Blog, Journal, On Writing

Taking a blog vacation

I’ve decided to take another blog vacation. I’ve realized things about where I want to go with my career and I have to reevaluate how this blog fits.

I’m not quitting. I plan to take a week to change and optimize my plans. Maybe even rebuild them to fit with what I want in life. I might be back sooner than I think. I might take longer.

I don’t know.

I know I can’t keep creating content so I can say I created content.

It’s getting harder to do each time I have to do it and I’m burning out. I also think I want to work on deeper content. I want to write longer, more powerful work. 

That takes time, focus, and a rhythm I can’t seem to find.

I have ADD. Despite what I want people to believe, it doesn’t give me multitasking super powers. 

Quite the opposite.

I have to focus on one task at a time. If I can, I’ll do amazing things. But, when I can’t, I lose it all. What ADD means for me is an inability to hold a task in working memory. If I switch away from it before it is finished, I have a hard time switching back.

This goes beyond the lost 20 minutes rule. Depending on where I am in a task when I get distracted, one of three things happens:

  1. My brain marks it as complete and removes it from my mental to-do list
  2. My brain marks it as unimportant and pushes it to the bottom of the procrastination queue.
  3. I have to start over and treat it as if I am beginning a new task

Over the years I’ve taught myself some coping mechanisms to help with it. For example, if I work on a certain project every day from 8:30 – 9:30, I can break it up into chunks. The problem then becomes about keeping the schedule. If I work on it three days in a row, I’m fine. But, if I screw up the forth day, I get one of the brain results above. 

It’s what makes it hard for me to write a full length novel. Anyone paying attention has noticed all of my books since Choices have been about half as long. It is easier for me to keep the pace for shorter periods of time. 

I was hoping I could break this into multi-day chunks. For example, I was hoping I could work on blog posts Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, then use Monday and Wednesday to work on other, longer projects. 

It didn’t work. My brain needs to work on things in longer stretches. 

So, I’ll work on something on Monday night, but then need to switch to a blog post on Tuesday and by Wednesday, I can’t go back to the other project. I’ve lost it.

I need to find a system that works for me.

I’ve learned that consistency is the most important thing I can do for myself. But, it has to be a more stable consistency. Whatever I do, I have to do it five days per week. 

Blame school. I learned my coping mechanisms at a young age. My brain learned to function five days in a row then shut down to reboot the process. 

I sleep an indecent amount on Saturdays, too. I think it is related. When it comes to the brain, it always is. 

So, I have to figure out what works for me. I feel like I am being forced to choose between blogging and writing books. It is a choice I don’t want to make. 

Writing and publishing is an important part in turning what I love (putting words on a page) into a career.

Blogging is the tool I can use to stay sane.

The only problem right now is time. I have three hours per night to do creative work. Just like exercise, it requires a warm-up and cool-down period. And, my brain won’t let me switch tasks. 

I believe in the saying, “If you don’t have time, you’re making something else a priority.”

For the last five months, I’ve made blogging a priority and neglected my other writing.

I have to do both. But, finding a system takes time. So, I have to make that the priority right now. 

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

One thought on “Taking a blog vacation”

  1. thebackyardpoet says:

    I hear you. Most people think that blogging is something they can do to promote their other projects. But blogging is a world unto itself and does not like to share its hold on your talents with anything.

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