Sunday Salon: Where I’ve Been, What I’ve Been Doing, and Why

by Erin on April 15, 2012

The Sunday Salon.com

Happy Sunday, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Sunday Salon. In fact, if you stop by fairly regularly you might have noticed my posting here on Erin Reads has slowed down quite a bit. If you’re a fellow book blogger, you might also have noticed I’ve not been making the comment rounds lately. I apologize for cutting back without explanation. Better late than never, though, right?

I’ll do my best to explain. The story starts out pretty predictably — new job, no time, etc. — but then it goes somewhere I’d never have predicted three months ago!

The Predictable Part

Toward the end of last year, as I mentioned at the time, I got a job. I’d been planning on part time but couldn’t turn down a full time bookstore job. That, on top of school, left me with little time for reading, much less blogging and commenting. Then I found myself drawn almost exclusively to nonfiction in what little reading time I did have, and that’s a type of book that’s sort of outside my reviewing comfort zone. Hence, the slow trickling away of my book thoughts posts.

The Twist

Then, about a month ago, I happened across a book at work, completely by chance. While deciding which section to shelve it in, I ended up poking through it. I bought it, devoured it, and — yes, I know this sounds a touch nutty — was changed by it. Appropriate, isn’t it, that what I’m about to relate started with a book?

The book was The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (and it is not as out-there as it sounds!). It shifted my perspective, snapped me out of the spot where I’d been stuck, and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to…well, get my butt in gear.

I realized: this is it. These tiny moments that make up each day are my life. I don’t want to simply exist as they pass by unnoticed. I don’t want to think “I’ll get to that someday.” How we spend our moments is how we spend our lives, and there is so much I want to do in my life.

Once I started really thinking about them, I realized I have so many interests and goals I want to pursue. When I let myself put them into words instead of half ignoring them, they came pouring out. I was amazed — so many things I hadn’t even realized I wanted.

What’s Next

I’ve learned from running Erin Reads that writing publicly about something both keeps you focused on that thing and makes you highly accountable for keeping up with it. So, I’ve been working hard to set up another set of sites and profiles for this massive, life-changing project of chasing down dreams of all sizes. It’s my space to put myself out there, experiment, reflect, commit, and hopefully inspire and interact with others. It’s a bit scary to be so open, so vulnerable, without the protective shield of books to hide behind. But that’s part of the point.

I’m not shutting down Erin Reads. In fact, Reading Buddies will continue (I love that project!) on its monthly basis, and I very much hope many of you will join me in the months ahead. For now, though, I’m giving myself official permission to let go of regular reviews in order to focus on my new project. I am so, so excited. I’m smiling as I type this. I can hardly wait.

Of course, anyone who would like to join me on my journey is warmly invited to do so. I have found a home in the book blogging community and would love to have a piece of it with me as I set out. But if you’re here for the books, I’ll understand if you prefer to stay here or even part ways. No hard feelings.

Where You’ll Find Me

Okay! So without further ado, I’d like to invite you to my new online home: Remade By Hand! There’s a post up today on the site about how I chose the name, if you’re curious. Here are the links:

I already have a project going with my husband through the site. We’re calling it Project 365 x 2. Every day for a year, we’re each getting rid of one thing that’s outlived its usefulness in our lives, posting photos onĀ Facebook. There will be many more projects to come.

Also, only somewhat related, who uses Instagram?? I was so excited when they finally launched the Android app, but I feel a little like I’ve been left in the dust. How do I find people? Anyone want to be friends on there (or whatever the Instagram equivalent is)? Come find me! I’m…surprise!…remadebyhand!

So anyway. That’s why I’ve been MIA and what I’ll be up to, at least for the foreseeable future. I wish you a lovely Sunday.

What are your plans for today? And of course…read anything good lately?

Care to share?

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Join the conversation!

