2019 — Back to Reading and Blogging

Dan Thornton
Feb 6 · 4 min read

February 6, 2019 By DanThornton

It’s been a bit of a strange start to 2019 so far. The end of 2018 was fairly busy and stressful due to a combination of work and family commitments. And when we did finally stop for the festive season, it was an invitation to every possible illness doing the rounds to come and infect us. So plans and resolutions all got put on hold. Now it’s February, and it feels like I’m finally well enough to actually begin the year…

I’ve never found resolutions work particularly well, and I’ve seen enough psychological evidence suggesting that it’s more productive to start new habits in small and manageable ways. Rather than resolving to completely change my life, it’s been better to do things like just not buy junk food (so it isn’t available), go and buy a vape kit and start using it (no more smoking), and start exercising on a daily basis (my small routine of simple workouts was going well until illness interfered).

There’s always things I’d like to improve in my personal life, but generally I’m pretty happy with most of the improvements I’ve made. It’s taken time and a little effort, but I’m a bit healthier, happier and confident about continuing to get a little better at various aspects of daily life.

For example, it’s now more than 18 months since I smoked a cigarette. I’m spending quality time with my son every week, and I’m fortunate enough to be in a great relationship with someone I care about very much.

The One Habit That Got Away

There is one habit which I haven’t been fulfilling. And it’s surprising as during my childhood and teenage years, I was a voracious reader. Every night ended with me devouring page after page.

But somewhere in adulthood my reading dropped — probably because my days involve so much reading and writing online that I found myself putting off relaxing with a good book.

I wanted to change that — there’s been plenty written about why books offer a different experience than online articles, so I’m not going to rehash it. But somehow, I didn’t quite get back into reading as regularly as I’d have liked.

So now the focus is back on ramping up my reading. And having some great books helps. I’ve recently finished Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, which has definitely reminded me of the value you get from settling down with a good book rather than sitting at my work desk in front of a screen. Plus, I also got back into fiction with Ready Player One.

And thanks to some very kind people sending me some of my Amazon wishlist for Christmas, I now have the following to help my reading:

Plenty of inspiration to read more in 2019…

Getting Back to Blogging

Due to work, illness, the release of WordPress 5.0 changing how blog posts are written, the need to switch hosting providers and not having had a rest from writing for my various sites in years led to a bit of a hiatus for the past few months.

Initially I felt like I’d failed by just pausing from posting on all of my sites. But given that they’re primarily side projects for pleasure at the moment, I also felt like I’d burned out. Having taken on more work, and devoted more time to family life, I’d had less time to dig out inspiration, less time to sit and write without feeling like I’d finished enough client work, and feeling increasing unwell wasn’t helping…

But it’s turned out to be a good thing. Traffic to my sites hasn’t disappeared overnight. I’ve been able to rest and recuperate. And focusing on client work has kept my business and income at the level required for a reasonable standard of living.

And now I have the itch to make progress again, I’ve had time to think about how I can do it more effectively. My aim is to create more things worth sharing, and to build up my sites to become a more sustainable, productive collection of titles that people really enjoy and want to be part of.

Plus it’s obvious that the new Gutenberg WordPress editor is here to stay, so it’s time to really get to know it for my client work, and my own sites. I’ll be sure to share tips and guides on TheWayoftheWeb as I discover more.

So 2019 really starts here. And I can’t wait!

Originally published at danthornton.net on February 6, 2019.

Dan Thornton

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Founder @thewayoftheweb - content, marketing and technology. Also writes, blogs, loves motorcycles, eats steak tacos and reads a lot