I’ve been finding it very difficult to write blog posts of late (much less writing in general terms). Many posts that I’ve tried writing in the past week were sent straight to the recycle bin. Most I closed out and chose “don’t save” when the prompt appeared. Some stopped due to self-doubt. Others fizzled at some point during the writing process, so I just stopped and dumped.
There could be any number of reasons as to why. It is equally as difficult for me to uncover those reasons. A particular reason seems to stand out above others though.
One of the correlations that I have been seeing is that this occurs following my release or completing of a project. A week ago I published part 1 for my scifi novel Of Earth and Ice. Though I had most of the work already done prior to my pushing it out, it was an undertaking that took a lot out of me.
Think about it (if you aren’t already a writer): any piece of work that a writer produces and publishes is a direct reflection of that writer. No matter what the content is, each work is a piece of the writer. When that piece is put out on display as it is, it takes an emotional toll. Not to be crude, but it can be likened to an ejaculation for a guy for how I’ve been responding. I end up feeling exhausted; I want to just go to sleep.
Because of this emotional depletion that I encounter, I can only assume that it is a major cause of why I suddenly drop off in productivity immediately when finishing a project. And I don’t have to necessarily publish the piece to feel the effect. I’ve now been struggling to wrap up my next book after spending two years piecing it together, a book I hope to release in the coming month.
(Note: I deliberately built in a lot of flex time to deal with this dilemma of struggling on this next book. Too often in the past I’ve made unrealistic goals as to when I plan to get books out to the public and found myself unable to follow through.)
I even feel this way when I post blogs. Being that they are smaller in size (and generally in effort as well compared to a novel, etc) the effects appear to be far more muted. But they build up over time.
Here’s another analogy. This time I move to the less crude activity of lifting weights… and I’ll say let’s pick deadlifts for the example.
I can lift very heavy, greater than 350 lbs in a single rep. When I lift a high amount of weight, that one rep takes it out of me. Ask me to pick it up again and depending on the day, it may or may not happen. Conversely, give me just the bar. 45 lbs, that’s it. I can perform the deadlifts continuously for quite some time. Each rep seemingly will take nothing out of me. Enough of them and then I won’t be able to pick up that bar one. more. time. The novels, short stories, novellas, etc are the heavy rep; blog posts are the reps with just the bar.
Now, much like with exercise, as I continue with my growth in writing, the periods in between will get smaller and smaller. At least that is the hope.