So I wrote another book.
Or I’m in the process of writing it, I guess.
I recently turned in the first draft of the manuscript, but it’s far from done.
There will be structure edits, copy edits, line edits. Then proofs. Then cover discussions. Then the pre-launch. And then the actual launch. Needless to say, it’ll be a while before I get to hold it in my hands.
But for now? I’m celebrating 85,000 mostly coherent words strung together to form one big idea.
But as I victoriously attached the 326-page Word document to an email and jotted a note to my editor, I felt something besides the elation of a completed task.
It was… sadness? A twinge of melancholy, perhaps?
I felt like I was closing the door on a part of myself I’d come to really enjoy. For the past six months as I’d spent every waking hour hunched over my laptop, scrunching my face into contortions as I silently mouthed phrases and deleted unnecessary adverbs.
And I came to enjoy it.
Writing is so freaking hard, but also… Invigorating. Thrilling. Challenging. And the source of some of the best dopamine rushes I’ve ever experienced in my life.
I like who I am when I write.
I love how my brain fires on all cylinders.
I love how I feel ultra-motivated to seek out deep ideas.
I love racing out of the shower with dripping hair to jot down a sentence before it floats away.
This book, though barely into its first round of editing, has changed me.
It showed me I was missing something big in my life.
And odds are, so are you.
The Danger of Skimming
I’m a hardcore skimmer. I wouldn’t call myself a “speed reader,” but I can consume hefty amounts of content in a short time, mostly by scanning the information and honing in on sections I find interesting.
This strategy is useful if you’re wolfing down copious amounts of clickbait articles on Facebook, but it’s entirely unhelpful when researching a nonfiction book.
I figured this out in week two of the writing process.
As I dug into mountains of peer-reviewed articles and stacks of books, I couldn’t get into the groove.
I had to reread the same sentence over and over.
I struggled to read more than a few pages at a time.
I began to wonder if my attention span was decreasing with age.
But I couldn’t quit since I had just signed a massive book contract…
So I persisted. Haltingly.
But then something happened.
The more I dug into scientific journals, nerdy research papers, psychology texts, and hefty non-fiction books, the easier it became to focus. I started to connect ideas. Light bulbs came on.
And then, ideas began to flow. They’d hit me at the most random times. And they were good ideas… Concepts I had never considered before. Connections and new revelations. I was scared to go to town without a notepad in my purse in case another idea came knocking. It was fantastic and intoxicating.
But even more strange, the frenetic world of social media that had previously fascinated me suddenly felt… boring.
It felt like my brain was changing. And now that I know more, I think it actually was.
You’ve likely heard about brain plasticity before. In essence, it’s a fancy way to say that our brains have the capacity to grow and change in response to experiences, even when we’re adults.
And I’m pretty sure some major circuits were being rewired as I wrote my book. And it started with reading.
In an Nieman Reports article from 2010, Reading researcher and author Maryanne Wolf explains what happens when we read a word. In the first milliseconds, we decode the word itself. But then, immediately after, we start connecting it to all the other ideas and concepts we’ve ever known that connect to that word.
This is why certain words have connotations that stretch far beyond their simple dictionary definitions. They are attached, sometimes culturally, to events, to feelings, and to broader ideas. And in these moments, we often come across our most crucial breakthroughs and understandings.
This is what you might call “deep reading.”
Yet, this process of deep reading doesn’t happen by default. It’s a process that requires “years of formation” and “ is built by use, or it atrophies from disuse,” writes Wolf.
Admittedly (and also slightly embarrassingly), I think my ability to chew on deep ideas had atrophied from too much time on social media.
Because when we only ever fill our brains with information that requires almost no effort to consume or regurgitate, our brains get lazy. There’s no need (and often no time) to ruminate on it, to make connections, to tie it to other ideas we hold. As a result, our ability to process ideas weakens.
“Sound bites, text bites, and mind bites are a reflection of a culture that has forgotten or become too distracted by and too drawn to the next piece of new information to allow itself time to think.” writes Wolf.
The good news?
We can reclaim this. And I like to think of the brain reclamation process a little like grazing.
Intensive Grazing for Your Brain
Christian and I have been talking a lot about rotational grazing here on the homestead. While we’ve known about the principles forever, there are a number of challenges to implementing them in Wyoming.
This year we finally invested in the fancy poultry netting that everyone on YouTube swears by.
