Towards the tail end of last year I spent a number of days considering how I spend my time and asking if I am truly getting value for it. For example, I don't spend time watching the news or any other TV shows. I do go to a gym class once a week. I cycle whenever practical.
One area that I didn't address at the time, though I did spend some time thinking about it, was my current practice of posting something on this site every day.
While I have maintained a blog of some variety or another for over 13 years, most of the time my posts have been extremely sporadic. While I wanted to post something about once a month, I would frequently go a whole year without posting anything. One of the problems was that I kept chasing perfection or a standard that was so high I never got around to achieving it and posting. Worse still is that I didn't bother even trying most of the time.
Then in mid 2018, I made a change. I decided to get over it and just post something. It didn't matter how bad, just write something and hit post. Every day.
Creation Vs Consumption
One reason that I wanted to write more was simply to produce something rather than being a pure consumer. I didn't want to continue to be someone who watches TV while endlessly scrolling through Twitter, Facebook or whatever the current favourite app is. I had admired people who actually managed to produce content, particularly those who do it for fun around their job.
I have certainly managed to produce content in the last year and a half, though I doubt any of it is truly worth anyone's time to read. But it has been a step in the right direction.
Most of the time, I use the period when I am waiting for my kids to fall asleep as an opportunity to review the day and would write a post in the darkness. In recent times I have not been the one putting the kids to bed, so I haven't had the same opportunity.
I have also managed to write a lot of the articles that have been stuck in my head for many years but until I started posting daily, I never got around to writing. I have just about ran out of these type of articles. The ones that I have still not written require more time and resources. I have a couple of ideas that require a significant amount of research before they could be written. I have other ideas that require some code to be written before getting posted.
I need to make time for these extra activities if I want to ever post these ideas.
I have decided that I am no longer going to try and post every day. I no longer enjoy the process and I am keen to get on with other things. There is a common sentiment among professional writers that, when asked “do you like writing” to respond with “I like having written”. I am glad that I have posted virtually every day for the last year and a half, but I am not particularly happy with what I have actually produced.
I hope that going forward I will continue to post, just less frequently but hopefully with a bit more valuable content. If I don’t have something worth saying, I will try and shut up. I will hopefully get around to those coding or research projects. I may even get around to proofreading a post before publishing it!
If history is anything to go by, nothing in that last paragraph will come true. I suspect that old habits will reform, and my disiplin will vanish. I will start out trying to at least work on something each day, researching, coding or writing. But without the daily deadline, I will probably start skipping the odd day, then two days in a row will get skipped, then before I know it another year has passed.
Wherever I end up doing, I know that my current practice is no longer working for me. I hope to find better ways to spend my time.Go Top