Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quitting -- The Good Kind

So I've decided to quit. That's right. You read it right. I'm quitting.

Here's what I've given up in the past couple of months.

1. Farmville and Cafe World. I told myself to give it 15 days. Cold turkey. If I missed it too much, I could go back.

I haven't played since April 8.

2. Forums. I just decided to get off all the forums I visit. Just last week I decided this. I went into forced forum hibernation on Wednesday, June 23. I told myself 30 days. So far, I don't miss it.

3. I've quit a third thing -- a huge thing. It terrifies me, yet liberates me at the same time. When I can share, believe me, you'll be the first to know.

So what do I do instead? Twitter, Facebook (no games!), blogging and get this -- WRITING.

I'm sitting here at 9:50 PM, wondering what I should do. I open a new tab, and see all these places I usually go. Most of them are off-limits now.

So I do what writers do. I write. Last week I wrote about 10K, and that's about 10K more than I've written in a very long time.

What could you quit and be better off for? I challenge you to do it. Be a quitter. The good kind.

78 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

I quite facebook games a while ago, though I must admit I enjoyed Mafia Wars while it lasted! Something I could quit now? Hmm ... I wish I could quit my job, but a more positive thing would be to quit not exercising.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh gosh. I SO have to quit playing billiards on Facebook. I'm sure I'd get a TON more writing done!

lynnrush said...

Nice job! I never got into the games on Facebook, thankfully. I hear they are addictive.

I've had to give up a couple loops. The emails were distracting. I'm glad I did. Freed up more time.

Be a quitter. . . Love that.

Christina Lee said...

Hitting the email refresh button, maybe? *sigh* But I've gotten better, darn-it!

Good for you! It's freeing isn't it?

Natalie Aguirre said...

I already don't play games or watch much TV. I don't have time. There's not much for me to cut but limiting my blogging time so I have more time to write. I'm holding back on my decision on whether to start a blog because of this. I have to get myself into more writing time first.

I wonder what else you are quitting. Is it your job? I'm like dying of curiosity. I guess that means you are a great writer because I can't wait to know.

Vicki Rocho said...

I've quit the games and am TRYING not to start any new ones. They're most addictive in the beginning.

I could really quit checking email a thousand times a day, that'd be pretty liberating!

Mary said...

I'd like to quit cutting the grass but the city has an ordinance.
Joking aside. I'm quitting saying yes to things I don't really want to do. I still slip (only been a month) but I actually feel good when I say "no." I used to be cranky when I didn't really want to be doing something.
And like you I write more and even had time for a seminar!
Best of luck with your other "Quit."
Mary
Giggles and Guns

Cruella Collett said...

You just became my hero!
I want to do this. I need to do this! But everytime I try, I find myself clicking on the dreaded Internet Explorer icon, and here we go again... Besides, what I've spent the most time on lately have been blogs, and I keep telling myself that is networking...

Starting Thursday I will give it a try, though. I will, I will!

magolla said...

When I started a MG story in May AND finished it in 19 days (55K) I still played the games. My blog hopping was curtailed, and I kept the games until AFTER I finished my daily word count (usually 3000-4000 words).

I did 20 minute writing sprints with a 10 minute break between them. This was the most efficient and proficient that I've EVER been.

Kay said...

that's the thing about quitting something, you have to find something in place of it...

quit the bad, do more of the good.

writing is a great substitute!

Deb said...

You _go_! I've quit forums, Paradise Island (a while back on that one actually), and there are a couple of other things I can't remember now. Heh, if I can't remember them I guess they aren't missed, lol.

Until fall it's reading, writing and reading blogs and twitter.

Theresa Milstein said...

10K?! That's amazing. Good for you!

Now that I think about it, I haven't seen Facebook updates for games in a while.

It's funny how the life around writing can take over the task of actually writing. Before the blogosphere, Facebook, online games, and Twitter, what did writers do to distract themselves?

Anne said...

Is that why you didn't accept my neighbor request? Okay I feel better now. :)

Paul C said...

You make quitting sound like a virtue. I have almost quit Twitter for several months. I found it was quite peripheral and didn't serve much of a purpose in expanding my network.

salarsenッ said...

Good for you, E. But don't forget about that balance we spoke about. It can teeter either way.

I've quit going out for coffee--it was tough, but I've survived--and cut to three days posting on my blog. It's different, but I'm adjusting.

Joanne Brothwell said...