And we promptly admitted defeat on the fourth day of our 80-mph spring winds when we sheepishly hauled the chickens back to their coop so they wouldn’t blow to Nebraska.
For our herd of beef cattle, it’s a challenge to figure out fencing and water for hundreds of animals over thousands of acres.
But we’re trying. And I’m determined to figure out a system that works eventually because the concept remains compelling.
The Magic of Intensive Grazing
When animals intensively graze a small patch of ground for a short period of time, it forces them to eat everything that is there. This, combined with the impact of their hooves and manure regenerates pastures and encourages long-dormant native species to return. It’s an ancient, logical model.
In contrast, the more conventional grazing model suggests covering larger areas for longer periods of time. While this isn’t always detrimental, evidence shows this doesn’t stimulate as much vigorous growth since the animals tend to wander around picking the forages they like the most and leaving the rest.
The latter reminds me of our brains on social media.
When we feed our brains an unlimited supply of cheap, abundant content, they tend to get a little lazy. They take a bite of this over here, and a bite of this over there, but since they never commit, the stimulation that is required for deep growth never occurs.
In contrast, when we intensively graze our brain on meaty books and in-depth ideas and force it to make deep, lasting connection, we thrive. As Sherry Turkle writes in Reclaiming Conversations, “If we decide that deep attention is a value, we can cultivate it.”
A silly example? Perhaps. But I can’t help by tie everything back to the homestead.
So how do I plan to implement my intensive-brain-grazing plan?
This new blog is my first step.
I have a whole list of ideas I want to explore. And when I say explore, I’m talking deeeeep dives. And a lot of that will happen offline.
Writing my latest book reminded me that there is a whole world of fascinating ideas that simply aren’t on the internet. You might find hints of them here or there, but to get to the really good stuff, you have to close the laptop, stash the phone, and dig deeper.
I’m tired of shallow, cheap content.
I’m tired of the same ideas being regurgitated over and over.
I’m tired of the endless hunger for entertainment and trends.
I want to dig into deep books and meaty conversations, not 15-second TikTok videos and mindless chatter about Hollywood stars.
I want my knowledge and understanding to be stretched, not just confirmed.
That’s what I’m craving.
And that’s where the writing comes in.
Writing is how I process ideas. I don’t fully grasp concepts until I can write them out in my own words. So that’s what I’ll do here. This space will serve as a journal of sorts, and you are welcome to read along.
In addition to writing here, I plan to continue to read 3-4 good books per month. (My current “to read” list is sitting at 58. I’d better get busy…)
So that’s the thought process behind my new corner of the internet.
In a sense, this blog breaks all the rules.
Long form written content without video or clips or audio is the exact opposite of what we’re used to consuming in 2022.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s why I’m so excited to create it.
How do you keep your brain exercised?
Lisa Buchanan says
I am so here for this! Thank you for always pushing us, Jill!
Jill Winger says
Thanks for being here Lisa!
Matlynn Snodgrass says
I have felt the same way for a long time and look forward to reading what you offer up! I very much enjoy your writing and podcast as it stands now, and your newest blog will be a welcome feast of dynamic ideas I’m sure.
Looking forward to your new blog!
Vinita Garzee says
Thank you for doing this! Real, in depth thinking
Feels almost extinct. I can relate to the feeling of your brain shrinking. I’m determined to not allow that to happen. I am looking forward to sharing in your project to be a better thinker!
Life is too short when you stop learning, and challenging the human brain. Many of us find ourselves caught in a rut because were constantly taking care of family, animals, and the homestead. When there’s time to stretch our brain we just find ourselves getting sucked into mindless entertainment. What I do to keep my mind exercised currently, talk with the elders. Spend time learning how they handle situations back during their younger years. I also find myself taking pictures with my camera, learning how to change the composition, and my mental balance. Reading was a joy in my younger years. As I get older I still read however, I find myself reading less, and not absorbing the words like a sponge as I did in the past. I’m so looking forward to being here Jill.
Rene Rogers says
I love reading and spend time reading, finding things that interest me, or something that makes sense to me, something I could actually use. Sometime back I read something regarding shallow conversations and I could identify, no deep discussions, no in depth anything. I found I’d rather not have a conversation than have it be a shallow one. I want to stretch my mind, see past my nose and do meaningful things in this life God gave me.
Jessica Roa says
What are some of the books on your list?
