The problem with declaring consistency as a goal on my blog is that, on nights like tonight, I feel obligated to write a post when typing is the last thing I feel like doing.
It’s not that today has been awful. In fact, only the last half-hour has been pretty lousy – my son decided to fight sleep, which he almost never does. Seriously, this kid is awesome about going to bed and always very cooperative. Tonight was different. He cried and screamed nonstop. We try to follow the recommended pattern of “wait some time, go comfort him without picking him up, wait some more time” in order to get him to learn to calm himself down. Usually it works alright, but tonight he wasn’t having it. I ended up finally getting him to chill out by rocking him in a rocking chair and singing lullabies. Once the crying stopped he actually laid down and didn’t throw a fit when I left the room. Even though I’ve had a pretty solid day the rest of the day, a half-hour of crying really takes it out of me. My motivation is shot, I’m in a high-stress state, and all I want to do is watch some YouTube or something. Instead, I’m writing this post.
Aren’t hobbies just the worst?
The truth is I have felt like I had a bad case of writer’s block as of late. It started after E3 – so much news came out so fast, what in the world was I supposed to write about afterwards? New developments are mostly at a standstill right now. Summer games aren’t keeping me all that engaged – I am not interested in playing Splatoon and while ARMS lasted me for a bit of time, I’m not as into it as I thought I would be from playing the Global Testpunch. The next game I am legitimately excited about, Mario + Rabbids (man, that was a weird sentence), doesn’t come out until the latter part of August. Which means I have another month of no new games to try to come up with content for the blog. I also have no tabletops going on during that time, so as much as I want to bring tabletops back into the limelight here, I have zero inspiration. As much as I love Dungeon World, I’m tired of talking about it and honestly those posts don’t do well statistically. With no internal or external motivation to keep that going, tabletops will probably go the way of the dinosaurs for awhile here.
That’s part of why I am rolling out the Blogger Blitz during this awkward season of silence. I think a big event like that will help me stay engaged until more interesting things come around for me to talk about. It seems like a decent number of people are excited about the event, even folks who don’t necessarily feel motivated to participate. I’m excited to get that in motion and that’s part of my block too – I want to make it happen RIGHT NOW but it’s a project involving other people so I need to take time and make sure it is going to run smoothly, as well as giving them time to write. So the one thing I am really stoked to write about is the thing I can’t write about yet.
They say when you’re blocked to just write about not being able to write, and I’ve done that on the blog a few times. I thought of just doing Charming and Open again so I could get some ideas from other people, but I don’t want to bring that event back as just a cheap way to write posts. Those of you who participated or read the posts from the event last time seemed to really love it, and I don’t want to cheapen that by overdoing it or using it as a cop-out. My goal has been to bring it back when I have a significant number of active new followers so I can get a lot of questions from folks who didn’t participate in the past.
Speaking of new followers, I have somehow accumulated a ton of new WordPress followers in July despite the fact that I reduced my post count and even took a break because of my friend’s wedding. I need to take the time to check out the blogs of these new adventurers and give them follows back if I like their content – expanding my list of active followers would be really helpful for getting volunteers for future events and getting more community involvement.
I really need to work on reading more often in general. Of all my blog goals, that’s the one I think I fail at the most. I have kind of fallen into this trap where I mainly read the posts that show up in my feed on social media rather than going through the Reader or, more importantly, searching tags for new posts from folks I haven’t read/met yet. The best way to grow the adventurer community is to get involved in the communities of other people and I fail at that more often than not. So I need to buckle down when it comes to reading posts by other people.
Despite the fact that this really has gotten me to write, I still feel like it’s cheap. Yes, I’m writing, but is there substance? Do people actually want to read this stuff? I feel like every time I don’t write an opinion piece or a guide or something then I am just “wasting” a post, which is a silly way to feel because a blog is just thoughts on the page. My thoughts, my page, my posts. Whatever. If I decided to suddenly change genres from a gaming blog to a blog about pets (never in a million years), then that would be my prerogative. They say as an artist that you are your own worst enemy – in my experience as a writer, that is correct 100% of the time. I put myself down and hang myself up constantly. I deleted three in-progress posts today because I felt like they weren’t “good enough” or I just didn’t care about writing them anymore.
I’m a little worried about posting next week because I am going to be working on call for a pretty significant amount of time. This weekend is my weekend which means that from 5 AM Saturday to 5 AM Monday, I’m the only person working the on-call for my job. Then I get an eight hour break Monday morning before transitioning to the 1 PM to 9 PM shift each weekday. That shift is the worst because it interrupts my dinner time, family time, writing time…I get absolutely nothing done those weeks, and I don’t even have a safe weekend beforehand to try and get ahead on posts so I don’t have to worry about it. And if I am not inspired to write by then, I’m going to have the deadly combo of no inspiration AND no motivation, which will likely end up with yet another break, the third one this summer. THAT is what I really want to avoid.
I wish I was bringing this all to a nice, lovely conclusion, but honestly I’m just trying to put my stress onto the page at this point. I’m going to put up my tablet, grab a cup of milk, and watch some Let’s Plays so I can turn off my brain for awhile. Even though it would be more practical or responsible to write another article, to get ahead a bit before my big week on-call, I just don’t feel the desire right now. Hopefully inspiration will strike when I read some articles from other folks.
How do you feel right now, adventurers? Has your writing been going smoothly this summer? Or do you have a number of blocks as well? Let me know in the comments and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.