I quit TV a few years ago, and wow - what a difference! Now, instead of mindlessly staring at a box on the wall, I write!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I should really quit TV watching but with Big Brother coming up, I'm not sure I could do it...perhaps just one show (or two..)

Linda Kage said...

Hey, I quit all my Facebook games too. Back in February (but not quite cold turkey). I really does free up a lot of time, huh?!

And FYI, I gave you an AWARD on my blog today. Thank you for all your helpful posts.

Liza said...

Hooray for the 10K!

Kelly said...

Good for you, Elana!
Hmmm, I've already given up lots of TV time (I do miss it, but the DVR allows my shows to be there when I want them).
I got up early to write today (which I never do!).
I do need to blog 1-2 times a week I think. I love reading other blogs, love it! But I need to set a time limit for them, so I can get to my writing.

Sarah N Fisk said...

I gave up Farmville, Mafia Wars and Farkle too! More out of necessity than to make room for something else, though. I'm hoping once everything settles down from moving and a huge project for the Foundation, I'll have more time to write because of it.

Also, we haven't had our cable hooked up since we moved and I'm loving it. I'm not sure how much longer my sister will last though.

Lisa and Laura said...

OMG, what is this mysterious third thing? If it's refreshing e-mail I'm going to be REALLY impressed.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hmmm... I wonder what #3 could be?

I would be a lot better off if I could quit:

1)night time snacking (three snacks after dinner is way too many)

2)worrying, fretting, whining, and comparing myself to others

Candyland said...

Yeah E! What's with the mystery? What'd you quit? Huhhuhhuh?
I think I can safely quit my pretend smoking. It's just extra air and I'm sure I look retarded doing it. I'll even go so far as to say I'll quit cold turkey with no pretend nicotine patches *GASP*

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I should quit playing on Pogo. I bet if I did I would get in a couple more hours of write time. Darn internet games!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Can't wait to hear what the mysterious thing is.

I need to quit constantly checking my inbox. Honestly, I'm not checking to see if an agent has responded to my query. I keep checking comments to my blog and emails from my friends.

I need to quit saying, "Just one more blog," or "just one more tweet." Those of the biggest drain of time. Though I am getting better with Twitter. Some days I only spend 2 minutes on it.

Okay, back to my unplugged week. ;)

Lily Cate said...

I'm this close ' ' from cancelling the cable.
That's the biggest time suck in my life right now. And there isn't a single show I actually watch regularly.
Internet isn't so bad, since I haven't bothered to hook up the wireless connection on my laptop, meaning I have to drag it into the office and plug it in to play online.
Anywhere else I go, I can only use it for work.

Katie said...

Oh my gosh! I want to quit something now too! Way to go setting the trend of quitting distracting things. I love it! Go go go!

Jonathon Arntson said...

After reading this whole post I wondered where the good quilting was. I think I need to start getting an appropriate amount of sleep from now on so I can right.

Okay, so I have already eased back on blogging. There's no effing way I'll ease back on Twitter. I think what I can do is QUIT being sporadic about it and start having my fun at scheduled times. That way I won't get consumed by them and stay up until 3 trying to catch back up on my homework. Okay, yup.

lbdiamond said...

By quitting forums, you mean QT??? I must admit, I've avoided forums because it can totally mess with my head. I get all down on myself for not getting requests, etc, when I know I need more practice before I can even get to that point. That whole idea of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence comes into play, big time! On the other hand, without the forums, I would never have met all the fantastic people who have taught me sooooooo much about writing. Catch 22, I say.

loislane said...

Checking email. I do it way too often. Waiting for agents to get back to me on my query feels like a girl waiting to be asked to the prom. I need to get over it and it will happen.

Mary Campbell said...

Yay - you're writing. I need to quit being lazy. I need to quit feeling sorry for myself and get to work.

Claire Dawn said...

I'm a total blogaholic! But I'm pretty good now about stayign off the forums. Honestly, I've learned oodles and oodles on there, and now I'm at the point where there isn't that much more I can learn unless I experience it for myself, but I'm not yet experienced enough to give "expert" advice.

I wrote 4000 words today. YAY me!

Regina said...

Thanks for the motivational post. I need to quit procrastinating. That will be my goal. I need to finish edits, and WIPs, but loosing focus.

It helps to see someone else's motivational battles to infuse us to do something about our own.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

So much I need to quit. So much I'd like to quit....

But I'm dying to know what that third thing is now. If you tell us caffeine, I might be a little disappointed. Not that caffeine isn't awesome.

Elana Johnson said...

LB - I totally quit QTF. It's just for 30 days, right? But I did it. No forums. RS, QT, yahoo groups, blue boards, all of it. I agree that it's a great place to meet like-minded people, and I encourage that, because that's where I found a lot of my betas and biggest supporters.

But dude, the amount of time I spent there was unreal. And I didn't write, like, at all. So something's gotta give.

Especially because someone just got edits....

j.m. neeb said...

Wait, what does this all have to do with quilting???

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Good for you! Knowing when things are getting in the way of other priorities n' such. Awhile back I quit FB and Twitter for awhile, and now I visit them occasionally. I'm still trying to figure out the balance of it all so that I get writing done. What I really need to quit...is the second guessing. Honestly, it's my biggest obstacle right now. I need to quit my own brain in a way.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I've purposefully not started a bunch of things for this very reason :) I use FB but don't do games, blog a lot but don't do forums, haven't joined Twitter. My job and kids keep me pretty busy offline and I try to write when I can... if I added those distractors, I'd never get anything done! :) Not that I don't sometimes feel like I'm behind the 8 ball because I miss out on whatever is going on in those places and if it's good writerly stuff I guess that's my loss, but I just don't have the time. Good for you! :D

Kristi Helvig said...

You can't leave us hanging like that--I need to know what you're quitting. Is it your day job? Okay, just share whenever you can.

I'd say I'd quit checking email every five minutes, but it's been an interesting week so I don't think that will happen anytime soon. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If you've read my post today, you know I have a ton of options as far as what I need to quit. Unfortunately, if I go with the biggest time suck and least inspirational (right at this moment) it's blogging.

Tere Kirkland said...

I quit logging onto a fashion site called polyvore. Talk about a time suck. I've got better uses for my time.

Elizabeth Briggs said...

I also quit all my Facebook games. They were such a time suck!

Erinn said...

I quit all my facebook games but replaced them with commenting on people's blogs, at least this is more productive than harvesting digital crops.

Krispy said...

Oh man, good for you! I had to quit facebook/online games a long time ago. I mean, I still get sucked in every once in a while, but the trick is NEVER TO START. Once you stop, it's not that bad. Okay, that and I don't usually play long-term games. Like, they're beatable or the goal is to get a ridiculously high score so that you're satisfied no one on your f-list can top it. So I tend to play very intensely until that happens and then it's done.

So I guess the next thing I should give up is some TV shows? But it's summer, so it's not like I have anything really to watch!

Lisa K. said...

Good for you, Elana. Those Facebook games are a huge time suck. I've deleted most of them, myself, except for Farmville, but even that I only pop into quickly here and there these days rather than playing tirelessly.

I don't know that I've quit anything per se, but these days with the whole Fresh Blood contest I'm involved in, it's forced me to focus on that rather than flitting about the internet aimlessly, so that's been a good thing.

Robin McCormack said...

Quit TV except dvr Castle and Glenn Beck. I have never done or will do the facebook games. There's really isn't anything to quit online - limit yes, but quit. Nope. I gave up soda's. Does that count. :)

~Jamie said...

World of Freakin' Warcraft!

It's why I wrote a book...I had a TON of free time haha.

Eric W. Trant said...

Awesome!

I quit forums earlier this year owing to (yet another) banning.

Freaking politics. I don't discuss politics anymore, anywhere. That's off-limits.

And I gave up caffeine last year, 2009. I quit for a while, but now I allow about 1/2 a cup's worth each morning -- 50% caffeine free, 50% half-caff. I sleep better, I concentrate better, and I'm not nearly so grumpy as when I was consuming 3-4 cups each day.

- Eric

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I think I could try to blog less. My main thing has been to avoid starting anything new. I have Facebook, but don't do a whole lot with it, and so far I've managed to avoid Twitter. :-)

Angie said...

Good for you Elana! 10K words is awesome. It's amazing how much we really don't miss the stuff that's not important. I'm trying to quit late night snacking.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

When I'm in heavy writing/revision mode I pretty much quit TV. I'll pick one, maybe two shows to watch per week (preferably half hour ones) and that's it. I figure I can always wait till the DVD comes out, and then I can watch it anytime I want, with no commercials.

Very intrigued about this secret thing you've quit... The Shannon Brain is coming up with all kinds of bizarre theories. :)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

When I'm in heavy writing/revision mode I pretty much quit TV. I'll pick one, maybe two shows to watch per week (preferably half hour ones) and that's it. I figure I can always wait till the DVD comes out, and then I can watch it anytime I want, with no commercials.

