On Monday I almost gave up, this blog came within five minutes of being deleted….forever.
On reflection I think I was just tired, or hungry, or both, but the threat was real.
I’ll rewind and explain what led to the tantrum and rant at the end of a very wet, very miserable May Bank Holiday Monday.
I’d started the day with ALL the intentions, I was spending the day at my desk tapping away, I’d hopefully get a couple of blog ideas out and spend a bit of time on my work in progress….
….I achieved nothing.
I basically sat staring at a blank page, doom scrolling twitter, checking on my eBay, internet banking, putting more clothes on eBay, looked on Facebook, had a nap, wrote a sentence and then deleted it.
After a few hours, feeling utterly pissed off I stomped downstairs, threw myself on the settee and proceeded to huff and sigh dramatically until Scott took his cue to ask what was wrong and then I ranted, for a long time….
Here’s the highlights reel of that rant:
“I can’t write”.
“I haven’t got time to write”.
“I don’t know what to write”.
“No one reads it anyway, so why bother”.
“I may as well give up on the whole enterprise”.
“I’m just going to delete it all”.
The poor man then had to spend the next half an hour talking me down from my strop with sensible arguments and -crucially – feeding me.
Clearly I didn’t go through with my threat, I’m still here writing, this site is still live; but it has played on my mind and that idea of giving in has crossed my mind a few times over the past few months mainly for all of the reasons I’d ranted about after my frustrating Monday afternoon.
“I can’t write”.
That feeling isn’t restricted to this blog.
Writer’s block is a pain in the arse.
In the past 6 weeks I have found myself uttering that phrase on a fairly regular basis. In the past few weeks, I’ve shouted “I can’t write” over standard cues, news bulletins, packages, reports, emails, web pieces, the lot.
A big chunk of the day job relies on being able to write, writing helps keep a roof over my head, so feeling like I can’t write is far from great. It’s also, bollocks.
I can write, if I can’t, I have no idea how I’ve managed to stay employed as a journalist for the past thirteen years. I just can’t recognise when I need to re-assess the story I’m trying to tell or when I need to have a break from it.
“I haven’t got time to write”
I absolutely have. I just need to turn my WiFi off and stop fannying about on social media.
Okay, it’s not that simple. I have found it harder to find the time now we have a little more freedom, having a bit of social life again is also tiring. I don’t necessarily mean finding the time to write (though this post is taking me an age), it’s keeping on top of everything else that comes along with blogging and trying to grow it.
It’s, at times, a bit overwhelming, I don’t think I’d ever appreciated how hard it is to grow something from nothing. I think naively I’d kind of thought it would just take care of itself, it won’t.
Having said that, without putting every spare hour into it (or that many) I have managed to grow it, pick up followers and increase views month on month, I guess I just need to chill out.
“I don’t know what to write”.
I do. I have loads of ideas, I have a notebook full of ideas, I have all sorts plotted out on pieces of paper that are stuffed in drawers, handbags, on my desk, in the back of books, in my glovebox, everywhere.
I just need to write them down.
“No one reads it anyway”.
I have stats board that proves that’s not true.
There’s people who like and comment on posts who prove that’s not true. The same can be said for social media too.
I don’t know why I have a hang up on this, I didn’t start writing for anyone else other than me (I even talked about why I’d started in January to mark 12 months of blogging).
I guess at times it can feel like flogging a dead horse, other bloggers must feel like that from time to time, especially on those posts that you’ve put a lot of time into, think they’ll do well only for them to well, flop.
I’d been thinking about these different points during the week, underpinning it all, was unnecessary pressure.
When I started this, I hadn’t given a second thought to stats or how many people would read it, I didn’t have any plan – quelle surprise – I just enjoyed doing it. Recently I haven’t been thinking “I want to write”, I’ve been thinking “I should/have to write”.
So, I left it all week, I didn’t get my laptop out at home, I was too bloody tired, I watched TV, read, relaxed and got some sleep instead.
As for giving up, I’m far too stubborn for that. I don’t think I’ve given up on anything in my life, I’m certainly not going to give up on something I’ve enjoyed doing over a tantrum.
I think in future I’ll just take myself off for a walk or ask myself if I’m possibly suffering from low blood sugar.
Thanks for reading
Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm