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January 2, 2021

Writing Reflection

Somehow I’ve managed to go the majority of 2020 without writing anything. As far as 2020 itself is concerned, this isn’t that surprising given the spectacular dumpster fire this year as turned out to be. However, I’d like to reflect and not use that as a complete excuse.

Why has it been so hard to write?

Too many choices

I honestly think a large reason for this is that I haven’t committed to a single place to write. I’ve sub-divided this blog into “regular” posts (like this) and “micro blog” posts that were meant to be “light weight.” I use Twitter primarily as an information feed, but I’ve felt the pressure to be more active there. Earlier this year I tried Day One, thinking maybe if I didn’t have the pressure of making the writing public I would do it more (spoiler it didn’t work). My thoughts on anime usually go into posts on AniList where the audience is focused on that content.

I’ve definitely struggled balancing all these potential outlets to the point where even if I had the thought to write, I get so caught up in where does it go, that I fail to even start.

I spent way too long trying to integrate netlifly-cms to help streamline the writing process ultimately to no avail. I ended up flighting too many of their assumptions about how things would be saved in the filesystem and my desire to have multimedia elements in posts ultimately created more friction.

Focus pressure

This meme aptly describes this pressure for me

I have a very wide range of things that I would like to write about — anime, development, photography, any random thought that occurs to me. I’m not sure I want to “build an audience” but I’m definitely sure I wouldn’t be able to stick to to focus required to pull it off.

Another variant of that pressure is the self-imposed expectation of what content here should be. No idea I had was ever good enough. Nothing was ever original enough. It was hard to get outside my head and realize I just needed to practice — writing muscles atrophy just like musical chops. Only by consistently exercising those muscles can you hope to get better.

Going forward

Consolidation

I think I’m going to unwind the micro blog subsection — or at least blend it together with the main feed. If I could fully integrate Twitter cross posting with the ease of writing while still maintaining a markdown backed static blog, it would make sense as the Twitter writing conduit. But like most tradeoffs it’s a “pick two” sort of situation.

Streamlined Cross Posting

  • Blog posts here get “posted” on Twitter
  • Twitter “threads” get re-composed as posts here.
  • AniList posts get posted on this blog

Ideally I can figure out an automated flow for all three.

For now, I’m not going to worry about the “what” — I’m going to try to commit to a word goal every week or two weeks and just commit to posts as they are. I can always go back and refine it if it turns out to be evergreen.