Very intrigued about this secret thing you've quit... The Shannon Brain is coming up with all kinds of bizarre theories. :)

Robert Guthrie said...

I quit second-guessing.

Talli Roland said...

I haven't quit Twitter, but I have given up wasting SO much time on it.

Riv Re said...

*claps* I haven't quite quit, but I've shoved howrse.com and neopets.com to far, far away on my list.
And I try to play less solitaire now xD

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I think Elevensies would be hard for me to quit. is that a forum? but good for you for finding the time in your day!

Stephanie Faris said...

Just procrastinating in general. That seems to be hard for me!

Travis Erwin said...

You are an inspiration.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I should prob quit watching so much reality TV. I keep getting sucked in no matter how hard I try to stay away.

Congrats on quitting!

Valerie Geary said...

I love this post. I think it's important to quit things. ;) I was never much of a gamer...thank god.
When I decided to get serious about writing, I quit cable. It changed my life. I still watch the occasional network shows (I love The Office too much to quit TV altogether), but it's amazing how much free time I suddenly found sans cable! My next goal: quit fretting so much!!!

Cathy Witbeck said...

I quit chocolate. But I had to, so I guess it really doesn't count. Dang. Could have gotten me big points too. I also quit liver. That wasn't hard to do. I hate liver. I could write a poem about how much I hate liver. I think I'm better off without liver.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I think it's important to go through regular quitting cycles, hah. I've been lying really low on blogs lately - all that lurking. It does give me more time to do other things. :)

Southpaw said...

I misread your title and thought it was about quilting, which perplex me since I didn’t know there was either a good or a bad kind of quilting. I need to know the secret thing you’ve quit but don’t want to tell us. That’s a mean little tease. I’m just saying.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I quit Mafia Wars. That was a Good Decision. :)

I should quit: smoking (I've cut waaay down) watching summer reality television, splitting my split ends, and staying up too late.

Being a quitter is hard work, though. I'm proud of you!

Jemi Fraser said...

I could quit TV I suppose, but I don't actually watch it very often, it's more just background noise that helps me focus. Hmmm...
maybe I could quit marking my students' work! Okay - I'll quit it for the next 2 months :)

Corra McFeydon said...

I need to quit frittering!

(I spend far too much time checking email and surfing the social networks. I need to time myself.) :-)

- Corra

The Victorian Heroine

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to you! I'm considering quitting some things. Too much other stuff and not enough writing...

Terresa said...

You are inspiring, truly. I'm nearly off FB now, the glow is gone. What eats up my time is my 3 yr old. He needs stuff like lunch and Lego play time and park dates. Any ideas?? ;)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I played farmtown for a bit, but video type games have neer been my thing. I use up a lot of time reading blogs...I leave comments and see someone else's comment and think to myself "they sound interesting" so off I go...and often the same thing happens when I get to their blog....

I'm guessing you've given up TV.

Jai Joshi said...

Well, I could quit blogging.

Jai

Alison Stevens said...

Good for you, Elana! 10K words, while also working on the Writeoncon stuff... that's amazing!

Melanie Avila said...

Great post! (I've been reading, just not commenting)

I gave up reading celebrity gossip blogs cold turkey in December and while I've been tempted a couple times, I haven't gone back once. I feel liberated.

Palindrome said...

I quit doing dishes last week. So far I've been successful. Sure I don't have a glass to pour my milk into but I live alone so chugging from the carton is a-okay. Sure I don't have a knife but peanut butter goes on pretty much the same if you use your finger, yeah?

Heather said...

I recently quit forums too and it has freed up so much time that I'm whipping past my writing goals. I felt guilty because I love the people in these forums but I can chat with them on Twitter, so that's what I do. Twitter is quicker, easier, and takes up less of my writing time! Bravo for you being able to quit so many things!

Sydnee said...

I've been able to understand the obsession with Farmville... no, I take that back. I DO understand, which is why I've never even clicked the link for it. I don't understand why someone would willingly play something that addictive. That's a hole you definitely don't want to try to pull your way out of.

I need to quit surfing the web for pointless crap. Sometimes an innocent inquiry about the different colors of eggs leads me to an hour long study of the fertilization process... Did. Not. Need. To know that.

Katie said...

good for you! I also would like to quit forums. That and useless web browsing... its a problem. So.... I believe I will accept your challenge. Here we go.

M. Dunham said...

This was exactly what I needed to read.

Thank you, Elena. I suspect I'll be putting up a post of a similar sort of my own very soon.

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