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Hurricanes and Blogger Burnout

Dear Alexander,

The eye of your hurricane may be quiet, but mine is not. Mine is making my head spin. I’m trying to write my way out though. My writing is the only thing I’m sure of.

Your obedient servant,

MG

I wish I knew how Hamilton did it. All his writing. He wrote 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers when there were only supposed to be 25 in total. How did he never burn out? If I were writing all of that, it would be impossible not to. It would probably be easier if I weren’t a one-woman blog. But I am. At least for now.

I commented on this post the other day when I realized something: with all the mental and physical energy that it takes for me to come up with topics and write about them consistently, I should be getting paid. But I don’t have enough followers for anything of that sort yet. Even if I did, I doubt it would be a big paycheck.

When I get burned out, my content quality suffers. I hate having to post something for the sake of posting something just to stick to a schedule, because the output isn’t something I can be proud of . I want to produce content that I’m proud enough to show people.

It doesn’t help that I feel like hardly anyone takes me seriously. My friends think all I do is sit in my room all day and complain. In reality, I’m coping the best way I know how: writing. My imagination is essentially a form of therapy. I can channel whatever I’m feeling at the moment into any story I want. Right now, it’s mostly fan fiction. Hopefully I’ll be able to find my own story in the future.

Writing and job prospects? Don’t even get me started. People don’t think my writing counts as doing anything just because I’m not making money from it. I’m doing the thing I know how to do (I like to think my writing is at least halfway to decent), and yet they’re disappointed, because, for some reason, money makes the world turn.

Before my blog burned me out not even halfway through the year, it felt exactly like a full-time job. I was spend my days writing and planning multiple posts. I knew I was going to hit a wall, but I was hoping I’d avoid it somehow. Wishful thinking, I know. I’m slowly dipping my toes back in, though; I’ll definitely have to find a way to pace myself.

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Lacking Consistency

I thought I’d come back from my blogging break, but it seems that I haven’t. I’m sorry about that. However, I just started a creative writing class on Wednesday, so I should be able to post some of those things here.

I think part of it is that I haven’t felt like I have anything new to talk about. I know I have ideas in my brain somewhere, they’re just not at the forefront where I can readily access them. It’s disappointing, honestly.

I have been working on some fan fiction though, which has been really fun. And unexpectedly cathartic. I’m processing feels that I thought I’d already processed, but the story is bringing them up again as if they’re fresh. Sometimes it gets so intense that I have to stop writing.

My biggest personal disappointment though is not being able to finish a novel. I’ve been bouncing from idea to idea for years. I’m able to start writing the stories, but they just seem to fizzle out after awhile for some reason. Hopefully having deadlines in my class will help me to stick to something.

I’ll try to get back to regular posting soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

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5 blogversary!

Today marks five years since I’ve started this blog. I almost can’t believe it. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’d like to thank each and every one of my followers for sticking with me through my ups and downs. I hope you’ve enjoyed my content so far and that you will continue to enjoy it. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

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Twitter Magic: Blogging Edition

A few minutes after I published Friday’s post, I got the above reply from Crimetown’s Twitter account. I’m really happy that they’ve decided to release it everywhere. However, I’m more surprised than anything else that they noticed my blog post.

It’s one thing to have my favorite famous people and/or journalists like my tweets and occasionally respond to them. It’s nice, and it amazes me every time. I like to think it keeps me humble. But people noticing my blog on platforms other than WordPress is somewhat new territory for me. It’s happened before of course, but nowhere near the frequency with which people notice my tweets.

What is this magic? What is it about Twitter that it’s the place where I’m lucky enough to be noticed? I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it. Maybe that’s a good thing.

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Creativity v Suggestion

This post was inspired by something my mother said. I don’t remember it verbatim, but it was something like this:

I had an idea of something for you to blog about, but I can’t remember it.

If she had remembered it, I’m sure I would’ve listened respectfully and at least considered the idea. All the same, it really ticked me off.

You may or may not have noticed, but I took a few days off from blogging because I was close – dangerously close – to running out of topics and having to wrack my brain for something to write about and post for that day, as opposed to having the posts scheduled in advance.