Lou Ann says
I was never a reader. I was always doing something, riding my bike, putting a puzzle together, jumping ditches, you get the picture. In 1981 I married a reader and I learned to enjoy it. I would devour books, but lately I’ve realized I’ve gone backwards. I am so hungry for no noise, no clips, longer and better content. I’ve left social media, for the most part, still have Instagram to see pictures of my grandnephew. Thank you for the change and may it bring all of us back to amore stable mind. Best wishes.
Pat Martinez says
This. This is something that’s been tickling my brain since I read David Copperfield a month or so ago… I could barely get through it, having to stop and look up words constantly! I took honors English in college because my ACT score was so high, what on earth happened to me in the last 40 some years?!?! I know, I know, use it or lose it, so I too, am going to read more. Without my phone or computer. I may use the ol’ Kindle but I prefer an actual book, depends on what the budget allows. I live 40 miles from the closest library and gas prices…… I’ll figure it out! After all, I got really high scores on my ACT! ???
You’re a terrific writer. I look forward to more in this blog.
Laurie Rapp says
I love this thought! I use to read all the time. It didn’t matter what! Lately, I have found that I have to force myself to stay with a book. But, I think, once I retrain my brain, it will come back. And that is exactly what I need. I think this also applies to my role as a teacher and helping my students realize the value of reading and thinking through deep content. Thank you for sharing!
Elizabeth Mangold says
OMG! I didn’t understand why I couldn’t pick up a book and read anymore. I’m so distracted and frag, now I know! Thanks?
I love this! Looking forward to what you put out here! Don’t give up on the electric netting just yet… we are in a similar climate, range/prairie type area as you, and we’re getting it figured out. I think this is our 5th year using it, and it’s working really well!
Julie Peyman says
I keep my time on social media and TV very limited. Instead I read, do various types of puzzle books, spend as much time as possible outdoors and am always trying to increase my knowledge and skills.
Super excited to read more! Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jill! ??
I am all in! I have realized that more in more in conversation I am saying “I read something, somewhere about…” then I go on to retell some random clip (hopefully accurately) I injested in a scroll. However, there’s no substance, there’s no fact checking, there’s no background story. There’s a lot of fluff being spread around. Maybe a handy tip here or there, but nothing that sticks in my brain, because I am not truly engaged in it.
I am reading a farmer’s biography right now- “Gaining Ground” and I am enjoying it more than ANY 30 sec spent on an influencers page. I look forward to your book in the same way. I am 41 years old, so part of the generation who is familiar with both ways of learning. I am grateful to find avenues that bring me back to deeper, soul filling learning. Thanks for offering this
Jennifer Spencer says
More and more I want connection. That is the reason I love books so much. I feel the connection with the author and the characters, if any. When I write anything, I do it because it’s been laid on my heart. I am very very careful about putting content there that doesn’t reflect who I am really am. I do not write for likes or follows. I have always, always loved your content beating to its own drum as an extension of yourself. That’s true connection for me. I feel I see your true heart, and mind. It’s wonderful !
Thank you for this Jill!
I’ve been following you nearly since you started blogging and I love the thought out content you put out. It’s what inspired me to start my own blog using your blogging blueprint course! That blog still exists as well, but I only write as I’m able or inspired with a small audience.
I can’t wait to read your new blog and walk this new stage of your journey with you from my phone. It’s just what this crazy, distracted world needs. ….and needs to be reminded of. We were made for more than just the helter-skelter running to and from surface level content. We were made for the deep and the intimate. I pray that your new blog stirs up a new desire to re-claim that level of depth. I know that it already has for me.
I wish you all the best.
Beautifully said! Goodbye remotes, hello library card!
Lisa, would you share some book recommendations? Thank you so much!
Mary Earle McElroy says
I have been to Forrest Pritchard’s farm a few times in Virginia. It’s just 10 minutes from our place.
Loved his book, Gaining Ground.
If you get the chance to go, it’s worth it. Lots of wonderful things in their farm store and always open. Self checkout. Honor system.
You may see him wandering around.
Interesting talking to his wife.
I’m grateful for this. I’ve noticed that my brain has succumbed to the instant gratification model. My attention span is shorter; markedly so. I appreciate the opportunity to think that this offers.
Lynn Bonelli says
Thanks for this. It truly resonates with me. I was messaging with a dear friend who I met through blogging over 10 years ago. I miss those days and have committed to writing in my own blog like I used to. I look forward to reading more here too.
Sandra Sammons says
Yes to all of your plan! Haven’t accessed much of your content yet so looking forward to getting to know you and hearing your perspective and experiences. Trying to garden more this year (as city-zens so not much land) and in Colorado no less so short growing season.
After you recommended Reclaiming Conversations, I read it with much thought and conviction. I am so looking forward to this blog and the books you are reading.
Yvonne Reynolds says
We have been ‘programmed’ to consume to quick scroll, but I love spending time away from my phone, either by consuming actual books, or spending time at the California coast or hiking trails in Yosemite.
I look forward to what you will be sharing here, and have also considered spending a bit of time sharing thoughts on my own neglected blog space.
And I am looking forward to your next book!
Sandy Bessingpas says
Jill I am eager to read more of your words. Currently I am reading a book Bringing It To The Table by Wendell Berry. It is not an easy, entertaining read, but it sure gives one a lot to ponder . I am also reading Wendell Berry and The Given Life by Reagan Sutterfield.
Jill Winger says
I adore Wendell Berry! I love that I have to work to process his words– but it makes it so much more meaningful!
Amen. Can’t wait to dive in!
I am hungry for this! I, too, feel that my brain has atrophied due to my allowance of social media talking points.
Oh my word!! I am sooo on the same page!! I’m here!
This is why my husband and I chose to not have a tv or many electronics in the home or be on social media. We still do things on our phones, but because we don’t have those things, we find we have more time for other things and are actually more purposeful with what we DO read on the internet. (We have a projector and screen for watching movies… ?)
We have found that this has also helped encourage our kids to enjoy other things, learn things and process things so much better. I don’t miss all the social media. I thought I would, but I’m so thankful for cutting that out. I have found a less worried/anxious environment and (surprise, surprise) more time and ability to focus on other things.
There is truly nothing like a good book or a good in person conversation. ?
I LOVE this idea!!!! I can’t wait to join with you. Just curious if you’d be willing to share your current book list that you’re wanting to read 😉 if not…no worries…just thought it might be neat to see if it was anything I’m reading.
Jill Winger says
Yes! Plan to share my current book stack soon!
Yes! I would love to see your list also!
Part of me wonders too, if there’s more to it than just social media brain. I find it harder to read these days than I used to for other reasons. Being in a similar life stage and situation (busy entrepreneurs and farmers and homeschoolers) I find something (real, not just online) is always demanding my attention. I believe, I know, there must be an element to it that is more situational and life-stage oriented, if that makes sense.
I meant to ask the same thing! lol
Can’t wait to see it Jill!
My thoughts exactly. ?
Kimberly Ewing says
This really hits home. I have been feeling much the same way for quite some time! Thank you for being here and going against the grain of societal standards. I’m thrilled to dive deep and enjoy the process!
Forrest Persing says
Thanks Jen, I’m right there with you. We need deeper, more nourishing content. Heart content. Looking forward to yours. Thank you!
Forrest Persing says
Jill, not Jen. ?????
Awesome!! Can’t wait to flow along. I have stacks of books on my to read list. Time to dive in!
Christy Straub says
Love it! I can’t wait to see what you explore and share! Also, I tried making sauerkraut last month for the first time using your recipe, and it’s so good! Baby steps to improving my diet.
I love this whole concept! I find social media has been consuming too much of my valuable time. It also leaves me feeling bad about myself and lonely. But yet I feel like I’m going to miss something if I don’t check it. The problem is that I get sucked into it. Having my morning coffee with the chickens and the goats instead of scrolling sounds like a great idea, but how do I get there?
Two months ago I started reading physical books again. I do listen to audiobooks often. However, I am trying to unwind my mind and escape from the craziness we call our world today.
Fran Pedro says
I have joined three book groups from my local library. We need less internet “stuff” and more thoughtful reading. Good luck to you as you find the time to write.
I LOVE this. I took a month long social media break and I swear it changed my brain, too. Now I am much more selective of what I consume. I took a class this past year that required me to read and discuss books, something I sadly let go of when my kids were little. It was invigorating! Now I want to read and learn more. I hesitated to give up social media because most of whom I followed were accounts that taught me about my areas of interest. But I found that when I stepped away I was actually able to retain more that I learned. Although easy access to info is great, I don’t think bite-sized checks were leading to lasting learning for me. Instead, they overwhelmed my brain and “pushed out” the excess. Because I had a constant diet of info, I retained less. Taking the break allowed me to intentionally select what I wanted to learn, and I think I’ve done a better job retaining it as a result. Thank you for sharing your insights and journey. I look forward to reading along.
Michele Lebens says
I love this!!! I couldn’t agree more about the mindless chatter & those silly reels. Real content that sticks with a person is really something thats missing on social media today. I was told one of the best ways to “show” my homeschool course was to do reels & be a constant face on IG with little blips about all things. I can’t do that…..its just not me & everyone out there does it. I just want my people to hear about my homeschool course from me, a regular mom who’s done it for 32 years. I can’t wait to see what you do with all of this Jill I look foreward to seeing it, I love your content!!!!!
I have been very frustrated with “homesteading” Instagram/blog post as of late and have deleted most of them from sites that I read now. Why? First, no one is doing anything new, it is just repackaged ideas and a way of life that whole lot of people have been living for a long, long time. We were, on a small scale in a town! Mainly because we enjoyed gardening, chickens and doing as much as we could ourselves, and we couldn’t afford to live any other way, things were ‘tight’ in the 70’s and 80’s, crazy inflation! Second, ‘homesteading posts’ have become very politicized, ‘my way of life is better, more meaningful than yours.’ The civil conversation and sharing of ideas has stopped’ either support every bit of this ‘life style’ or you will be labeled (Negatively). Thank goodness in America we can choose how we want to live our lives and where! Neither one is better or worse, and don’t we choose our life style to match our personalities?
I am glad to hear you are moving beyond the ‘homesteading’ genre , you are a talented writer with some very interesting ideas to share. I look forward to reading your blog.
I love this thank you! I’m assuredly old enough to come from pre-desktop home computer days and have always loved reading and writing. Fiction and non-fiction books, give us a great balance in and of themselves. My grown children cringed when I eagerly requested the great scholars book set my parents had. Maybe when it’s time they will find a desire to dive deep in them as well! I can’t wait to see where you go with this, you are an inspiration to even this old lady! Oh, and always double space after the period, it’s a finale’! (Wink)
I agree wholeheartedly. You put words to how I have been feeling for quite a while now. I belong to a book club for this reason. I read books that I wouldn’t necessarily personally choose, from a variety of genres. It helps me think outside the box and gets my creative juices flowing! Thanks for letting your creative juices flow Jill!
I love this. This has been a journey that has had me yo-yoing on and off of social media for a couple of years. I love when I’m off of it, but I stumbled in this post in social media. What a conundrum! Reading Charlotte Mason for homeschooling my children was what started me reclaiming reading for myself. I actually stopped reading all books in 2021 and sat the whole year in my Bible. I have really been enjoying this year getting back into it, but with spring homesteading and now summer harvesting, I’m not reading as much. Have you ever read Wendell Berry? I’m 3/4 of the way through Hannah Coulter and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. Add it to your list!
Jill Winger says
I ADORE Wendell Berry! I have to read his stuff slowly and it makes me think!
This is fantastic and so true! I’ve been trying to go back to my homestead blog circa 2007, I’ve had the craving to write and go back but feel fractured. I think it is a nesting and a reframing and definitley brain grazing. I look forward to reading in your new space!
Angie Webb says
Love the idea of a blog like this. I really dislike watching videos and tend to read the closed captioning instead. It is hard to write down indepth ideas likes this so I’m excited to read along!
Cheri Foster says
Thank you for doing this. It is all too easy to mindlessly scroll, and find you have spent an hour with nothing to show for it.
I think a lot of people are beginning to crave more depth, in their reading, and in their lives.
Good luck with all of this! I will be following along.
Denise Feist says
So agree with this concept of actual reading for content and not skimming . Can’t wait for the new book and the new blog !
Susie Erdey says
This is so *very* exciting — I thought I was alone in my craving for deep reading, real conversations, intense exploration! I, too, had a blog way back when — trying to write about having an organic, permaculture garden and living counter to the dominant lifestyle in our area — but I fell away from it when work, and cancer, and family stuff became too overwhelming. I will look forward to what you write, whenever or however often you write. I respect your work.
Kate Manning says
Yes…. This is what my heart and brain are hungry for….. I cannot end a sentence with a preposition ( my mother is rolling in her grave)..
I can’t wait!!
For some reason, last week I felt like I just did not want to participate anymore in the chase on SM, My brain went to zero interest.
I’ve got a notebook of books to buy.
I’m here for all your loooong deep dives without loud music and flashing pictures ??