31 comments
Alita
Alita

I'm so very late, but wanted to say best of luck in your new adventure! Your excitement is contagious and I'm looking forward to seeing how this new venture grows and evolves :)

Joanna
Joanna

Boy, am I glad I stopped by and saw this! I'm on a similar journey and loved visiting your new blogging home. You may have even inspired me to post about my journey too!

ti
ti

Awwww... too bad about the book blog, but I am sort of intrigued by your current challenge. I hate clutter. I get rid of stuff everyday but I like how you are documenting your purge. Good luck. I may pop in every now and then.

Charlie
Charlie

Exciting project and exciting times. You're right in that if we are to do things we have to stop thinking and just do it.

Incidentally, your new blog will quite possibly open up huge opportunities by itself which is also very exciting!

Care
Care

Goodness! LOTS happening. I'm very excited for you and congrats on the job and inspirational projects. I sent you an email... I just pinterested you and will run over to see the blog (and tumblr?)

And when you figure out instagram, let me know. I'm kinda stumped. I've only figured out how to send things to twitter but it won't let me add any caption so I'm most confused...

Christina
Christina

I've been less involved in book blogging as well, and I'm glad to hear that your slowdown in posting/reading has been because of a happy reason. (I've disappeared largely because of school work.) I love the idea of 365x2! I'm following your progress on tumblr. I donated about a 1/3 of my wardrobe last week and I'm sure I will find more clutter to get rid of as I pack up my room for the semester.

Trish
Trish

Already subscribed. I wish you the best of luck, Erin. I've been trying to live this way as well lately and it's been fun experimenting and seeing where life takes me (and my family). Can't wait to see what you have in store!

Jillian
Jillian

I strongly recommend you read Henry David Thoreau's Walden at some point. I think his work might really resonate with what you're doing right now. Cheers!

Jenners
Jenners

How exciting for you!! Your enthusiasm for this new project just shines through. I'm anxious to check it out. And I love your project of getting rid of stuff. Lord knows my family needs to do that.

Steph
Steph

What an inspiring post! As you may have read over at my much neglected blog, Tony and I are currently planning to take an extended 12+ month trip once I finish grad school, which is really not conventional! Even though I'm really excited for it, I also am terrified to do something so unexpected and unlike anything I've ever done before (I've always been incredibly responsible and "career driven"). It sounds like I could get a lot out of The Art of Non-Conformity, so I will certainly check it out. And I'll also be stopping by your new site too! It's wonderful to see that you're throwing yourself into something that you're so passionate about!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)
Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

This sounds like a really great and fun new project for you, but like everyone else I'll miss all of your book reviews! The Project 365 x 2 effort sounds awesome. I have a ton of clutter that I want to get rid of, but it can feel overwhelming sometime. I'm looking forward to following along with your new efforts.

Colleen
Colleen

Wow - what a project! Congrats on this new direction!

Buried In Print
Buried In Print

I, too, will miss your thoughtful commentary on all the books you're reading, but I suppose you'll be making my life (i.e. my TBR list) a little lighter in the process, along with your efforts to make your own life lighter. :)

I've subscribed to your new blog to follow along with your progress: it sounds like you're tremendously excited and that's contagious, right?!

Marie
Marie

sounds like a great project. i've been slowing down with blogging lately too. i'm wondering if it's outlived its usefulness in my life LOL. anyway this sounds wonderful and enriching, and something you'll probably turn into a book one day!

Megan
Megan

I love it when a book proves to be totally life-changing, because we all know and believe that they *can* be.

I love the sound of Project 365. I often feel like I'm owned by my stuff instead of the other way around, and it's definitely a project to get out from under it. As a matter of fact, yesterday I got rid of at least a hundred old magazines that I'll never read and tried on a significant percentage of the clothes that I own and offloaded a bunch of stuff that doesn't fit anymore. It feels great, plus you don't have to worry so seriously about your house collapsing... =P

Good luck with your new project, I hope it helps you live the kind of life you really want. :)

Anita
Anita

Yeah, Erin! How exciting!

