Socially Fatigued

I’m gonna be off of social media until my next project is out, which is why I’ve started blogging yet again. It’s not that social media’s made me less productive or anything like that. I am, however, certainly a whole lot more relaxed without it.

There’s this weird, low-level anxiety I have whenever I’m on socials. I began noticing it—or at least the absence of it—whenever I had my No-Screen Saturdays, a day every weekend where I keep my laptop shut and my phone off. It has less to do with doomscrolling (though that’s definitely a factor too), but something I discovered over the last couple of weeks.

During this stretch, I’ve had a whole ton of live events, either in-person or online, from a panel with Red Dot Diva to my sessions for the Singapore Writers Festival, and even my usual appearances on Dead Air. Doing that many live events, I learned pretty quickly, can be draining. And being on social media is like doing teeny tiny live events every day.

Now, yeah, going through Instagram stories or posting a tweet is nowhere near as exhausting as moderating or being part of a panel— but it quietly adds up. So, for the sake of my mental health, I’m gonna start taking extended breaks, as we move into 2022.

This first break won’t be as long as you might imagine though. While we haven’t made any official announcements about Work-Life Balance‘s release date yet, I can at least say that I’ve got something else in the works for around the first half of next year.

I’m already well into the second draft of that project, but there’s quite a bit more to be done by myself and my collaborators before it’s ready to make its way out into the world. It is—and I’m not trying to be hyperbolic here—possibly the most important project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m genuinely nervous about doing it justice—but also incredibly excited to share it with the world.

We’re also going through the second round of sensitivity readings for Work-Life Balance at the moment. There are other elements to this project that we’re currently working on too, but as with the release date, we haven’t announced anything yet.

The other big project has been Unearthed, the new podcast by Kyle and myself, produced in partnership with the National Library Board. The first episode debuted over Halloween—but when we see any subsequent episodes is almost entirely dependent on you.

Producing that first episode was immensely hard work and NLB provided some seriously invaluable help, which is why it would be ideal to keep that partnership going. They will, naturally, be looking at the numbers for that first episode, so if you want to see more, spread the word.

I’m rewatching the original Cowboy Bebop and I never totally realised just how brilliant the script for the dubbed version was. Watching that version—now paired with English subs—I really appreciate the amount of personality that was added in and the extent to which that personality shaped my enjoyment of this series.

Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Jacob Phillips’ latest Reckless book, Destroy All Monsters, is unsurprisingly excellent. I can see why this is Brubaker’s favourite so far; it’s definitely mine, which is saying a lot for a series that has not only matched, but maybe even surpassed Criminal for me.

I’m purposely taking my time with Meihan’s The Formidable Miss Cassidy because it is so damn good. It’s American Gods for Southeast Asia—and so much more. Right now, it’s my favourite book of the year, but Wesley’s The Punkhawala and the Prostitute is next on my list, so Miss Cassidy might have to share that top spot.

A friend passed me M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories on vinyl. The latter was a particular revelation for me. It’s never been my favourite Daft Punk album, but listening to it again, all the way through, I finally see its brilliance. It’s definitely one of those albums, like Childish Gambino’s Awaken! My Love, that takes me a while to dig, but when I eventually do, man, I fall for it hard.

That’s it for now. I’m not gonna commit to a regular blogging schedule—down that path always lies madness for me—so I guess I’ll see you when I see you.