Cutting the Fat

Well, I know it’s been some time since I have written a post but the last couple of months has been challenging on a personal level. I had to step back and reevaluate some things, so there’s been a void at RIU HQ and at other places connected to it. But now I am recharged and ready to go forward with a different outlook and a slight but pronounced increased focus.

One of the things I have been wanting to do for some time is to read more. My mind has been in a couple of different places and I don’t get a chance to read until late at night when I got to bed. I’m only able to read a couple of pages before my eyes decide it’s time to shut down. But I did something in terms of disentangling my life, which I believe will help me tremendously in not only simplifying things to focus on my goals and plans but to clear out the clutter so my vocation will be less noisy.

First, let me go back a bit.

I found out sometime in April that my cable bill was going to go up by $10. Now the only reason I have cable is that is what my Internet service is on. I do not have cable television and I do not have a cable phone which I think is ridiculous in the times in which we live. When you can get all of your entertainment needs on services like Netflix or Prime Amazon, cable television almost becomes obsolete or moot at best. Same with a phone. Everyone has a cell phone now and seeing someone own a home phone is like sighting a dodo bird.

I remember when Netflix first came out in the late 90s/early 2000s. I become aware of them and was still going to the video shop to grab movies on the weekend. When I became aware of Netflix, I decided to try them out. That this was at a time when they were sending DVDs through the mail and their service was two-day delivery or something like that. I don’t remember the exact year but it was around 2005 or 2006 when I signed on officially. But when they went to live streaming of content, that was a clear sign for me to stop using the video store as a source of cinematic entertainment, so I did. I’ve been with Netflix for a good 13 to 14 years. Needless to say, they have gotten quite a bit of money for me.

Netflix not too long ago announced that its rates were going up as well. Now, Netflix is still a steal no matter which way you slice it. Amazon Prime is just as competitive and I still have that but I did something that I didn’t think that I would ever do last week.

I canceled my Netflix subscription.

Now, it’s not because of the price hike of Netflix but it was a price hike by my cable company. But that was more of a catalyst than the reason. The reason was that I wanted to do something every writer should do much of which is read. I have quite a few books just sitting on my bookshelf and in other areas of my house. My genre of specialty is superhero-type material and supernatural suspense and I have probably close to 130 books just in the superhero genre alone. However, I’ve only read a handful of them. I just finished one a couple of weeks back and I will be posting a review of that here soon.

I also noticed that it was becoming a distraction even to have Netflix and Amazon Prime video at the same time. So something had to go and I wasn’t really impressed with the programming that Netflix had been coming out with four a good while now. So I stay with Amazon Prime and that’s all I have right now.

In addition to getting rid of my Netflix, I went ahead and decided that the only time that I would be watching any television-like material would be on the weekends. So Monday through Friday, I will not be watching any entertainment whatsoever. Even though I sometimes get ideas from them, I am convinced that television makes you stupid and too much television makes you really stupid.

To top it all off, I just miss reading. I love books and words are my stock and trade as a writer. When you’re self-publishing, you’re doing 5 million things at once and that can be overwhelming. Sometimes you want your mind to just shut off and someone to take over the reins of your imagination for you which is what television does. But with a book, you create the world as you interpreted in front of your eyes as you turn the page. Your imagination is constantly at work. I miss that and I want to stay in that zone so that my fiction writing will be more sharp and creative.

When I had done this before, it was as an experiment for a month’s time. I remember the experience. It worked out great. Therefore, I’ve decided that this will be the normal fare for my life now. You live, the expectation is that you would learn (though that’s not always the case), and from that, you would grow. Some are a little slow on the uptake. Slide me into that category. But as the old saying goes, better late than never in this instance.

Thank you for your indulgence. Time to get back to work here. God bless.

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