Category: On Writing

Desert and tree

Five Reasons My Writing’s Dried Up

This post was originally shared on Medium.


Drafts (23).

On the rare occasions that I log into my blog, that number greets me from the dashboard. My Drafts folder is littered with nearly two dozen abandoned posts. Some are one round of polish away from publishing; “long multi-part thing about election, prolly too long idk” is a full 3,500 words. Others, like “writing long arguments = not caring,” exist only as note-to-self titles. There’s enough to post twice a month for the next year, if only I could motivate myself to write.

The cogs of my brain, it seems, have locked up. In August 2014, I challenged myself to a “Blogathon” and published 19 posts in 31 days; in the past year, I published two. Drafts (23) makes it clear that it’s not for lack of ideas. Something else must be jamming my motivation.

I’m not alone. Back in November, Alex Gabriel acknowledged his struggles with writer’s block and launched a daily writing challenge to pull himself out. In December, Miri started something similar. This month, it’s Greta. My blogging game is a league or two below these three, but their openness about their challenges with writer’s block nevertheless inspired me.

I have a basket full of lemons right now labeled “inability to publish.” In the interest of making lemonade, here’s what’s holding me back — good excuses and bad.

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Blog blog blog

Blogathon Post #17: Blog Development

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #17 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

Hello! I got linked to your blog post on KoL by my girlfriend. I very much related to the mentality you share, like expecting free content online, and the sadness of the demise of something you tacitly took for a constant in a universe of variables.

Something I struggle with on my blog (enduringbeta.com) is who the audience is. What the focus should be. I’m curious if that’s a concern for you!

Ross

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Exposure

Blogathon Post #7: Exposure

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #7 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

When I was nine years old, I started a comic.

Cover of "The 'L' Gang"I laid on my bedroom’s tan carpet, carefully drawing and coloring each panel, a plastic tub of colored pencils beside me. When I finished a page, I’d run downstairs to the kitchen, where a pot of spaghetti sauce was simmering on the stove, and interrupt my mom’s cooking to show off my latest work.

I don’t remember exactly how long The “L” Gang took to complete, but when I finished its seven pages and had written “THE END!” in rainbow letters on the last page, it was time to publish. Gathering a spare three-ring binder and some sheet protectors, I carefully slid each page into its plastic sheath, which I then hooked over the binder’s silver rings. When I was done, I held it in my hands. Here was a real comic. I could turn the pages, it had a cover–this was the real deal.

A few years later, when I was thirteen, I started another comic.

Eighths vs. Sevvies #1

Let’s look past the really weak, problematic punchline here.

This time, there was no binder, no sheet protectors. Although I asked my dad to print one copy for posterity, I didn’t rely on the comic’s tangibility to consider it published. Instead, I got near-instant gratification by uploading it to my deviantART account.

Eighths vs. Sevvies continued for five strips. Over the course of those five strips, I developed a digital coloring technique, practiced drawing and pacing comics, and even had a thoroughly developed plot laid out (although I’ve forgotten almost all of it today). One day, I’ll probably write a blog post about the series. But today, I want to look at something else that Eighths vs. Sevvies represents: the significance of art-sharing sites on my creativity as a kid.

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The Inevitable Book

Blogathon Post #5: The Inevitable Book

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #5 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

There aren’t many things in life I’m sure of, and about my future, even fewer. I lack a developed sense of ambition or faith; when faced with the daunting unknown, I’m far more likely to cautiously inspect it and slowly sketch a map than confidently plunge ahead into uncharted territory. Until very recently, if you asked me, a college graduate, what I wanted to do with my life, I would have shrugged, listed a few half-baked ideas, and ultimately iterated that I just didn’t know.1Even now that I have some idea of a career I want to pursue, I’m still don’t have many powerful aspirations for other parts of my life. Like I said, ambition’s not my thing. But despite my general milquetoastiness about the future, there’s on thing that I’ve simply accepted as a matter of fact:

One day, I’ll write a book.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Even now that I have some idea of a career I want to pursue, I’m still don’t have many powerful aspirations for other parts of my life. Like I said, ambition’s not my thing.
Pondering the colors of Magic

Blogathon Post #2: The Colors of Magic

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #2 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

write one on what parts of the color pie your personality represents, including a comprehensive walkthrough of each color’s ideals/traits.

Kevin Dyer

Strap on your nerd helmets.1I expect that a “nerd helmet” looks something like this. I’m going all-in.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I expect that a “nerd helmet” looks something like this.

Blogathon Post #1: Blogging

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #1 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

I figured the right way to start this blogathon was by blogging about blogging, so I sat down and pulled up the post editor.

“Blogging,” I said, placing my fingers on the keyboard. “Right then.”

Curiously, a fully-formed blog post didn’t flow from my fingertips, so I started poking around in search of inspiration. I checked out my archives, and realized that my first blog was in 2004, a solid decade ago.

Whoa. I’ve been doing this blogging thing a long freaking time.

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