I did not touch my blog for the month of April. In complete honestly, I barely thought about it. It’s not that nothing has been going on, worthy of writing – quite the opposite in fact. In the last month I had a significant role change in my company, presented at a large technical conference, and spent the weekends out hiking, climbing, and getting into all kinds of mischief. My mental capacity was completely consumed by the urgency of work transitions, leaving little energy for any other mental tasks.
That being said, I steer away from saying that “I’m too busy”. I have time go to spin class twice a week. I have time to climb twice a week. I have time to get up early most days, read, and do yoga. It was, however, a higher mental priority to tackle the work transition and occupy myself with physically exhausting and mentally relaxing activities.
In April, writing was not what I needed. It’s not April any more – it is May, and it’s time for me to evaluate my relationship with my blog.
What was my goal of writing a blog in the first place?
When I started my blog, this was something I addressed in my inaugural post: Why I made a New Years Resolution. Essentially, my entire blogging project has been an exercise in aligning what I intend to do and what I actually do, over a sustained duration of time. Granted, it is not particularly motivating or valuable to stick with a single esoteric pursuit for the sake of sticking with said pursuit – there needs to be some higher value that I am acquiring.
So what is my higher value?
For one thing, I have thought about writing a blog for a long time. I have circled around various ideas that include a hiking blog, a cooking blog, a home style blog, around and around without coming to any conclusion. Or perhaps, more importantly, I haven’t taken any action on any of my ideas until now.
Another factor is that blogging provides me with a creative outlet. When I was in school, I was always a huge fan of writing; however, it is harder to find a fun reason to write any more. Technical documentation, grant proposals, and scientific papers are all interesting and far from exciting or creative. I’m not a huge fan of writing short stories, and esoteric essays on character development can be rather dull.
The final motivation was that I feel that I have a lot of interesting things to share. I dabble in many interesting hobbies (and am completely enveloped by others), and I felt that there may be an audience that would enjoy and value my commentary. Admittedly, the most strategic approach for growing readership is to develop laser-focus on a single topic. For now, however, I wanted to keep my approach broad, and see what topics interested me, and interested my readers.
Do I still want to be writing a blog?
The short answer is: Yes! My goal of consistently pursuing an intellectual pursuit still stands, as does my love of writing, and my interest in sharing with others. This is, of course, a satisfying and affirming thing to conclude. Now, moving forward, how do I keep my motivation and interest as I roll through life’s seasons and shifting priorities?
One thing I find tremendously valuable is the exercise I have just gone through here. Why did I want to do this in the first place, and are those reasons still valid? Have I discovered new reasons that I love/hate what I am doing? I always want to engage in activities that I enjoy today on their own merit, not because I enjoyed them yesterday, last week, or last year. By recognizing and affirming this is something I am still interested in, this allows me to re-prioritize my days and be sure to fit writing in.
For the month of May, I will post every Saturday on whatever catches my interest. Once I am back in the posting-game, I plan to take a photography course and learn more about how to take beautiful pictures that tell a story.
We are moving forward, my friends…one baby-step at a time!