A post about not posting

I’m aware that my last post here also started with an apology for not posting, but it seems adult life has decided to smack me in the face. That’s one of the problems with university; you essentially get paid (by your future self, so the joke is on you) to laze around, eat pizza, play video games, and make lots of new friends. It’s a very sedate pace of life.

But when you leave, you become a proper grown up, you start talking about tax, most of you seem to become teachers and complain incessantly about marking, you know what 9am looks like. You start reading the calorie content on food packets because you actually want to know, rather than because you are trying to see how much of your daily intake you can cram into one meal.

The surface area of your floor becomes more carpet than it does pizza box.

Of course, this change happens at different speeds depending on who you are and what you do. Those who do manage to get full time jobs will still be able to afford pizza and drinking and inflatable vicars. I’ve just started my own business, so things are a bit tight at the moment, and I talk a lot about whether or not Kit Kats are tax-deductible, ways of fitting a filing cabinet into my already over-crowded bedroom, and whether stopping in the middle of the day to watch an episode of Bones counts as a healthy break from work or not.

The lifestyle of a freelance professional copywriter (oh, the notepads! the search engines! the dictionaries!) is a great one, and I am very much enjoying meeting and working with exciting people on interesting projects. The one major drawback of being self-employed, as anyone who is will tell you, is that your job does not stop. I’m not claiming we work harder than people in full time employment – that’s subjective, and depends on who you are and the job you do (I’m sure I work harder than a full time dinosaur vet, for example); what I mean is that if you work from 9-5, once you get home, that’s your time.

Being freelance, because your job is where you live, you can’t get away from it sometimes. The guilt kicks in. ‘What the hell are you doing, trying to have a sleep, at 4am, when there’s that work item you could be redrafting??’ In full time employment, that guilt probably doesn’t affect most people – for a start, you’re working to make someone else rich, and if it’s a large corporation, the chances are that they don’t care about you, so why should you care about them? And besides, you’d get in a lot more trouble for breaking into the office at 4am to do some filing that you would for leaving it until the following morning.

Basically it all comes down to time management, and that’s where I am still learning, and that’s why this blog has suffered. I love writing it, I love reading the comments, I love interacting with all you lovely people. But there are often other things that demand my attention, and sometimes, to be honest, after writing thousands of words all day, when my arms are aching (repetitive strain is turning out to be my nemesis), the last thing I want to do is write something else.

What it comes down to is being able to step back and say ‘Right, you’ve done enough actual work today, time to get back to your passions’. Because that’s what blogging, and writing creatively (which has also suffered massively, so it’s not like I’m just ignoring you people. Apart from you at the back there. Yeah, you.) is for me; a passion. I want to blog because I enjoy it, and because I want to inspire conversations and debate with a variety of weird and wonderful characters from all across the world (apart from you, again. Yes, at the back. Putting a wig on hasn’t fooled me.), not because I have to do it.

I think every blogger has their blips, however. So, to get that conversation rolling again, when was your last one, and what caused it?

Or if you haven’t had a blip, what have you done to make sure you avoid it?

12 thoughts on “A post about not posting

  1. Rewan – two months ago I decided I would try my hand at content writing. It’s been challenging starting from what was essentially a three-year absence from the web, but richly rewarding as far as the lifestyle itself.

    I haven’t encountered blips yet, simpl because my blog is my work showcase and portfolio; thus, it’s my priority. Apart from networking and working contracts, I blog. I write up several posts ahead of time, and choose between them when the time comes, as the spirit leads.

    I’ve gotten down to the wire once or twice, though, when the posts I had written just didn’t seem right as posting-day approached. Then it’s a wild scramble to put something fresh and engaging together before I offend nature itself by failing to post on time 😉

    You have a thoughtful and likeable style. I only wish it landed in my feed more frequently. Good luck keeping on track with things!

    1. The freelance lifestyle certainly is one that I’m beginning to love, although it will be a while yet before all the perks become apparent, I imagine. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it.

      My blog has been mostly for creative things so far, and will stay that way, but I am in the process of converting this into a proper website that will serve as my online presence as a creative and a professional writer. As that’s in the pipeline, I haven’t yet put much content that is business-related on here; that’s all ready to go once the new site is launched. The idea of writing content way ahead of time has occurred to me, but my problem at the moment is in finding the time to write one post, let alone several!

