On Being Unplugged

So for Reasons, I decided to spend this last weekend unplugged. The rules were no cell, and no cheating by using my computer or iPad to check email, Twitter, texts, Instagram, etc. Netflix and Spotify were allowed (I’m not that strong).  From Friday night to Sunday evening, I would live off the grid, ala the 2000s and early 2010s.

Friday night was fine. I was ready to go to bed when I turned my phone over. It wasn’t too bed. But Saturday; well, Saturday taught me somethings.

I woke up Saturday, hot and tired. I had no idea what time it was and no idea what the temperature in my room was. Should I get up? I had no idea. Was it 7:30, 9. or 12? I decided to get up. Normally, I scroll through my social media first thing in the morning. But without a phone, I just got up.

But without social media distracting me first thing, I managed to start reading and got about 4 solid, uninterrupted hours in. So the first lesson of being unplugged: productivity goes up. Which I knew. But there it is.

After lunch it was time to run the weekend errands. And that was when I learned my second lesson: I spend a lot of time doing things I find boring. While we were at Lowe’s and Home Depot, I kept looking down for my phone. You don’t realize how often you do boring things until you have to pay attention.

By the end of Saturday, I was kind of cranky. While I had enjoyed my morning, I felt bored most of the afternoon. And I wasn’t a super fan of interacting with people without my phone to escape to. And I was still tired.

So I wasn’t too optimistic that Sunday would be that great as I went to bed Saturday night. I took a PM pain med and conked out.

But Sunday! Sunday!

I woke Sunday, feeling refreshed. Again, no cell so no idea about time or temp, but this time, I knew what to expect. I came out, had a nice breakfast, and then set up to read a fun book.

We had the usual quiet morning, had lunch, read, and then went swimming. But this is when I noticed the third lesson of the unplugged weekend: when you aren’t constantly checking your phone and seeing the time, you don’t feel anxious to get everything in.

I normally feel upset that I didn’t do every thing on my to-do list. I’ll get alot done, but still feel unproductive. But when you aren’t checking it constantly, you can focus more on what your doing and enjoy the activity more, instead of looking a head to the next to-do item.

By Sunday night,  I was kind of sad that being unplugged was over. And when I first turned my phone, the stress came rushing back. I had so many notifications! I’m an impatient person so I feel the need to check everything as they come in. But this unplugged weekend showed me that I need to step away more often to enjoy life.


Slight Change Coming to This Blog

Hi, everyone!

With my recent change in job comes a change to the blog. While I still **plan** on doing reviews and industry observations when I can, I will be adding an agent section. I intend for this to be a place where you can find my thoughts on agenting, and more about my professional tastes.

Look for a blog post to kick that off soon!

Working Away

Hi guys, I working away in this corner of the world. Juggling a lot of different types of reading and wishing I had more energy to blog more (but also in general).

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If you have been wondering why I am not as active as I once was, reading middle grade books is a large part of that. My bosses had asked that I look to grow my middle grade reading and  now I’m actually toying with the idea of expanding the blog to cover middle grade books, or just create a middle grade blog to chronicle my adventure.

Not sure if that is something y’all would be interested in seeing or not.

Anywho, there are a few new posts coming in the next three weeks so enjoy!

Me, The Professional Reader

So it has been a long time! WordPress has changed yet again, the New Year is underway, and I am trying to keep up. If you have been following this blog then you know there are a lot of good books out there that I am dying to read, but alas duty calls elsewhere.

My TBR pile as of this morning.

One of my resolutions for the new year is to prepare for the future. As you know, I love my job and the career path I am on. And soon (hopefully) I will get to actually start acquiring books and building stories with authors. And as a result of our connected world, this blog will be found and tied back to me and my job.

Isn’t that great? Agents, authors, industry professionals can all find this blog and discover the type of books I am drawn to and wish I had worked with.

So what does this all mean for me as a reader?

Glad you asked.

It means that if you see a tweet from me on Manuscript Wishlist, I have to read with an eye to the author’s writing (WARNING: this is a industry only hashtag, but it is fun to look through for readers to see what editors and agents wished they had coming across their desks). I work with two imprints: Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books, and as a result, the books I can acquire must fit with those imprints. So while I do love a great commercial book, like the Gossip Girl series, I have to have an eye for the creative direction of my imprints. Atheneum is the more literary driven imprint, and McElderry falls in the middle with commercial titles and literary titles. The difference between literary writing and commercial writing is like sampling fine chocolate.

Another great way to understand me as a reader is to check out my Pinterest. If you do, you might notice I am all over the map: fantasy, darker stories, humor, historical fiction, contemporary romance, etc. I love it all, except graphic abuse stories. I extremely picky about those since they hit you right in the feels.

I can hear some of you asking, “Natascha, this is great and all, but why should I care if I don’t work in publishing?”

Great question! And the simply answer is that this is great way to learn more about my reading tastes, and the types of books you will likely find on this blog.

And with that I will wrap up this post. Stay tuned for more as I continue my writing weekend. Christmas was productive and I have posts to get up. 🙂

Shamless bookstragm shot. You know you love it 🙂