Marsha Elliott says
How delightful and necessary this was for me! I’ve been in a rut too long. It’s been hard to read and hard to write. Like you, I process through writing. I am not a writer but have journaled in years past. I order books and read a bit then set them aside. I write a sentence or two then go on my way. I want to retrain my brain. By golly, I’m going to give it a try and look forward to reading your blogs.
For some reason, last week I felt like I just did not want to participate anymore in the chase on SM, My brain went to zero interest.
I’ve got a notebook of books to buy.
I’m here for all your loooong deep dives without loud music and flashing pictures ??
Love it and looking forward to hearing more about grazing cattle on the Wyoming prairie. I live in the TX panhandle and the wind is ferocious here as well and rotational grazing is a foreign concept to most ranchers around here.
I have found lately my yearning to learn more and do more. That superficial content is no longer holding my interest.
Stephanie J says
This is Amazing! I have felt in my soul a pull to remove all the useless crap we constantly bombard ourselves with. I have loved reading since childhood and for many years didn’t allow myself the time to enjoy reading. Within the past 5 years I began picking books up again and like you described, I was a great skimmer. It took a bit to retrain my brain to read on a deeper level. Thank you for sharing, now I know I wasn’t crazy for feeling like I was needing to learn how to read all over again. I am looking forward to reading your future posts and your book once it is complete.
Sara Berry says
This! This is what I need in my life! Something substantial! Something that makes me think! Thank you Jill!
Would love if you would share some of your “to read” books, or maybe have a blog we could all add to and share! I’m a book nerd to the Nth degree and am not content unless I have one in the works and another 5 lined up back to back. I prefer good old fashioned books from the library but the military lifestyle leaves me usually with a kindle so even Amazon books works for me! But I’d love to swap idea with others for books not necessarily found on the NY Best Sellers list!
Love this whole blog and I felt it deep in my heart! There’s such a contentment that exists outside the superficial existence our society has created and I’m not afraid to admit sometimes I’m ashamed to be a part of it. I’ve had the benefit and blessings to live among some other cultures and the “slow down” they have compared to the US was just such a beauty to witness and such an eye opener! No rat race, no working more than necessary just to keep up with the joneses, no cell phones at dinner… friends and family having real conversation over real food for hours, people sitting in their homes talking and playing games together rather than being on game systems… truly a “blast from the past” to see. Less frivolity but more light hearted-ness. Funny how that works. Can’t wait to see where you go from here! Thanks for this!
You’re speaking to my soul!!! I’ve noticed this in my own life over the past few months ~ that I’m not comprehending the deep stuff, because I’ve become accustomed to the entertainment of social media. I do read many books and love the feel of paper pages between my fingers! I’ve found that listening to non fiction books helps me retain more (as reading them can put me to sleep ?), but then I can read the actual book, take notes, underline etc.
Im excited to read your new book and to follow along as you start this new journey! I always enjoy what you have to say!
Jen Barnett says
Oh my goodness, Jill, you just spoke to exactly the transition I’ve been going through lately (sans the writing piece). I am OVER social media and frivolous text conversations with friends/family. Give me a backyard, a cup of coffee, and one or two people who want to have a deep, meaningful conversation and I’m there! Or let me indulge my creative side in any number of crafty projects I have going and I’ll stay happy for hours. I feel like so many people are feeling this right now and we all need it!!
Love this too and exactly what I needed and liked to hear!! I’m feeling in the same boat and look forward to reading your blog 🙂
I LOVE this. Seriously. You have talked before about an awakening. This is something that can be defined in so many ways and so many of us feel it! Not everyone is on a homestead journey like I am. Somehow my desire for a connection to understand and embrace a simpler life is looked upon like I’ve somehow lost my mind! Which is rather funny..it’s quite the opposite. I wish I could get a few folks in my life to understand this. I am so tired of being sent mindless snippets of junk fodder. I don’t want to offend anyone so I struggle with how to redirect. Usually by not replying. But sadly these things come from very smart and once upon a time deep thinkers themselves! My social media is reserved for people just like you. Thank you for your raw heartfelt honesty. I look forward to reading much more. ?
Yes!!! Let’s get back to the gold ole days when people actually talked about things that were important and not how many colors of the stanley cup we could own or expensive outfits that seriously, who can afford and where are we wearing them lol. I love your down to earth approach of life and I love living thru you. I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and wanted that kind of life….I don’t, but thru you, I do! Thanks for just being you.?
I love this! I’m also a writer, and the quick internet takes are ironically becoming too much. Taking loooong breaks from social and picking up a book instead has brought me life. So excited to follow along!
