Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Stopped Writing: How I'm Poking Myself Into Writing Again.

(This post is for me, You'll excuse the indulgence, I trust.)

You may have noticed that I stopped writing.

*waits for celebratory cheering to stop*

Why did I start a blog in the first place?

I've told the origin story before; I didn't like the way the team (and more specifically  management) was being covered in the media, so I started the blog as a way to, I dunno, vent. Vent seems like a word I could use there.

(I wasn't really a writer before; I think I have some talent for it, if I can chest thump, but it was never really something I did, save for school. I was a reader though, so I had a treasure trove of voices to draw upon. That helped.)

Origin stories are often cocktails, they are mixed with parts truth and parts myth. The truth of my origin story is basically that I was bored, and needed a hobby beyond alcohol and drugs.

Most people would have gone out, taken a cooking class, and found a friend. I realize this.

But whatever. I started to blog. And then something crazyballs happened: people started to read it.

Which was a thang. Something I started doing to, basically, not be so bored at home, was giving strangers enjoyment. Not gonna lie, it was a kick. Having an audience was like a drug, mainly because I had never even contemplated having an audience.

(It was very "They like me! They really like me!" and it was cool.)

And what does one do when one takes a hit, and one likes it? One takes another one. Just like that I was addicted. And so I kept writing, I kept going after that hit. But, and my fellow drug users will know this, eventually the hit doesn't produce anything.

I wasn't getting high anymore. The thrill was gone.

What killed it?

Not my audience. If anything, feeling that I 'owed' something to the people who took the time to read the ramblings I put down into the cyber-paper kept me around far longer than I otherwise would have stuck around. My audience, particularly the commenters, was the reason I kept coming back. I've met some of you guys, and I'm better for it.

Which is my way of saying "It's not you. It's me."

I killed it. Or, I guess, the demands on me killed it. I started getting out of my mom's basement. I started playing sports again. I started mucking around the beautiful southern Alberta countryside. I got skates again, and joined a rec league. I got a shotgun and went skeet shooting. In short, I got other hobbies.

But other hobbies in and of themselves would not have precluded me from writing Domebeers. What they did was make a further claim on my time, time which I eventually decided to allocate to other endeavors.

I enrolled in school again to finish a degree I had started a while back but never finished. I had to get my degree so I could finish up my accounting designation courses. Working full time, going to school full time, and then having those other hobbies to get too...yeah, the time for writing pretty much dried up.

As the leisure time dried up, the blog, in my head, turned from a hobby into an obligation. An obligation that didn't pay, and didn't help me pass tests.

So I put it to the side. I needed to find time, and the easiest place to find time was the time I used to write the blog.

Why am I writing this?

I still get emails asking me to write. People who know me in real real life continue to bug me to write. I get tweets asking me to come back. And it sucks.

It sucks because I do like writing. It sucks because I put the blog away (which I enjoyed writing) so I could write academic, scholarly papers to pass a course (which I hate). Putting down something you liked doing to pursue things you don't like doing sucks. And having people ask you to go back to doing the thing you liked doing (but stopped doing to do things that you don't like doing) sucks.

I'm writing this for one: cathartic reasons and two: to try and kick myself back to writing on Domebeers.

I used to write here three or four times a week, and like 1000+ word pieces. I don't really have the time for that anymore, as I decide to finally grow up.

But I probably have the time to write at least once a week (This is me talking myself into writing again). I'm telling you this because I hear if you make your goals public you have a better chance of sticking to them. So I'm doing that. I'm telling you I'm gonna start writing again in the hopes that it will help me start writing again.

Time will tell if the trick works.

Furthermore...