I know I should do "things", tell myself I'll do them, and then 2 hours later I realize I haven't done any of them and it's time to go to bed. And it has sucked time away from writing.
There's also the thought in my head that this blog really isn't about Story Bones anymore and I should probably rename it to Links-R-Us. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing all the links I point to. I love that my blog readership has continued to expand (and saw a significant bump when Jay Lake was in New Zealand, which I expect to decrease now that he's back and doing his own Link Salad). And I especially love it when the people who I look to for quality links and commentary mention that I gave them some good links back or I see something I linked to being discussed somewhere else. And I really love reading to find quality links. The writing posts I love because, well, that's what I'm interested in. The science, medicine, and tech posts are fun because I love those things as well. The political links because, well, in case you can't tell I'm pretty opinionated and I want to share the reasoning that goes behind my positions.
You know there's a but coming in here, don't you. But I find myself not reading Locus Online very much anymore. I used to be a regular commenter on Scalzi's Whatever and the Nielsen Hayden's Making Light. I used to read TPM on a regular basis. I used to read fiction online. I kept up to date on the various media trends (even if I didn't see shows or movies, I would know plot lines and concepts). I get nervous and anxious when my RSS feed gets over 100 unread articles and it stresses me out.
And I look at friends who post less often and see the quality of their posts. And I look at friends who post less often and see them advancing in their writing careers. And I look at friends who post less often and still remain relevant.
Now I am a creature of habit. Like I said, I really do enjoy finding links and posting the strange thoughts that come to me. But I used to use blogging as the fire-starter and now it seems to be the whole fire. I used to post linkee-poos that you could read through in less than 10 minutes (maybe not the links, but my post on the links). And I used to actually write blog posts that weren't linkee-poos.
And I think all this talk and reading about the 2016 election is turning me off to the whole politics thing for the moment (it's okay, I go through these phases, it's mostly because of over saturation, it'll pass). One side has either no idea how to govern, having become a party of know-nothings, or simply wants to watch the world burn. And the other side has crossed that cynical line from "let's show we can compromise and be reasonable" to "let's look like we can compromise and be reasonable".
So this is my long winded way of saying that even if I weren't about to start classes, I've been thinking that I need to cut back the time here and spend that time being a better friend, son and husband not to mention giving more time to fiction writing. This isn't the first time I've had these thoughts, and you see how that much has changed my habits. So nothing may change, something may change, I don't really know. But I do have to achieve those goals I outline in the first sentence in this paragraph.