Deb Bridges says
Thank you for writing what I have been feeling for over a year. I realized that I couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes and it scared me. I can’t wait to read your forthcoming blog posts!
Denise Burek says
You hit the nail on the head, Jill. I’m definitely looking forward to coming along on the new journey with everyone. I’m craving more depth, things that challenge me and get me thinking, true mindful intentionality. Can’t wait!
Jessica Bennett says
I am so thankful you are doing this. I get overwhelmed with all the apps and platforms and everywhere in between. I want simplicity. I’m craving deep dives into learning the old fashioned ways, not the cutesy fun things of social media. We are new to this so I’ve been pouring over books by Justin Rhodes, Joel Salatin and others.
Richard Huffmon says
In the early days of computer science, when the Commodore 64 was cutting edge, a new phrase became part of the cultural lexicon. G.I.G.O. Garbage In Garbage Out. If we constantly stuff our brains with garbage, just like those old personal computers, then we can expect nothing but garbage to come out. I personally love the idea of deep diving into a variety of subjects. Looking forward to seeing more of your content in the future. Thank you Ms. Winger!
I would be stoked if in addition to these blog posts, this space evolved into a monthly book club as well to pair along with the meaty type of deep dives you’re wanting to explore as you trek through your reading list. I’m a quite isolated mom of 2 (a toddler and baby due November) and would love the opportunity to share in the kind of critical and meaningful conversations that are lacking in my day-to-day life and in all the “dead scrolling” done online.
Jill Winger says
You’re the second person to mention a book club today…. hmmmm 🙂
Cindy Thomas says
I would 100 % be in for a book club!
Janet Garman says
Jill, I am here for this. I feel like the social media channels are an addiction and it’s hard to break free. Thank you for making a change, and giving us something healthy to feed our brains.
I cannot wait to see what amazing things you have to say! Way to go, Jill!
And I am in line to preorder your new book! I can’t wait to hear more about that as well!
I am so excited for this! I’m so over social media and the mindless nothingness. Looking forward to deep content and conversation. Thank you. Jill.
Thank you for quality content that isn’t cluttered with mind numbing lyrics from the current top 10. ???
I deep dive into thinking by taking with our children whom are all adults and young adults. Iron sharpens iron is much more than a cute saying-it’s life giving!
Also, when I’m grading a paper I assigned to of our children, it’s really hard to not mark it up completely but to find the best sentence and encourage this thought and expand this thinking in our child’s mind. Fascinating opportunity to mold and shape our children’s thinking which in turn does the same to our minds. Priceless!
Julie, wife, mom to 7, teacher, thinker, gardener, student
Jo Ann Kugle says
You have been such an inspiration for me. At 70 years (going on 60), my kids are grown and my lifestyle is not at all comparable to yours, but you have such an impact with your intellect your energy and your thirst for more. You and your husband had a ‘calling’ and listened. Your life path is amazing.
Erin Benzakein says
I’m really, really thankful and excited that you’re doing this.
Darlene Haffner says
Your blog caught my eye a few years ago when you said you were from North Idaho and moved to Wyoming. We moved from there as well, Athol, and now reside in Kansas. We aren’t homesteaders but I really relate to so many other areas of your life. It’s nice to hear that you and so many others are tired of social media content, I disconnected years ago and never looked back. Yay!! Looking forward to your new blog!
Jill Winger says
So glad you’re here Darlene! My sister lived in Athol, btw. She moved earlier this year. 🙂
I’m here and hear you. Eager to read more from you!
Michelle Barringer says
Read your email and then promptly dug into your new blog!
Girl, are you sure we are not sisters!? I feel the same way. Since giving up Farm Life Outfitters, I’ve been overwhelmed still with the need to create. I’ve thought of starting a blog, or maybe this fall I’ll finish writing the book I started several years ago. Who knows!? But I feel ya! And social media wears me to a pulp too. We are certainly soul sisters. Have a good week!
Janna Tamminga says
Jill, you always have so much to share and do so in such a profound way! I’ve not been on social media much at all over the past several months as it just got to be too much “noise.” Even reading valuable articles has become too frustrating with all of the pop-up ads, so I’ve retreated to my solitude and serenity in the woods. I have long enjoyed reading the insights you share, your raw openness and honesty. I’m looking forward to your new content, and especially the simplicity of returning to the essence and meat of simple blogging. I’m with ya, friend!
