I Don’t Want to Write Tonight

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?

Baby Mario
Actual picture of my son crying. Don’t ask why he’s in a bubble.

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.

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Write Tonight

Add yours

  1. I feel you, man – and I haven’t even entered the Dad zone yet, which must make it even harder. I’m new to the community, but have enjoyed the content you’ve put since I joined, for what it’s worth! It is a bit of a weird sensation, feeling obligated to continue a hobby, but I think it’s relatable. I just about ran through my inventory of back-log posts, so I’m staring down a void myself.

    Your writing about not knowing what to write is engaging though, which makes me think you shouldn’t scrap your drafts! I’m sure you’ll work out a system. Looking forward to seeing what you put out next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the support! I’m always a little uneasy posting stuff like this just because I feel it might sound overly negative, so I’m glad someone can relate to the lack of inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I go through fits of writer’s block on occasion. It is always unfun. This week, I’ve been on quite a roll despite being deadly busy at work and not much new happening. But I’ve been inspired to write a handful of posts this week, which has lifted my mood up a bit.

    Good luck on working through it. It will happen at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’d be nice if the rolls and the writer’s block seasons could agree to balance out so we always have a steady flow of ideas. That’d be too easy though, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to grad school for English, and I’m in my second and final year, which means I’m currently working on writing my thesis. I’m using the novel I’ve been working on for the past few years. Unfortunately, even though I told myself I’d write a little of it each day this summer, but I’ve had way too much going on between my paid job & unpaid internship to even think about writing.

    I know that it’s difficult to write when you feel like it’s a pressure thing. When you’ve got the feeling that you have to write something, you start to think that you have to write or else someone’s going to call you out on it. The hardest part about that is that when you feel forced to write, things don’t come out like you want them to, and you get even more frustrated. That’s the worst part, by and large.

    Even if you’ve made a vow to work on writing a post every day, it’s still okay to take a day off now and then, especially with a schedule like you seem to have. If you feel up to it, you can even write multiple posts on days you’re feeling good and just schedule them. It may feel like cheating, but it’s saved me from having meltdowns some days during my schedule.

    I hope you manage to work through this, as it seems like you’ve got a really busy life. Good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I actually have done that before, writing a bunch of posts at once and just scheduling them out. I did that the last time I needed a lengthy break and it seemed to work out all right. I’ll probably use that method again in the future as well.

      Like

  4. I 100% relate to this! I haven’t been able to post anything in about 3 weeks. Every time I go to write something, my inner critic just says how much I suck at writing and nothing happens… I’m hoping your awesome Blogger Blitz event will help me get my words back too. Either that or poor Lightning is in some serious trouble for the competition, haha.

    Your work schedule sounds really stressful. I wish you all the best. For what it’s worth, I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and I like your awesome community event ideas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I’m honestly glad people are drawn to the idea, because the Blogger Blitz was definitely something where my inner critic was making me feel stupid and I didn’t want to take the risk.
      I feel like there are always seasons of highs and lows when it comes to writing. I’ve had some times this year where all I’ve wanted to do every night is come home and write. Other times, I got nothing.
      I too hope this event helps you get some juice back, and if not I’m sure something will roll along soon to help you get back into the swing of things!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey man, I hear ya. I’m kind of getting back on track now. But you’re right, after E3, I also had that feeling of… What now? It was tough. I ended up just scheduling and churning out reviews, but now just kind of hitting up my backlog and writing about great moments there. Like playing certain games with family. But for a bit I was worried thinking, what else can I do besides reviews? I haven’t been doing this for nearly as long as most on here, so not sure what kind of advice I can give. But the least I could say is just write about whatever like you’re doing now. Some of my fav posts I’ve seen are ones where people just dwelve into their personal lives outside of gaming. In the end, I’m all for reading this, since at some point alot of us could relate to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, when I don’t have ideas I try to talk about not having ideas, or to just write about the games I have played lately. I think the main issue with that for me is that I’ve lately been playing ARMS or Breath of the Wild – I don’t have much to say about either that I haven’t already done an article about.

      Like

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