I'm sorry to hear that you'll still be posting less here -- your book reviews are always a pleasure to read -- but I'm really happy to hear that it's for a positive reason, and that you've got a new project that's inspiring you! :-)

Erin
Erin

I'm glad too!! Yay! I'd love to read about your journey :-)

Erin
Erin

Wow, I wish I could automatically declutter every day! For me, I have to really commit to something like decluttering to actually make it happen. Having a public project with guidelines and accountability and all that is great.

Erin
Erin

I'm so bad about thinking. And researching. I get stuck researching things and then never actually *do* them. I'm trying to get better about that :-)

Erin
Erin

Thanks, Care! As for Instagram...I don't really get it yet, either. I like the pictures I can make and that's as far as I've gotten. I had it set to auto-post images to Twitter, but like you I couldn't add a caption, so I turned that off. I found once I'd uploaded the photo to Instagram (without auto-posting it anywhere), I could then "share" it to various sites and add whatever text I wanted. I think :-)

Erin
Erin

I can definitely understand the time constraint thing. Hopefully you're still getting to read a bit, at least! That's awesome that you donated such a huge chunk of your wardrobe! I'm inspired. I really need to do something similar. Moving all the time can be a pain, but it does force you to reevaluate your stuff.

Erin
Erin

Aww, thanks so much, Trish! I need to get back to keeping up with you guys. It sounds like you and I are on similar wavelengths, which is always fun. I miss my blogger friends! One of my {re}made by hand projects will definitely involve getting better at staying in touch. :-)

Erin
Erin

So happy to hear that, Jillian, because I just picked up a copy on audiobook from the library a few days ago. Not sure if the audio will work for me on that one, but if not, I will be sure to seek out a print copy. Thanks!

Erin
Erin

Thanks, Jenners :-) I'm glad the enthusiasm is evident. Sometimes it feels like I just can't get it into words. The getting rid of stuff thing seemed like a good place to start!

Erin
Erin

...sad to admit, but I've totally been neglecting all you wonderful bloggers whose writing brings me so much happiness (seriously). I missed that post, but HOW EXCITING!!!!! I'm going to go find it and read it. You should check out The Art of Non-Conformity -- one of the goals the author has is to visit every country in the world before he turns a certain age (can't remember exactly which). I think it's amazing you guys are doing that. I hope you'll be keeping us apprised of your adventures, at least once in a while!

Thanks for your support and kind words. I'm really excited :-)

Erin
Erin

Aww, thanks. They might come back, once I've had some official time away. I think 365 x 2 is a great way to start with the new project, since it's (a) kind of easy, at least in theory, and (b) involves clearing the old stuff so new things can flourish :-)

I'm excited you're following along! It will be great to have some of the bloggers I've gotten to "know" a bit stopping by.

Erin
Erin

Thanks, Colleen! I'm really excited :-)

Erin
Erin

Hehe, yes! Fewer recommendations! I'm helping people declutter their lives by...uh...not contributing any more titles to their TBR lists... ;-)

I'm so happy you'll be hanging out over on {re}made by hand! I really hope to be contagious, at least where the inspiration and such is concerned. (Pretty sure you can't catch a cold via the Internet...) Thanks for your support!

Erin
Erin

I know that feeling, yet I'm reluctant to let it go :-) I hope you find where blogging fits in for you!

Erin
Erin

So true, Megan. This is the first book to really have changed mine, and now...any book is a candidate for a repeat experience!

I completely know what you mean re: being owned by your stuff. I have so much stuff I don't need. I'm a clinger -- once I have it it's so hard for me to let it go! Right now I'm working on identifying all the excuses I make and levels on which I hang onto stuff and figuring out ways to counter them all. There are more of them than I thought :-)

Go you for getting rid of so much stuff! It's amazing how good it feels, isn't it? And structural stability is always a nice perk...

Thanks for your kind words and your support!

Erin
Erin

Aww, thanks, Anita! I may end up back at the book blogging thing, if (a) I find I have more reading time, and/or (b) I feel refreshed after some official time away. I can't imagine books won't figure into my grand plans to change my life :-)