[NB: There is a bit of navel-gazing herein, so, even if you’re excited at new content, rest assured that this one is easily skipped, even if what is said below needs to be said. For me, if not for you. Newer better content will be available shortly. No, really. It’s even already written and probably posted by now. Go look.]
I’ve been bad at blogging.
Which is obvious to anyone who keeps even half an eye on this page. (And half an eye is probably still way more eye than necessary to keep up.)
It’s not that I haven’t had bloggable thoughts. Or blogging time. Or even blogging motivation.
Therein lie some of the problem.
I keep thinking of this the way I used to think of professional writing when I wrote newspaper columns.
Partly, that’s good; it is no small thing to aspire to pro quality even, maybe especially, when working in an amateur setting.
There’s also a downside, which is that I have trouble breaking out of a certain mode of thinking: 550 words, well-thought, written for a general audience.
I forget that I can write longer, shorter; I can write for a very narrow segment of readers, or another segment, or no segment; I can fucking curse.
I can write anything I want.
If I can remember not to panic at the thought that I can write anything I want.
And I have no deadlines, so I can’t be late.
But I can’t let the lack of deadlines serve as an excuse for never turning work in.
Or delaying even starting it.
There are other issues, other anxieties, in play, too, but, short of amending my motto — “Wit ,whimsy, and ruminations … with loooong intervals between” — the only thing for them is to relax and bang out some words.
2 thoughts on “Apologies and Plans”
Believe me when I say I understand. While I don't have the journalism background I feel pressure from people, well meaning people, who want me to 'write more'. The underlying message of 'Here we are now, entertain us' absolutely paralyzes me. Mostly because I can't seem to avoid harshly critiquing everything I think to write before I write it. I need to get out of my own way. Here's to you getting out of yours.
All of that is true. And every bit of the anxiety is always there for me.
It was there, before, too. I used to run right up to those column deadlines, sometimes, to the point my editor was ready to take the space away from me. (And, honestly, a stricter editor, one who wasn't also a friend, would have. Should have.) But I got the work done. Because it had to be done. I just let the worry over every word subside until after publication, when it was too late to worry.
On my own, without the deadlines, I let the worry over every word get in the way of publication.
I'm trying very hard to put that aside, though. We'll see. I have eight drafts right now. If you see eight posts here, say, by the end of the month, we'll know it's working.