After hitting the reset button for a few days, I’ve thought of more ideas to discuss in my post, this being one of them: If someone tells me what to write, it won’t be as exciting as if I had thought of the idea myself. If I think of an idea myself, it’s exciting, so I will put more time and effort into it because I care about it.

Another suggestion that I’ve received is that I should blog about things related to Cerebral Palsy or just generally blog about things that other people are interested in. It’s sort of the same issue as I described above. Plus, if I’m always writing for a specific audience, it takes away from my creativity and ability to expand on an established format. Because if I write for a specific audience, that audience is going to expect a certain product (format and content of a blog post). If I were to break from said hypothetical product, I don’t think it would go over well.

I should probably add that I don’t blog about my disability because I don’t want it to define me. I’ve never let it define me. I’ve mentioned it in passing on this blog before, but that’s because I’m trying to talk about something related to it.

I’m happy with the audience I do have here, because it means that people are interested in my topics and what I have to say about them. So, thank you.

Reading

Occasionally, my mother will show me a newspaper article she thinks I should read. sometimes the topic is actually interesting, but most of the time it’s not. When it is interesting but I don’t read it right away, she says I’m not interested. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the drama. Because what I’m trying to get at is that people might mean well when they suggest reading material or topics to write about, but if I’m not interested, it isn’t going to happen.

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Writing my feelings (and for myself)

HGTV.com

Improvement

Believe me, I wish my bedroom were actually this nice. Someday it will be. But I digress. I actually want to talk about my blog and how I feel it has improved.

There was a recent period of time where I used the blog to vent. Pretty much all the time. I don’t think I went too far in revealing myself or anything, but looking back, I’m really embarrassed.

While I wrote about how I was feeling (and trying not to turn it into a pity party), I wasn’t really dealing with the root of the problem. I was trying to ease the symptoms, because I honestly didn’t know what the root of the problem was. I just knew I was stuck in a cycle that I couldn’t seem to break. There were days that I didn’t want to do anything, least of all eat or take a shower. All I could do was stay in bed and try to get some sleep.

Thankfully, I am no longer in that cycle. Granted, I’m still dealing with some of it, but I’m able to write and process my thoughts in a notebook. And I’ve been able to at least temporarily break the cycle and keep it from bleeding into my blog again now that I’ve learned a thing or two about narcissism.

I’m really proud of myself that I’ve been able to post on a consistent basis and get back to what this blog is about – books, movies, and occasionally breaking down an article in order to write my own thoughts about the subject.

I really hope you find my new content interesting. I know it’s something I can be proud of.

For my eyes only

I’ve also decided that not everything I write has to go on this blog. I’m really proud of the fan fiction I’ve been working on lately, but for some reason, it feels personal. Not that it would do anyone harm if I did post it, it’s just my version of a guilty pleasure. Way more fun – not to mention real – than reality TV, in my opinion.

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Frequency vs. Quality

image: writingcooperative.com

I’ve had this blog for almost five years now. And it’s been said that posting on a consistent basis is better for an audience. For the most part, my experience tells me this is true.

However, in setting up a schedule of posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I now have another problem: coming up with something to write about. I hate writing something just to stick to a schedule. Because sometimes, it’s not my best writing. If I don’t write posts that I can be proud of, what’s the point?

My best writing comes in moments of insanity. By that, I mean an idea gets stuck in my head and it won’t leave until I write it down. It’s a compulsion, and I love the metaphorical high I get from it.

Of course, this “high” doesn’t happen all the time. If it did, my life would be a lot easier. And definitely more fun. And maybe people would take me more seriously as a writer. Some people have really weird standards and ideals. Which sucks, because it makes me question everything about my life.

But I digress. I realize that sticking to a schedule is important, but if I’m grasping for topics day after day, that’s no fun at all. And it’s a lot of effort to come up with absolutely nothing in the end. I feel like I let my audience down when I don’t post, because they’ve come to expect something from me, and I’m a people-pleaser who doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. But why should I let the quality of my writing suffer in the name of consistency?

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Broad v. Narrow

I’ve gotten two different pieces of advice on blogging, and I’m not sure which to take.

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Detoxing

Trust me, this isn’t what you think it is.

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4 Blogversary!

I’m kind of mad at myself right now.