Yeah, yeah, I know, this doesn’t fit the current fashion to have your blog posts all neatly organized and corralled because I’m drafting this just before posting, and it’s not on the list of things to post. And I am getting to that place…slowly. But I keep getting mugged by ideas that I want to write, especially when I’m out working with the horses, or that infamous “ideas popping into my head just as I start going to sleep” moment.
Arrgh. It’s frustrating.
One issue is that I’ve been slowly thrashing around trying to dig myself out of a slump with the fiction work and that’s bled over into these casual essays. At first I thought this feeling was due exclusively to working within the same series, with the same characters, for over four years. Then I started thinking about the other, non-series work I’ve been drafting during this period, especially when I was posting work on Kindle Vella as well as Substack and—oh.
More than one thing going on.
First, I’ve spent the past few years hustling to post on Medium, Substack, and Kindle Vella. While some of that has been a crossover with my published fiction, a lot of it hasn’t been that. All three venues require a certain amount of time dedicated to them and/or associated social media as a participant in order to gain any attention to your own work. That ends up being a time suck, especially since the writing that gets done on social media doesn’t go into creative work. Or, if I have multiple notions to post, I have to stop and think about whether I want to spam people’s inboxes.
Which, honestly, causes me to freeze up when I think about it. Then it becomes a case of “oh no, I can’t post that because I posted already today.”
The hustle culture around those venues also ends up being a time suck that doesn’t necessarily show results. So it’s not at all surprising that I started sliding into a slump from just plain old burnout. While all those posts last year about writing accountability really helped me at the beginning, they eventually became just another millstone around my neck that interfered with writing production and choked me up.
Second, I realized that yes, writing these blogs helps with my writing production. I don’t draft them with an eye toward eventual publication because in order to do that, I need to spend more time polishing them. These are meant to be reflections more than anything else—basically, the classic blog.
Third, I want to write these blogs about a lot of things. Not just about writing but about horses, current events, and even a little political history. One thing that is coming clear from my current activity on social media is that I remember a lot of political history that is relevant to current events. I recently started rereading a history of Democratic party organizing in Oregon during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and came away with the reaction that not only are there many similarities between the current situation and that era, but that wow, if we think things are rather chaotic now, um, the way third parties rose and fell, and coalitions frequently shifted during that era (and some of those hijinks)….
Things can get worse. But they can also get better. I want to share some of those insights, but mixed in with horses, blathering about the outdoors, writing, and who knows what else.
So. Drafting this post today and putting it up today, but I am working on building up a backlog of posts. I’d like to put things up two or three times a week, without swarming the inboxes but providing variety.
We’ll see how it goes.
My next post this week will be “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free,” a reaction to some tweets by Yann LeCun that, well, rubbed me the wrong way because of his attitude toward fiction. I have one post drafted about winter horses, and will be working on another shortly about a recent realization that this past year makes it twenty-seven years since I went back to riding horses as an adult. I also have some writing process posts in mind, one about converting a villain to a protagonist (Philip Martiniere, for those of you who are curious) and musings about organization.
But no more accountability posts. Damn, that was enough to send me into burnout just on its own.
Meanwhile—housekeeping issues. I’m not sure just yet how SendFox handles responses. Feel free to send me a note at [email protected] if you want to respond and you aren’t sure if responding in email works.
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Hoping to see you around!