      Thanks for the compliment. Balance is something I’m working on, so in the near future you should see my blog popping up a lot more often 🙂

  2. My blip has yet to– whoa, let’s not jinx it; start again. My blip shall never come (** I insist! **) because, in lieu of an actual job (i.e., the kind that comes with money), I consider keeping up with blogging part of mine. There may come a time where I choose to scale down my number of posts to once a week, but I need to force myself to maintain some measure of regularity, else who knows how long a blip will last if ever I allow it a foot in the door.

    And then, like you, I get the 4am guilts. Hey, I’m alive and breathing — who cares if I’m deep asleep, shouldn’t I be up doing something productive? There’s something to be said for a small lack of work ethic.

    Glad to hear from you at long last, buddy. Come back when you can, and take care of yourself. Particularly watch out for that guy in the back with the wig; I think he’s feeling bitter.

    1. That’s why my blog was quite well maintained up until recently; I didn’t start freelancing until about March, and things have taken a while to build up. Before then, as you say, blogging was a job for me (in the sense that it took up a lot of time on a regular basis, not that it was unpleasant). What I think I want to aim for now is to make each post as content rich and thought provoking as possible, so I will probably post once a week, but with an aim of making it a damn good post each week. And like you say, if the blip goes on for too long, the blog just becomes another among the thousands of abandoned blogs floating around the internet.

      I agree. Being slightly less demanding and ambitious wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing (wouldn’t change it for the world, though 😉 )

      It is, as always, a delight to receive your thoughts. I know your my nemesis, but if the man in the wig gets me, at least avenge me, right?

      1. Absolutely. Nobody gets to destroy you and everything you hold dear and laugh about your doom all the way to the bank but me. (That’s right, wig man — no exceptions, zero tolerance.)

  3. I think my blip is coming within the next couple of weeks with the birth of my first child. I have prepared for this by picking my days I want to post, what I want to post, and scheduling way ahead for those days. It also helps that I do movie reviews and poetry mostly so I can review or write a poem and schedule it to drop in January if I need to. When you do a blog like you write it is a lot harder to do that. I think we (as bloggers) do this to keep our creative juices going, but if something else is doing that for us then our goal is accomplished all ready. Keep up the good work. Hang in there. I get email updates from you so when you post again I will check back in. Good luck with the job and all you have going on and like the blogger above me said – look out for that guy in the back with the wig.

    1. I’d say that’s a pretty good reason to stop blogging for a while! Yeah, being able to post content that doesn’t rely on chronology for context is probably a great way to go about things. I often like to respond to and analyse things that happen in the world, so I think this blog would change noticeably if I started scheduling posts automatically. Every blog is different though, and as a regular reader, it’ll definitely work for yours.

      It’s a very good thought, the idea that we have some kind of creative quota that blogging helps us fill. I think having a real hard think about what I want from this blog will help me to realise why it is so important to keep it updated. Already I’ve realised how much I’ve missed the interactions that come from writing a post, and the thrill of seeing Likes and comments.

      Thanks for the good wishes. Just in case we don’t hear from you for a while, congratulations!

  4. I knew you were ignoring me! I should have sat in the front row. 😉

    I have not had a real long blog posting blip since i started it but I do go longer between blog posts in the summer. It seems to have to do with trying to soak in as much summer as possible in that entire week it occurs in this country before it goes again and still live my normal life. I also seem busier at work in the summer because everybody else goes on holiday so we are running on less bodies than normal. My novels and editing projects also suffer for similar reasons.

    I used to work from home so I know what you are saying about guilt and trying to live and work in the same place. In time you will find a balance that works for you.

    I am pleased for you that you are doing so well. That is good to hear. So many freelancers struggle to find work.

    1. Damn it, now I’m going to have to think of new ways of ignoring you!

      I think it’s fair enough that you scale back your posting during the one week of summer (that’s a really good summer, too). It’s like how people take time off at Christmas – it only comes around once a year and doesn’t last very long, so you have to take the most of it. I haven’t been freelancing for a full year yet, and most of the time I’ve been going so far has been setting up and finding my feet, so I’m not sure when my busy and quiet periods will be, so who knows, I may find that I have plenty of time to write blogs and short stories and novels in the summer.

      Thanks Billie. It’s still and uphill struggle, but perseverance and seemingly doing a good job are starting to open doors for me, and make me think that this might actually work out after all 🙂

  5. My blip came because I was on holiday in France for two and a half weeks, and I wanted a break from writing stuff, having amused myself with various creative projects over the summer. Well, that, and I didn’t always have access to wifi, but mainly the first reason.

    I’m now making up for it with three posts inspired by things I spotted whilst abroad.

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