Scheduling Change

Hello there.  You’re probably wondering where my regular post is for the day.  Well, I’m writing this because I want to announce that I’m scaling back my posting this year.  Instead of posting once a week, I will be posting once a month on the third Wednesday of the month.  Why am I doing this, you ask?  The reason is simple: I need to give myself some breathing room.

A common theme going around is that 2017 wasn’t a good year, for a great many people.  Whether their reasons were political, personal, financial, or otherwise…people just did not like 2017 as a year.  I can safely count myself among those people.

Quite frankly, 2017 left me frustrated, depressed, and above all else, exhausted.

Those who follow my blog know that I spent the last year fulfilling my New Year’s resolution: writing a short story each month, twelve in all.  Well, on top of working all the time and posting a regular blog post each week (aside from the last Wednesday of the month, which was when I’d post the short story of the month), I eventually just found myself drained.  It started feeling less like a passion project and more like contractual obligation.  And I hate that feeling.  I hate that something I feel strongly about became a source of self-imposed misery.  I hate that it happened.  I hate that I let it happen.  But there it is.

Another part of the problem had to do with feedback.  And I don’t mean that people were commenting things like “you suck” or “your writing is trash, you should just kill yourself” on my short stories.  I can deal with that crap, because it’s just garbage posted by people with nothing better to do with their lives.

No…it was the silence that eventually got me.

I think it all really comes back to July.  That month, my grandmother passed away after a long battle with health issues.  I’ve already written at length about it, so I won’t go into too much detail here.  But on top of that, I had also written a short story that I ended up being really proud of.  It was something different, and fun to write.  It was a dialogue heavy story where the majority of the time it was just two people sitting in a room talking.  It was a challenge, but a fun one.  And I was more than satisfied with the final product.  So I posted it at the end of the month.

And didn’t hear anything for almost a week.  Even when I did, it was from one person, and that was it.  I think that, combined with my grandma passing away, is what did me in.  Slowly, but surely, my passion to write waned.  Soon enough, writing the short stories became little more than a chore.  That’s the thing with negative thinking like that: it becomes a vicious feedback loop that sucks you down.

I know that it’s unrealistic of me to expect the people around me to read everything I write.  They’re busy.  They have lives.  But after a while, that logical, reasoning part of my brain lost the fight and the irrational side took over.  And then, it didn’t matter anymore.  It was all just work to finish a task I had set for myself at the beginning of the year.

The people who I care about who are reading this probably feel a little stung after reading those last few paragraphs.  And I hate that too.  I hate that I’m being a selfish turd and complaining about these things.  It makes me feel like I’m being a drama queen.  But in the end, I need to do it.  It’s catharsis…just like when I wrote following my grandma’s death.

Now that the year is finally over, I feel like I can breathe again.  I don’t know if I can call what I was feeling depression, and I don’t want to presume that my stupid problems are such a big deal.  I know they aren’t.  I just…I needed to pour some of this out in a way.  Some of it I put into my final short story for the year, which went up last week.  Quite frankly, there’s more of myself in the main character than I’d care to admit.

I’m still not out of the woods yet.  I need to take time to do a little self-reflection, figure out where I want to go and who I want to be.  Scaling back on the blog is just the first step.  But it’s a step in the right direction at the right time for me.

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my self-indulgent ramblings.  Check back on the third Wednesday of the month for my next post.  Let’s look forward to the new year with happy expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Scheduling Change

  1. 2meirl4meirl. Give yourself credit though! I think the fear of rebuke – and even worse, silence – is what keeps many creatives from putting themselves out there.

    Be proud of what you’ve created, and what you’ve learned! As the great David Wong a.k.a. Jason Pargin said,

    “I was the world’s shittiest writer when I was an infant. I was only slightly better at 25. But while I was failing miserably at my career, I wrote in my spare time for eight straight years, an article a week, before I ever made real money off it. It took 13 years for me to get good enough to make the New York Times best-seller list. It took me probably 20,000 hours of practice to sand the edges off my sucking.”

  2. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Personal Time – Rumination on the Lake

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