System Restored!

After 3 months with a soft social media detox, a computer in for technical repairs, and chemotherapy, it’s time to get back to the regularly scheduled program and reflect on what I did with all that free time… and does social media really warrant the amount of time we spend on it?

At the beginning of March, my computer screen suddenly went dark. I could turn the system on, but was only met with a blank display. Immediately I thought of how much it would cost for repairs, of the potential expensive replacement. Then I agonised over the loss of my files. I back up at the end of every week and the fault happened at lunch time on Friday – so a week’s worth of writing on my WIP (just over 3 chapters) was hanging in limbo. Would I get to recover my work or not? Then there’s the months’ worth of blog posts I’d worked ahead, sitting on a hard drive I can’t get access to.

I elected to take a social media break while my computer was in the shop rather than scramble and create new content immediately. It seemed like a lot of stress to put on me for no reason. And buggar trying to rewrite those chapters to my WIP from memory. The first week was strange. After being used to a tight schedule for so long, I found myself constantly sitting in my study in a Pavlovian response, ready to write, blog, scroll the socials… to an empty desk. Instead of trying to fill this time with more work, I decided to catch up on all those relaxation activities I’d been saving for a rainy day. My chemotherapy is coming to an end and the sessions a little more intense with stronger dosages, so indulgence in reading and catching up on television shows were top priority. Plus, in hindsight, a lot of the writing I was doing towards the end was word salad or stopped mid thought… the chemo brain was hitting hard and from my perspective, I didn’t notice the lapses until now. Admittedly I felt very lazy and unproductive. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a holiday, that I’m taking time to rest and recover, and get over the guilt of not having daily accomplishments.

The social media thing, I did not miss that so much. It’s lovely to keep in contact with family and friends, but did not realise how much time and head space that takes up. On my hiatus, I didn’t have to dress up and look nice every day, I could veg on the couch in trackies, without a care in the world. Maybe if I wasn’t sick and exhausted from my treatment I’d have a different attitude and miss the social interaction; but frankly, I loved the time alone where I didn’t have to put on a smile. Or comfort people because they felt uncomfortable because of what I was going through. I could be sullen and cranky all by myself, cry and get doggy cuddles; it might sound morbid, but it was heaven to revel in that emotion for a while. Purge it from my system.

I watched many (many) seasons of shows that I’d been meaning to get to, read four trilogies that have been tormenting me from the TBR shelf for years, played some video games, and slept. A lot. It kind of feels like a cheat, because now I’m well over three months in front for my book reviews… so despite doing little, I accomplished something.

I usually limit my social media to an hour, or hour and a half a day in the mornings with breakfast. And I think that is not going to change, I don’t need to be wasting any more of my day than that. But I do think I want to limit my time spent on blogging a little more – as much as I love it time spent relaxing instead of scheduling every minute of my day has left me feeling calmer and more refreshed. I have a bad habit of always trying to do too much, and taking time to just be feels important. That doesn’t mean I need to slow down with the blogging, just make sure the time I spend there count.

So I guess I’m back. The hard part of my health is behind me (fingers crossed) and even though I am still having technical difficulties, there are work arounds to keep my productivity up. But the social media break actually helped remind me of what is the correct balance – and let me reclaim time back to spend on more important things.

Have you ever done a social media break? Did it give you anything in return, like perspective, recharge the batteries, or did you miss it too much and swear never to do it again?

© Casey Carlisle 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Technical Difficulties…

meep! My desktop crashed (and the monitor – I suspect my surge protector malfunctioned and fried the hardware) it also means all my articles and book reviews organised for the next four weeks went with it… Argh! Tech gods why are you ruining my life!

That’s dramatic I know, but I get a little OCD about sticking to a schedule, and now, with that out the window I’m going to need to re-orient myself over the next few days. Should I take a forced break from blogging until the computer issue is resolved, or take a few days and start writing new posts until I can get my files back?

Luckily I have a laptop as backup, and all my WIP’s are saved in triplicate to an external hard drive. I’m just hoping that the desktop isn’t trashed. There are important files, photos, and the like I need back… but I’m sure there will be a way to recover them in the worst case scenario. I’m trying not to stress. I just hope it doesn’t cost too much in repairs.

So, I guess this is a heads-up to anyone who regularly follows my blog – that there may be a pause in my regularly scheduled posts for a short while. Look forward to getting back online soon. In the meantime, happy reading and writing everybody 🙂

© Casey Carlisle 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy New Year everyone!

Happy New Year for 2020 Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

I’ve been loving all the recaps and top 10 lists you all have been posting, I can really feel the vibe of a fresh start for 2020.

2019 was heads down bum up – stuck at a desk or glued to a screen; so for these holidays I wanted to reduce my time on devices and be present. The great thing about this is I feel like I’ve had a break, relaxed and recharged, and really enjoyed my time with friends and family. The flip side to this is that nearly everyone else I keep in contact with is through social media… and well, sorry if I went radio silent. But you were all in my heart and thoughts.

