Each week during this 31-day writing challenge, I’m dedicating one day to reflect and journal my thoughts on the weekly challenges, writing process, and any other general ideas or insights.
Weekly Challenge – Schedule Unplugged Time:
I was pretty consistent with not picking up my phone until after I had done my quiet time in the morning – I think I only missed one morning. I did a lot better with leaving my phone on the desk for a sustained time each afternoon right after my oldest got home from school, and focusing on sitting down to have snack, looking both girls in the eyes, and listening, while letting texts, etc. wait until later.
Putting my phone away an hour before bed was much harder. Like all moms, I look forward to “my time” after the kids have gone to bed. Since we got rid of cable a couple of years ago (we do have an Apple TV with several apps, just not a ton of modern shows I love), I found myself spending more time scrolling on social media in the evenings – Instagram and Pinterest are my favorites, but I can get caught up in Facebook too.
Social media isn’t bad in and of itself, and there are many positive uses for it… but as you probably well know, it can be mind-numbing, lead to unnecessary drama or feelings of discontent, and keep our relationships on a superficial vs. deeper level. Beyond the emotional/heart effects, there are also very real physical and psychological effects of looking at screens before bed. I had saved an article on this awhile back and recently re-read it over the weekend. It’s pretty sobering, and I’ll be sharing more about it in an upcoming post. So, I need to be a lot more diligent with my screen time at night. I’m thinking of setting a nightly phone alarm with a Bible verse to remind me to put it away.
Bottom line – I’m definitely a work in progress, but I can see only positive effects on myself and my family from building more discipline with when and how I spend my screen time.
On the Writing Process:
I’m a few days behind, but trying to give myself lots of grace while keeping my eye on the goal to simply finish. Trying to prioritize sleep by getting in bed at a decent time is really messing up my late night work time! So, I’m trying to be more intentional about better using my time to write (or at least start a post) earlier in the day, especially the three mornings my little 3-year-old companion is at preschool.
Several of these posts aren’t what I feel is my best writing, but I am learning so much about myself as a writer in the process. Good stuff, helpful stuff. I’m figuring out the types of posts that flow more freely vs. those that feel forced. Also, I feel like I’m beginning to make strides in figuring out who is my audience (beyond my mom and best friend, haha), and what resonates with them.
In all honesty, I’m growing a little tired of this topic. I still feel strongly about the need to talk/write about the issues surrounding our constant access to technology – and what we practically can do about it. But stringing those thoughts together in a meaningful way on a daily basis with a limited time frame – not fully possible; cue frustration and procrastination. Trying hard to take my friend and #1 encourager, Rachel’s, advice to “see it as an experiment.”
I’m shifting gears to focus on parenting in a digital age for the next week or two, which I’m super passionate about as a mom and teacher – so hopefully that passion will provide some much needed motivation to get.it.done.
Most of all, I’m continuing to pray about what the Lord wants me to do, after the 31 days are finished. I feel led to write from a faith perspective and a mom’s perspective – to bring glory to the Lord through what I share and to encourage, empower, and equip women and girls. But I have no idea what that will look like. So, I’m praying for increased wisdom and trying hard to trust His faithfulness to do His work in and through me (Philippians 2:13).
Want to read more? Check out my series on becoming more intentional with technology: