The other day I announced that I will be taking a hiatus from social media from October to January. There are many reasons for this, some perhaps obvious but others not so. I wanted to discuss them here in a longer forum.
First and foremost, I wanted to let those of you whom I’ve met online this year, especially on Twitter, know how much I value our friendships and seeing what’s going on with you. So many of you with your cheer, wisdom, and intellectual curiosity (and amazing cooking skills!) have kept my spirits up and I do very much thank you for that. I’ve enjoyed expanding my friendships through the Untamed fandom particularly; it has meant a lot to me to finally find other people who love wuxia and xianxia as much as I do and who talk about it openly and with great glee. It has meant a lot to squee over seemingly obscure research books together and to watch people flexing their fandom muscles in fic.
But…(and you knew that was coming…)
Lately between all my responsibilities as a mom remote schooling two kids at very different grade levels who also take piano, Chinese, and ballet; a writer; an editor; a university adjunct; and the one predominantly responsible for household management, I really find myself with not enough time to do the things I want and need to do for myself—namely writing, learning Korean, and exercising. (Learning guitar has gone right out the window this year, unfortunately.)
So I’ve started trying to reclaim my time and health as it were. One way has been to have the kids attend ballet pod for six hours a week. Then, I started looking around for more ways to find time. In particular, I looked at how much time, unbeknownst to me, I was actually spending on social media and…it was shocking.
Six hours a day doomscrolling or replying to funny memes is really not how books get written.
Up until last November when I completed the novel I refer to as #gaydragons, I had given up TV for a couple years. I got back into the habit with The Untamed—for which I am not at all sorry!—but it has meant that I’ve been watching far too much TV over the last year, so I need to also reduce that portion of my screen time considerably.
While the sun and good weather last, I need to be outside more. I can feel the winter darkness creeping toward me, and between the pandemic and the pending US election, I feel fairly certain winter will be hell if I don’t prepare for it better. A thing that has kept me from exercising is what I now know is equinus deformity in my feet. I’ve been struggling with pain in my ankles for at least six months, and finally went to the podiatrist. He explained that I would be in surgery if I don’t get aggressive with this issue, so it’s back to PT for me, in addition to meds and better shoes.
Once I’ve taken care of this, I can more easily get back to walking as I was doing earlier in the summer. In just a few days, really good shoes with insoles have helped tremendously. I’m usually screaming at people to take care of their backs, but now I will also scream about feet! Take care of them. Wear shoes with proper support! Flip-flops are the feet-killers! Etc.
Another aspect of health is the mental side of things, which I’ve been neglecting since my therapist retired last October. I’m seeing someone new finally, and last week, she asked what I do for self-care. I’m honestly not really sure what the phrase means. But I can see that it is the opposite of caring for myself to sit for hours at a time doomscrolling, to feel at the end of the day like I’ve once again accomplished nothing (or the bare minimum), and to feel like time is ticking toward some horrible inevitability that might have been averted had I used it more wisely.
I will be checking in to my Facebook groups and Twitter once a week on Tuesdays and to make any announcements, should any become necessary. My DMs will remain open and you are welcome to message me there, but I may not respond quickly. I hate to miss so much, but since I want very much to focus on a new project which I hope to unveil in January, I think it best if I get my social media consumption down to a more reasonable level.
Other ways you can find me are of course at my Patreon and via subscribing to my newsletter at tiffanytrent.com. You can also email me at tltrent at tiffanytrent dot com. I will continue to post to Patreon regularly, with new stories on the 15th, and essays and book club/writing vids at the end of each month. Newsletters will still come out quarterly. It is also likely that I will post to Instagram on occasion—find me there at tltrent_books.
I look forward to checking in with you and returning in January! I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a much happier New Year for all of us!
*cue sad end credits music from the '70s Hulk show as Bruce Banner wanders off into the wilderness*