From Binge-Watch to Binge-Read as a One-way Journey
Do you see this kid above? That is my mind while reading. Happy, alive and in the zone, in the flow state. There is tremendous knowledge that comes from reading, and I have only scratched the surface.
But as is the case for other habits, reading also takes time to develop. If you want a number, I analysed my reading habit after eight months of practice.
I realised that I read even in leisure time now. It is the level of indulgence I needed with reading so that whenever I have nothing to do, my fallback option is reading, not watching videos. And by videos, I mean all of it: Netflix, YouTube, Facebook Watch, IGTV and many more that I haven’t mentioned here.
How blogging became essential to me?
Resistance will be there whenever you are trying to fit a new habit to your routine. The effort you are willing to put in overcoming them depends on how much the new practice is essential to you.
For me, writing became necessary because of the feedback I received for my first blog. I was required to submit a blog post as a project requirement for an online course I was doing. It was compulsory. As I can recall, there were eight projects, and the blogging one was at number 4.
I was giving in to fear and nervousness. I left it to submit at last. And the feedback I received for that article triggered more blogs, and it brought me here, my first writing challenge. I am on a 21-day writing streak now and plan to continue this even after this challenge is over.
The transition from Netflix was slow.
“Doesn’t matter how much filtering you do, recommender system will always tune to your preferences and flood your screen.”
Let’s face it. Netflix messes with your sleep, especially if you binge-watch at night. That is how engaging their content is. They do extensive user research, and their team of data scientists comes with such profound results that they create targeted content for each user segment.
I know how recommender systems work and how you can control your “feed” on YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and other social networks.
Although I tried to modify my feed according to my preferences, it still involved manual effort into something I didn’t know would work correctly.
It was working for a few weeks, but the content on the internet is so huge, they will fine-tune to your preferences and show you loads of information every time.
So the best alternative was to get involved in other activities.
My experiment with Medium
Medium is a slow fire. It builds up gradually, and when you reach a stage where Medium (or any blogging website you follow) is your most surfed website in your browsing history, you have reached the binge-read phase.
After I published my first blog back in December 2018, the feedback gave me the required nudge, and I ended up publishing blog posts for the remaining projects in the course too.
As I mentioned above, the blogging project was at number 4 out of 8. Following that, I created blogs for the remaining four projects also.
As I was publishing technical content on Medium, I read some articles on how to improve blog communication and from then on, moved to some abstract topics like writing flow, psychological effects of reading and how it is beneficial to your brain.
I finally quit Netflix for good.
I still used to watch Netflix during meal times at least. Just not meals, I watched while snacking too. I am such a slow eater, snacking is same as a regular meal for me.
I take time with food, enjoy it and mostly end up being the last person on the table to finish. I am dead sure about this because sometimes I had to wash dishes because of this too! 😂
I didn’t want to quit Netflix right away because there are some great shows I had wish-listed. But now that I am on my first writing challenge, my Netflix frequency is reduced from 7 times a week to zero. I don’t get time for Netflix. And now that I think of it, I don’t need it anymore.
Binge writing is a long-term goal.
“It is dynamic and I am getting closer progressively.”
I wish I could combine binge reading with binge writing and then keep this streak alive until I stop caring about it and write more than one blog every day. That is the dream. It is dynamic, and I am getting closer.
And once I start to binge write, like five blogs a day, I will share the experience of skill transfer too, from reading to writing. Till then, one blog per day is the consistency that will drive me to “5 blogs a day” phase.
This post belongs to a series of articles I am publishing in this 21-day streak. See the first one here. This one is the eighth in the lineup — 13 more to go.
To read the remaining ones, navigate to the end of the first article where there is a reference list sorted by day number.