There Are So Many Blogs / Why Even Bother?

I haven’t been able to write tonight. I sat in front of my laptop for over an hour, looking at my list of topics, trying to think up new ideas but unable to string more than half a sentence together. They say that to write well, you should write often. I’ve tried to prioritise writing and make it a weekly habit but lately I have felt like I don’t have anything of value to say.

If my ideas either aren’t interesting or have been done to death, why bother? I feel like I’m letting myself down when another week goes by and I haven’t written a single thing. In the past I’ve blamed that on being time poor but at the moment I simply don’t want to write and that makes me really sad. It’s meant to be something I love yet I haven’t felt like doing it for the past month. Why is that?

There is so much content available to everyone, all the time. And so much of it is bullshit; the last thing we need are more click bait blogs about ‘the top 10 tips from happy couples’ or ‘6 things he does that make you sure he’s the one’. Relationships still fascinate me, but the number of articles written about them is getting intolerable.

And that’s fine – writing has always been something I’ve done for myself, I’m not writing to get a billion clicks and so it shouldn’t matter what anyone else is doing. But when I start to get sick of seeing articles about the very same topic I write most about, it makes me wonder why bother writing at all.

This is a very new feeling for me. I may have limited time or writers block preventing me from writing, but I never actively think about not wanting to write (and don’t think the irony of writing that sentence is lost on me). Part of it comes down to expectation; if I didn’t have an expectation of how often I should be writing, I would be free to do it only when the desire struck and there would be no over thinking it. Part of it comes from knowing that, for me, this blog is about more than just having an outlet – it’s about working on a skill, something that requires practise, and so the expectation is almost necessary in order to achieve that.

It doesn’t really matter, though. There will be periods where I don’t want to write; periods where I wonder why I bother if it continues looking less likely to result in something I do for a career. But if you took one of your favourite hobbies and relied on it to make a living, would it still be your favourite? Maybe there will be times when I feel like quitting altogether but I know that will pass. Writing is what I’ve always done. I’ve been doing this for the past 20 years. It might take a back seat or get put on hold from time to time, but it’s always going to be there. It’s a part of who I am, after all, and I’m glad that’s what I ended up realising through all this. 


Having Nothing To Say Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

It’s 6pm on Tuesday and I haven’t written anything. I’ve tried, believe me. I’ve had my laptop open all day, continually flicking between tabs, reading other blogs before coming back to mine, staring at a blank screen and hoping for a topic to magically come to mind. A few weeks ago I made a deal to myself and this blog, to help bring a little structure into my writing, that I would post once a week on Monday or Tuesday. It’s 6pm on Tuesday and my time is almost up.

To start with, my brain was poking me, “Come on, can you really not think of anything to write about? There are thousands of talking points in this world and you can’t think of one? It can be anything, ANYTHING”. The day progressed and something a little different happened – my brain quietened down and just let me be.

Everyone has experienced times when you feel you need to fill the silencewith conversation. Your brain kicks into over-drive; “Hear that? It’s too quiet, it’s awkward. You need to say something. Bring up a talking point. It can about anything, anything is better than this silence. What about the weather? No, it can’t be about the weather, that’s the classic ‘I have nothing to say’ talking point! Think of something better. ANYTHING.” And before you know it, you’re commenting on what a warm sunny day it is for that time of the year (while your brain quips “Oh, the weather, how original”).

Other times, not having anything to say is actually great. It’s a sign that you’re comfortable not only with the person you’re with, but comfortable enough with yourself not to worry that it might seem awkward. It can be a real pleasure to simply be with someone, to enjoy nothing more than being in their presence.

It’s those moments with your best friend or significant other that don’t require an exchange of words to be enjoyable – a long car ride, sharing a drink on the patio, laying in bed on a Sunday afternoon. We spend so much of our lives sharing, sharing personal stories, knowledge, viewpoints, interesting tidbits we read online, that it’s nice to be with people who want to spend time with you even on days you don’t have anything interesting to say.

So today, when I don’t have anything interesting to say, it seems I’ve ended up saying something after all.