Well, the title of this blog post might be a bit misleading. I'm still in China. I've been on the Internet, didn't impose an Internet ban on myself or anything. But it's true that I haven't really been active on book-related stuff in the past month or maybe even two. Yes, work took over nearly all of my waking hours (seriously, I was in the office 12 hours a day during the last two weeks before the Regular Decision college application deadline. I will now severely criticize any and all authors who get any part of the process wrong, or "tweaks" deadlines and notification dates to suit their plot, as I have said many years ago), but it wasn't just that.
Quite frankly, I had a crisis of faith.
It's probably still ongoing. I still catch glimpses of nasty blogger-reader-author-publisher shenanigans on Goodreads, Twitter, on blogs, Facebook... everywhere I turn, something was happening that caused me to lose a little more hope in humanity. That, on top of my "real life" of living in Shanghai, China, set me spiraling into God-knows-what direction. I'm not a city person, and China is currently in a state of trying to figure out its place in the world and in contemporary history, and that apparently involves some moral crises. I seriously contemplated getting rid of a lot of things that I was scared was weighing me down: the social "face" I was trying to keep up on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, even Goodreads. I've barely even answered emails for the past several months. (Sorry about that, everyone who's tried to contact me.)
The trouble is that social media has become such a fixed part of our lives today that it's really hard to remove yourself entirely. So, no, I won't quit the Internet entirely (although that's not completely out of the question at some temporary point in the future), but I've been rethinking my boundaries, what I'm willing and not willing to put out on the Internet, what I'd rather keep to myself. I'm trying to remove as much negativity from my life as possible, and most of the negativity, I've learned, comes from me worrying too much about what others think of me. (Yes, I'm a college graduate and I still feel that way. This is why YA and I will never fully break up.)
This affects--or will affect--my blogging because I am going to take a step back from the networking/negotiations part of it and just do my own thing for a while. I need to get back into the feel of blogging, and I don't want it to become yet again something that stresses me out because of this obligation to this author or that obligation to that publisher. So I'm going to take it slowly. I'll blog when I want, what I want, and I'll stop when I want to also. I'll be online when I want, and I'll not be online when I don't want to. This sort of stuff seems really stupidly basic, but I feel like I've gotten frazzled to the point where I need to lay out these very basic rules for myself in a concrete manner. I'm not looking for acclaim or recognition or notoriety right now, because I'm not in the state of mind where I can take those sorts of expectations, whether external or internal.
So... a tentative wave of hello to you. :)