Just this, as a start was a great read. I’m right there with you! Back when all this craziness started I was a sponge on social media because of the censorship. Then with so many posting the same things I got tired of reading. Period. Then my mind turned to what can I do to improve where I am. My garden, pastures, animals. Everything. Found a video about biochar that would add minerals and nutrients back to the soil so that you’d never have to add fertilizer again. My curiosity has been rejeuvnated so thanks for adding something new to explore along with you!
Jessica Hoover says
What an amazing idea! It’s so funny that you mentioned wanting more than what is available on social media. I have just decided to take a break from social media too because, like you, I’m also sick of the constant superficial content. I can’t wait to what you will write in the future!
I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next on this blog. I was addicted to social media for over 10 years and pulled out just a few months before the world got crazy in late 2020 (God’s credit, not mine. I still don’t know how I could have done it by myself) and I’m ashamed by how changed my life has been for the good. I should have gotten out so much sooner. I put pictures of my garden on my old instagram account for my grandparents to see, which is how I happened upon the link for this new blog. I’ve followed your stuff for years now and use your cookbook several times each month (sky high biscuits are a favorite among my six kids) and have a lot of respect for your work and values. I’ll subscribe to this blog so that I can keep up with your deeper musings and maybe join the conversation. God bless you, Jill! And thanks for being real.
Leanna Cupit says
THANKS FOR THIS!
I’m an academic by training but not by trade. While I have read books on my kindle that’s a rarity anymore as I just love the good ole fashioned feel of a book in my hands. I also totally relate to what you say about deep reading. During my dissertation I would spend hours on one article- breaking it down, reconnecting. It is an exhausting yet exhilarating process.
You are a voice for a different thought process about life that is greatly needed right now. Fast and instant aren’t always better than slow and steady.
Keep it up, PLEASE?! 🙂
Jill Winger says
Thank you Leanna! <3 Will do!
Deanna Tolliver says
Thank you for verbalizing, and acting on, what so many of us have been thinking.
Loving this so much! I just listened to your latest podcast episode, and I’m so excited to hear more! Thank you for working so diligently to offer healthy alternatives to our distracted consumer culture. You are really making the world a better place!
I am looking forward to your new blog.
Have you read “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. What you are describing is right out of those pages. Reading is only part of it. Postman talks about shortened attention span and he wrote this before Computers, internet or social media. At one point he uses the Lincoln/ Douglas debate as an example. They went on for hours and people sat and listened to them. They weren’t moderated with questions and short answers. They were long thought out dissertations about important issues.
Thank you for talking about this. Reading is incredibly important to me. It was always my escape growing up. We didn’t have a lot of money, and we had a lot of rough times, but I could always travel through a book. I’m currently working on my Master’s degree, and I’m starting a small thesis called a Capstone Project for a data analysis. I’ve chosen reading to be my subject matter. I appreciate your discussion on brain plasticity, it should be a great inclusion for my research!!
Kathleen Lowndes says
When I was young, I read for content and actually believed everything I read and learned a lot about other people’s experiences, As I got older, I read to collect the many ways in which people’s thoughts and beliefs affected their lives. Now I read for only one purpose–to trigger original ideas in my own brain. I never know what those ideas are going to be. And if I happen to have a coffee-table book, I will use the slick colored photos to trigger ideas new to me.
My personal answer to the question “Why do you love to write?” is: Because I love where I have to go in order to be able to write! And that place is known by many names, but I call it The Bubble of Unconditional Love.
I respect your process. Happy publishing!!!
I LOVE this. And explains why my mom brain feels so scattered after 5 kids and near constant interruptions (albeit often good ones! :)) to the point where I often give up on reading real books. But I carry this need for it and keep trying. Thanks for the reminder that it is worth it to push through the brain fog and distractions. I am so looking forward to reading this deeper-thinking corner of the internet! 🙂
Thank you so much, Jill…I’ve missed long form blog posts so much, and your deep dives are so welcome! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve come to the end of an article online these days and think, “that’s it?” Thank you for challenging my brain. Thank you for taking the road less traveled.
Tawny Stowe says
I love rotational grazing and anyone willing to rotate their mind the same way! My favorite way to use my device is to sit and devour essays by Charles Esienstein, Tara at slowdown farmstead and now I can add reading you again! I loved our monthly calls to push ourselves to think deeper and am so sad you came as close as Toronto and I didn’t get to meet you! Excited to continue to watch you grow and stay old fashioned on purpose!!!