I’m going to be experimenting with a thing this December: I will be (mostly) giving up consuming fiction.

What this means:

  • I’m not going to read any fiction books
  • I’m not going to watch any TV or movies
  • I’m not going to play any video games

I’m going to allow myself the following exceptions:

  • I have a couple of updating serials I read (webcomics, a few web novels) that I will continue to keep up with as they come out (but won’t e.g. go back and read archives of)
  • I will probably watch the Dr Who Christmas Special.

Also board games are fine, as they’re fundamentally a social activity rather than novelty on tap like the above.

This isn’t a firm commitment. I might give up if I find it too hellish. It’s just an experiment. I’m writing about it partly for general interest and partly to make myself slightly more likely to stick to it.

I’m not doing this because I think there’s anything wrong with these things. I’m certainly not doing it with an intent to make this a permanent change, yikes.

The reason I’m doing this is that these are things that I can spend an unbounded amount of time on: If I’m not quite sure what to do, I’ll read some fiction. Sometimes I’ll watch TV. This means that it’s easy to put things off that I don’t want to do because there’s always something I can procrastinate with.

For example, I have been intending for literally six months to start meditating. I have books on it and everything. Have I started? Ha, no. I’ve dug my heels in so hard.

And one of the reasons for that is that it’s always something I can do later, that I don’t want to do now. Maybe not having something to fill my time with will bore me into submission make me more likely to try it.

I’d also like to get back to writing more. Despite this being my second blog post today, I’ve let the blog lapse a bit since starting my PhD. Some of that is because I now have other writing commitments, but I’d still like to fix that.

In general I would like to see what I fill my time with when I do not have an automatic source of things to reach for. I don’t expect the answer will be especially high value – I suspect it’s mostly going to be Twitter and annoying the cats – but it will be interesting to see.

Update: This turned out to be very poorly timed. I’ve given up on this for now, but will attempt to resume at some point in the new year. It seemed to work very well for a few days before disruption started, but I think needs better planning.

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