Over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve been working on decreasing my time on social media because I realized how much of a distraction it was becoming with my goals, and honestly, my daily life. I now allow myself a max of 5 minutes between Insta & FB spread out over the course of a day, so sometimes it might be only a 30 second peek, which has been freeing mentally and emotionally.

Anytime I needed a “mental break” (which, let’s face it, happens a lot in motherhood and creative writing- and maybe life in general), I would scroll nonstop. Not only does it suck me in, but it’s also rarely inspiring, so it doesn’t give me any added energy to continue on with the tasks at hand. It’s also addicting. I would feel like if I didn’t look at it multiple times a day, I’d miss a big announcement or offend someone by not liking their post or saying congratulations when I needed to.

You know what I’ve realized? How much I can get done when I don’t let social media dominate my time. I’m also 100% more present in my actual life. It’s hard, though, isn’t it? Turning away from social media can lead to feelings of seclusion or being “out of the know.” But I have to trust that if anyone wants me to know something important, that they’ll reach out to me with the news or pictures. You know, like the olden days. 😉

Anyway, all of that to ultimately come on here and share my news of crushing my goals for this month. Being able to focus for once without the social media distraction is a big part of why (and my supportive husband who takes the kids while I write). I’m happy to announce that I’ve finished both “Autumn’s Return” and “The Last Look”! 🎉 These were stories that I originally set the goal of finishing by the end of this year, then by November and now, mid-October. The first one was 3 years in the making, the second 2 years in the making, so I am thrilled that the journeys of the lead characters have been finally completed (at least in book format). Both stories are currently going through varying stages of beta readers and editing to be the best they can be. By mid-November, they should be out of my hands completely for a while as they enter the publishing world. 👏🏻

There have been many sleepless nights, frustrating moments, tears (especially with “Last Look”- it’s emotionally charged), and at times, defeat over the past few years since the ideas were first formed. But now I can celebrate as the biggest part is done. Writing for publishing is not for the faint of heart because there’s never going to be a sense of instant gratification. But it’s only made me stronger and a better writer in the process, and it’ll eventually all pay off.

Thank you to everyone who has offered to be beta readers and provided feedback, the editors, and the friends/family who have encouraged me throughout this entire process. 💕 I’ll continue my 5 minute per day social media challenge at least throughout 2018 so I can look back and know that I truly gave these goals all that I could which will be reflected in my success.

Written by Lauren Eckhardt

Mama of 2 Boys, Introvert, Empath, Author of Young Adult and Women's Fiction and Marvel Maker Coach

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