Weekend reading + fewer things, deeper

This week, I came back to my blog after a few weeks away. As I wrote in a recent email to my subscribers, I’ve been ‘filling the well’.

That’s meant very little interaction with the internet, so very little reading of blogs. I’ve also, after a three week break, deleted my Twitter account (goodbye, hyper-distracting information centre) – so bang goes my main source of blog links.

As I said last year when I took a break from Twitter, I want to read fewer things, deeper. I’m tired of the scattered-ness of my reading and thus my mind, as I click around the web, following a never-ending succession of links and blinks and dancing pictures. It’s starting to make my brain feel the same way, and I’m not sure where that could lead. I’m worried for my attention span, for all of our attention spans.

So – no more.

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Still, since Em went back to her apprenticeship and I returned to Manchester, I’ve spent a couple of evenings curled up with my laptop, just reading the webs, absorbing the words of strangers and friends. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading blogs… I just want to choose quality over quantity.

Most of the links below are to longer-form writing. Pieces that require you to commit more than 60 seconds. Pieces that ask you to stop multi-tasking and to focus, for a full five minutes, maybe more, on the words and wisdom they contain.

There are also some quickies at the bottom 🙂

Allowing on a Late Summer Day – Asia Suler

Here’s an incredibly beautiful post (both words and photographs…lawd I must get a decent camera) about the act of ‘allowing’. Of simply being. Maybe you’ve read a lot about this, maybe the internet is saturated with platitudes on the topic of ‘presence’ and ‘living in the moment’. But I promise you, this one is something else. Take a few minutes to just enjoy this.

On the Intersections Between Love, Words, and Code – Lucy Zhou

Programming is hard. But then again, so is writing. I am reminded of this when my writing becomes incoherent and needs a debugger of its own, when my program resembles a stylistic mess, a conglomerate of redundancies and hasty indentations so that I can’t tell one infinite loop from the next. I can sit in front of my computer paralyzed by my need to pursue perfection at all cost, or I can just do it?—?write until a segmentation fault forces me to go back and parse through the rough draft.

Fool’s Journey: Those hard, sharp swords are symbols of your courage and strength

We all know how tough tarot’s swords cards can be. How piercing, how cold, how harsh. I don’t want to ‘pretty up’ the difficult experiences that tarot depicts so brilliantly, but in my latest for Autostraddle, I’ve presented a few ways that those swords cards can represent courage, resilience and the very human will to carry on despite sorrow and pain.


Wide Awake: A heavy sleeper’s guide to getting up in the morning – Sarah J Bray

I’ve shared this before, but if you didn’t read it, here’s another chance. It’s Sarah J Bray’s very open, very honest account of how she acknowledged, then resolved to overcome, elements of her depression. Whether you relate to that premise or not, it’s full of the kind of vulnerable common sense that’s relevant to all of us.

Card of the day: The Empress

After starting the Alternative Tarot Course, Gloom Fairy began a tarot blog. Here, they’re posting their thoughts on daily cards, and their exercises as they work through the course. I’ve loved reading these posts, but this one, about the Empress, really struck me.

It’s a card we’ve been talking about a lot on the Alternative Tarot Network – looking deeper into ideas around nurturing, (co)dependency, self care, and more. It was interesting to see how many of us struggle with boundaries in terms of caring for others and ourselves…summed up beautifully in this post.

Witch Hunt: Welcome to the Coven

The inaugural post in Mey Rude’s new witchy series on Autostraddle, in which several of us share thoughts, tips and how-tos around some of our woo-woo ways. I’ll be writing thoughts on the seasonal cycles, via the wheel of the year calendar.


A few quickies:

Theresa Reed on why that ‘bad’ tarot reading may have been a blessing.

A note of encouragement for online creatives. Thanks Carrie!

Behold! Dolores has brought the whole of the Gorgon’s Tarot to one place for you to enjoy. Hurrah!

Interested in my boat, Empress? Here’s the story so far, in pictures.

Marianne interviews Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot. I really need this deck.

Alex Franzen on why she’s not using social media. Perfectly timed as always!

Emilie Wapnick is a champion of those of us with many interests, who often find ourselves flitting from project to project, hobby to hobby. Here are her thoughts on when not to quit.

And, of course…I’ve started a wildflower blog. Because nothing helps me learn and grow when I’m cultivating an interest like having a receptacle into which I can dump my thoughts and photos.

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Finally, this poem – San Francisco Pride. Just watch these two tear it up.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!

Beth x


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  1. Oh, wow. Asia’s post on allowing hit me in all the right feels. And Sarah Bray’s post on depression and sleep and triggers and things that point to other things… yes. Thank you for this!

  2. taranikita says:

    Beth, thanks for posting. I can totally relate to what you’ve said about quality over quantity. Your post has given me more to think about in terms of how I’m using social media at the moment, and how it’s working for me. Yes to longer-form writing. That’s more my style as a blogger. It’s a little disheartening – the trend seems to be in favour of snippets and entertaining ‘lists’ (they have their place, too). But I’m one of those folks who likes to read a well thought out juicy post full of wisdom. Here’s to more consciously going about choosing what we read. Fewer things, deeper.

    • Beth says:

      Yes. Writing and reading blogs is one of my favourite pastimes – I’m happy to move away from click-click-clicking to re-learn to lose myself in longform writing.

      I do think there’s a movement back against the ‘short sweet blogging’ thing – more and more people seem to be writing long-form and it’s something I’m starting to hear about more and more (even Google have apparently updated their algorithm to prioritise longer posts.)

  3. Thank you Beth for such a refreshing, quality read! Looking forward to connecting to many of the article links posted. I’m completely new to the blogosphere and was toying with joining Twitter myself but feel I won’t because I simply don’t have the time. Yes, quality not quantity!

  4. Jeanna says:

    I went looking for your twitter and couldn’t find it so, ahh! This explains it. Completely understand, but know that some of us will miss you very much. <3

    This is such a great list of roundup links. In particular, Theresa Reed's article was just a really, really needed read. I've been wanting to read for strangers and not just friends lately so have started doing 1-card draws for folks on tumblr and, oh boy! The cards that come up during love readings! I know that sometimes, those are not what they want to hear. :/ So this was just a good reminder that it's better to be ethical and tell the truth and just frame it as you see it.

    As always, your blog is a source of rejuvenation. Thanks for all you do!

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