One Blog, Two Blog, Old Blog, New Blog

(Image from Flickr user Alexander Baxevanis, cropped by author)
(Image from Flickr user Alexander Baxevanis, cropped by author)

If you’re one of the approximately six people who has visited this blog so far, you may have noticed that posting has been…intermittent at best. I have, too. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out why – given the motivation and time – I’ve been struggling to keep this running well. I think I’m starting to get a handle on it, and I’ve got some changes in mind that I think should help.

When I started this blog right after Thanksgiving, I thought it would be relatively easy to keep it running smoothly. I’m underemployed, day-job-wise, so I’ve got the time. I’ve written daily blog posts before, and it’s not as if I lack ideas.

As time has gone on, though, I’ve realized that here I lack the structure I had during past blogging success. Freed from word counts, recommended structure, and the daily expectations of coworkers, my discipline slipped. Learning how to self-manage the freelance life has turned out to be a longer growing process than I first anticipated.

On the one hand, this isn’t too surprising. I’m still relatively young, and I’ve spent most of my thinking life in highly structured academic environments. My work life has either been in the very regimented world of secondary teaching or in the previously described system of supports and expectations for public writing. Building the habits and willpower necessary to sustain a blog, professional fiction aspirations, and freelance day job work (on top of contributing to the household through menu planning, cooking, occasional cleaning, etc.) wasn’t going to be a quick or easy process.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been dealing with guilt, shame, and self-recrimination as I’ve been failing to meet my own expectations, though. Recognizing and accepting those emotions has been its own challenge. (I’ve had to resist abridging this paragraph with a “brush it off” comment about how the Internet doesn’t need another blog post about negative self-feelings; the Internet may not need it, but I need to face my own feelings here.) I don’t like failing to live up to my self-image – who does? – and it’s been painful to admit my insufficiencies to myself.

Ultimately, though, I’m still dedicated to making this work. Learning how to do so is, I think, an important part of how I’ll grow into the next iteration of myself. I’m all about learning and growth, and I’m feeling hopeful going forward.

To improve, I need to re-center myself and my approach to this. I need more structure, so I’m putting one in place behind the scenes here. I’ll be taking greater advantage of the ability to schedule posts in advance and being more intentional about planning what I write before I do. It’s also time to move past the throat-clearing posts and insert a greater variety of topics around here, so be ready for that. And I will be revising my daily schedule to allow more time for blogging and a better balance to avoid the brief burnout I experienced a week ago.