I've started about five or six different posts this past week, but none of them have made it to "Publish." No matter how firmly I was convinced when I sat down to write that I would make it through to the end, one of these blogging insecurities always managed to creep in. I was even trashing drafts of tweets, sure that I would just waste some of the most frequently wasted digital space. Ugh.
I want to write about elections and politics in the U.S. But I have spent so much time reading other people's commentary and I'm in such a dark place about finding any hope in political systems that I just don't have anything all that constructive to say.
I want to write about the people I know who have recently died of cancer, or who are struggling with it right now. But I don't have the patience to find words that move through the anger and sadness toward something good, or even useful.
I want to write about life in my town in Indiana, probably on my RichmondMatters.com site, but everything I've started recently has been full of criticism and disappointment, without any solutions to balance things out.
I want to write about some of the interesting things I'm tackling in my work life, but they're usually sensitive client things, sensitive people/team/leadership things, or things not really useful to discuss outside the company.
I want to write about all the books I've read recently, but then I'm all "oh heck people should just read these for themselves, don't foist your opinion on them."
I have a long file of notes and topics I want to blog about, from tech tools to gear reviews, from entrepreneurship to travel, from community improvement to the myth of human supremacy. But at the moment I'm not getting many of them past the mental outline stage.
Part of the problem is that I typically do longer-form writing in this space, somewhere along the way convincing myself that if it's something that only takes a few sentences or that I could fire off on Twitter, it's not worth posting here. But with that high standard, I pressure myself to take what might be a simple idea and turn it into a more substantial piece with anecdotes and underlying research and poignant conclusions and perfectly appropriate accompanying images. I can go from inspiration to overwrought garbage in sixty seconds, and my internal editor often leaves for the day before I can recover.
The fact remains: I know I want to write. I want to put words to the page on a regular basis. It's become clear to me in recent years that writing is a core part of my creative being in the world. And I know I want to do it in a way that at least allows for the the opportunity to get feedback from others about what I'm saying or how I'm saying it.
So I'm going to try some new things in this space. Mostly a return to basics: writing shorter posts more often, using writing prompts or other somewhat generic sources of inspiration to keep me going, and not worrying too much about topic, focus, themes or audience.
It makes my ego cringe a little to think that the people who regularly find something of use in my posts here might wander off my RSS feed or email subscription list as a result - oh yeah August 2016 that's when Chris got sooooooooo boring omg what a tragedy - but I suppose I should be happily writing for just a few people or no one at all, instead of stuck on an uneasy hiatus for a larger group that is perhaps not waiting as breathlessly for my next post as I might like to think. 🙂
I welcome your comments, encouragement, shared insecurities and harmless aspersions. Anything that helps me get more words on a page.
Photo by theilr
One thought on “Figuring out what to write”
Do it Chris! Perfect is the enemy of done. Writing and posting here will clear the way for those bigger posts that will inevitably come when you unstopper your publishing block. You've got this.