I did manage to check my email a few times, and snuck a peek at a number things in the allotted 30 mins every other day I gave myself to keep in touch (I’m not a complete philistine) and of notable mention the things that brought me joy have been:  the top reading/new release lists from https://mousaibooks.com/, https://kingdombookblog.wordpress.com/, https://doddyaboutbooks.com/, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWFZF_Twf2E&t=0s.

Happy New Year for 2020 Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Plus some holiday fun with makeup https://www.youtube.com/user/NikkieTutorials over Nikkie’s Winter Wonder Week and https://www.youtube.com/user/GlamLifeGuru. Who can’t go past a bit of joosh?

Happy New Year for 2020 Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Plus binge watching Lost in Space Season 2 and Daybreak.

Happy New Year for 2020 Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

I feel like posting a Top 10 List of my own is a bit redundant at this point, so that’s why I wanted to include a list of blogs and vlogs that gave me a bit of joy over the break.

Apart from reading what kept you entertained over the holidays – any recommendation you want to share?

Currently I’m toying with the idea of a format change up for my blog. It’s been five years of the same thing and a new tweak sounds like fun… so keep an eye out for a fresh look to the regular content. I also want to be a bit braver with my content. Fear has stopped me from adventuring into different aspects in social media. I’m starting to slip into that old mindset from before I got sick, and letting it restrict my goals and growth. I’m taking opportunity of the new year to break free and start experimenting with my online life more. It may take a month or two to get into the swing of things, but I hope breathe some new life into this blog, my creativity, and spark inspiration for fellow writers out there.

So, a big smiling hug to all and welcome to 2020. May the coming year be full of love, happiness, abundance, creativity and inspiration.

Mwah!! Casey Carlisle kiss 2020           OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A double whammy of chocolatey goodness

Easter eggs + Triple-choc birthday cake = Heaven… and other reading/writing dilemmas

A double whammy of chocolatey goodness Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

I always love it when my birthday falls in the Easter holidays – when I was younger, it meant family holidays across Australia, or a big birthday bash with just about everyone I knew, which always evolved into a massive pool party. (We may have jumped off the roof into the pool – I admit nothing)

Maybe it is time for another blowout – but, with my oldest furbaby passing days earlier, all the party spirit vanished. Guess I’ll save the big celebration to next year? So this year it was a sombre affair full of chocolate and binge watching ‘The Walking Dead.’

I am also a big believer that birthdays should last a week long – so there is more fun activities in store… shopping, dinners, presents. So it’s not going to be a depressing ‘I’m so old!’ mess.

So consequently this blog was a little quiet over the past week. No apologies. I was mourning and taking a break to celebrate another year I’ve managed to cling to this rock hurtling through space. And enjoying chocolate in its various forms. It’s a wonder I don’t have diabetes.

So now it’s back to business as usual. Before my short hiatus I was enforcing some writing sprints. I really want to finish off some projects this year. In 2015 it was all about ideas and planning, so I didn’t feel like I was achieving much. But this year I want to have at least 5 novels off to the publisher. It’s not an unrealistic goal, with 2 in the final edit stage, and 2 near completion, and another 7 plotted and over 20,000 words, I know I’ll hit the mark. Just have to stay motivated and stick to that schedule. Make sure the time I’ve blocked out to write, I actually write.

Same with editing. I just need to get it done!

Casey Working 2016 by Casey Carlisle.gif

I love it all. Writing, Editing. Blogging. Reading. Reviewing. It’s sometimes a challenge not to get distracted by any one thing and stick to the guide I’ve set for myself. On top of that, I am really interested in creating a Youtube channel around my experiences with literature. But it’s finding the type of content I want to create. I curl my lip at producing the same kind of thing that is already out there… boring. I’m not a “personality” and would like to do something that is entertaining and informative. I have a few ideas, but am stalled by perfectionism and the fact that the whole process is time consuming. At the end of the day I am an author, so the bulk of my time needs to go to writing rather than social media. Why can’t I have both my chocolate eggs and cake? I need more time in my day to achieve everything I want to. Progress always feels so slow because my expectations always exceed my ability. Grrrr!

There was no reading over the break either. Actually, I’m not too far off catching up on my reviews and being able to drop back to posting 1 or 2 a week; well, until I have another reading sprint…

Now maybe I’m still buzzing on my sugar high, but it’s forward at full speed, back to reviewing and writing feeling refreshed. Thank you chocolate. It has also made me aware of how important it is to take an occasional short mental break from writing. In the past I’d hit a wall and turn to a reading binge. Not that it’s bad, but I’m attempting to keep everything in balance and gauge my productivity. That way I will be certain of my writing habits and know how much material I can safely turn out in a given period of time. I feel it’s important to a career author to know how long it takes to write a novel. Publishers work to a timetable and like reliable artists to invest in.

A double whammy of chocolatey goodness Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

UPPERCASE lowercase banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.