On Lent, and My 40 Days of Silence

By JT Ellison

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Tomorrow begins my 40 Days of Silence, as I like to refer to it. Every year, I exit from the social networking sphere for Lent. It gives me a chance to get my feet back under me, get a lot of work done, and allow me a bit of time to reflect, read, and write.

The first year I left social networking for Lent, I wrote 60,000 words. It was enough to prove to me social networking DOES affect my writing time and creativity, so I decided to repeat the experiment annually.

Without Facebook and Twitter, I find myself more focused, more present. It’s as simple as that. Coming off a book launch, revising the next book with Catherine, working on the secret project, finishing another secret project, and prepping for Sam #4, I need some headspace to make it all work. And honestly, a little time away can’t hurt. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

I made seeing people IRL (in real life) a priority for this year, and as much as I miss the convenience of having everyone in one place, my friends and I email, text, and (gasp!) talk on the phone, so I won’t be too separated from them. And I’m getting antsy, not working on a new book. My brain needs to focus on creating again.

I’ve done quite a bit of preparation for this fast, so many of you won’t even realize I’m gone. I’m toying with the idea of posting links while I’m away through my Buffer – things I’ve read and found interesting. But it feels like that might be defeating the purpose. (Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments – post links, or don’t post links. It’s all automated and ready to go, but a single click can turn it off again.)

I hope you’ll understand my silence, and cheer me on in my quest. Lent is about denial, giving up things that are precious to you. Yes, jellybeans and wine would be a stellar second choice, but social networking is even dearer to me. I’m replacing my SN time with exercise and reading, hopefully rebooting my Italian lessons. I have a retreat on the books, and a trip to see Catherine. I plan to return in April leaner, more fluent, with a ton of words under my belt.

I will be updating the blog here occasionally, and if there’s any great news that can’t wait, I’ll certainly come share. I wish you all the best in your Lenten endeavors, and whatever else you’re setting your mind to these days.

xo, JT


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