Blogging Paradox

By Shamus
on Aug 2, 2007
Filed under:
Personal

When Blogging, we usually talk about stuff we’re doing or that we’ve done. Watching shows, movies, playing games, knitting stuff, writing fiction, going to work, attending school, whatever. The more stuff you do, the more stuff you have to write about. Except, after a certain point you’re doing so much stuff you don’t have time to write about any of it anymore.

I’m currently watching Samurai 7. It’s immensely enjoyable. A year ago, I would have been blogging the thing a disc at a time, talking about the characters and my impressions of the plot as it unfolds.

I’ve got a programming project in the works. Like my Terrain Project, it’s full of little lessons and surprises. Unlike my terrain project, I don’t have time to write about it. (I’m making notes here and there. I actually do hope to post this stuff eventually.)

I’ve got another project in the works that I can’t talk about yet. It’s hardly taking up any real time in the sense of doing work, but it occupies my thoughts for a majority of the day.

I’ve been playing a little Puzzle Pirates here and there. I was really into this MMO game a year ago, even going so far as to write a little Java applet to demonstrate a game concept to the developers. (The folks at Three Rings are amazingly open and interact regularly with users, even to the point of encouraging them to help design new mini games.) I could do a whole series of posts on this game and on Three Rings. It’s a unique concept from people with a unique approach to game development.

On top of all of this is just the regular ambient level of distractions everyone has to tolerate when they get out of bed in the morning. I’m exercising a bit to recover from my surgery. It truly is shocking what can happen to your body after just five days of rest.

So, I have an astounding number of things to write about, and no time in which to do it. This is in stark contrast to a few months ago, when I had copious free time and nothing to say. Hopefully I’ll be able to unpack some of this stuff later when the buffer isn’t quite as full.

Anyone else have this problem regulating blog output?

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From the Archives:

  1. kpram says:

    Not having anything to do (too much free time) is often related to having nothing to say. If I’m working on a project, I don’t have time to talk about it.

    I wish you a speedy recovery.

  2. Tango says:

    I used to play Puzzle Pirates. I enjoyed it for about 9 months. I’m currently jobless and am considering going back.

  3. MintSkittle says:

    Can’t you go back in time and post all this when you did have free time?

  4. Mark says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I tend to get my best ideas (not just for blogging) when I’m so obscenely busy that I can’t act on them. Whether it was in college during finals time, or at work when we’re near a launch, my brain always seems to come up with neat ideas that I have trouble acting on because I’m so busy with something else. I think there’s some sort of “mental inertia” at work here – once you get your brain revving, it starts going in all directions at once. Or something. I’m not sure I’ve figured out how to really harness that, aside from concentrating really hard while doing something.

    In any case, for some reason, waiting until after these periods of brain activity often doesn’t work out so well. I’ve tried to revisit stuff later and it’s just not as interesting or compelling as it once seemed…

  5. GreyDuck says:

    Maybe that’s why I haven’t posted in weeks… too gorram busy!

  6. Mike says:

    “Except, after a certain point you’re doing so much stuff you don’t have time to write about any of it anymore.”

    Or the opposite – you’re writing so much you don’t have time to do anything.

    Live first, blog later.

  7. Brian says:

    My biggest problem blogging is keeping any kind of topic coherency. My thought is, “It’s my blog, I’ll write what I want.” However, I know that to get and maintain any kind of traffic it should probably be coherent.

    But yeah, today it’s adoption, tomorrow I’ll want to write about non-profit organizations, and the next day it’ll be about the linebacker situation for my college football team of choice.

  8. theonlymegumegu says:

    “Except, after a certain point you’re doing so much stuff you don’t have time to write about any of it anymore.”

    I got to that breaking point not too long ago. I think it was really more that whenever I got in front of the computer and I *could* blog, I wanted to relax (tired from doing stuff) and not worry about typing coherently and recalling events accurately.

  9. Namfoodle says:

    I solve the problem by not writing a blog. I can’t imagine where I would find the time to write my own, so I just comment on Shamus’s blog every now and then. I found the blog because of the comic. I think someone linked it from OotS or one of my D&D buddies emailed it. But I started reading all the other entries because Shamus usually has interesting or entertaining stuff to say.

  10. Joe says:

    Just as a note, I personally suspect that “what happens to your body after just five days of rest” is less about the 5 days of rest and more about the lingering effects of sedation. I’ve had illnesses that put me on my butt for a week, but afterwards I was up and about fairly fast. The one time I had surgery though, I was out of bed after a couple of days, but out of shape for a month.

    But I completely understand what you’re talking about as far as time goes. Between family and work, I hardly have any spare time… I’d love to write a blog, but I know I’m nitpicky enough that I’d turn every post into a dissertation. I’m fairly impressed by people who have the time to write crappy blogs… Writing something as cool as this one, while having a job, a family, and playing the occasional game, is pretty impressive to me…

  11. Nic says:

    You’re darned right. Sometimes I’m out in the wide world, experiencing this thing we call life, and something truly interesting will occur. I say to myself- this’ll make a great blog entry!

    Then it never happens.

    There’s just too many other things to get done, and blogging falls behind. Ach well, them’s the breaks…

  12. Ben says:

    There would normally be more comments than this I’m sure, but most of the people who can relate to this are reading your post then going “yeah that’s right! I should write about that on my blog, if I ever get around to it” and then running out the door on to the next thing they’re doing ;-)

  13. Cenobite says:

    Shamus, it’s just the law of averages.

    There will be days when you’ll have nothing to blog about.

    There will be days when you’ll have so many things to blog about, you can’t do them enough justice with scant blog coverage.

    It is the same dilemma as Always Having Something To Do On Friday Night. There will be Fridays when nothing is scheduled…and Fridays when you’re forced to pick and choose from multiple events.

    We can’t always get a steady flow of blog postings / cool things to do every weekend / the same breakfast every day / cards that add up to 21 with every hand / whatever because the universe is inherently chaotic and it takes work to achieve and maintain an orderly flow. Just roll with it (“it” in this case being whatever life deals you).

  14. David V.S. says:

    I also am just back from two months of non-blogging because of being too busy.

  15. Jimmie says:

    Wow, Shamus, it happens to me all the time. A couple or three months ago, I didn’t have anything I thought was even remotely worth blogging. The last few days, though, have been a flurry of stuff and there are more posts just sitting in my head unwritten.

    Blogging creativity definitely comes in waves for me. I have to make sure that folks who come by understand that I’m not going to post just anything in order to keep a steady stream of posts. My stuff is likely to come in flurries.

    Which probably explains my notable lack of readership.

  16. Estelyn says:

    I’m familiar with this situation, since I constantly have too many irons in the fire, and it reminds me of one of my favorite Tolkien quotes:

    ‘Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a good deal of telling anyway.’

  17. DaveJ says:

    I wasn’t busy all day so I read your Free Radical story. Pretty good.

  18. Alex says:

    Yes, for the past billion years I’ve had the logjam of too much stuff to do to do any of it. It’s terrible when you’ve got too many games to play, or too much anime to watch, or too many books to read, to the point that you don’t do any of them. And then you can’t really see what it is your doing but getting nowhere fast.

  19. Nanja Kang says:

    I rarely blog, I was into blogging about my personal life on myspace, but no one reads that anyway… and I really enjoy speaking about other peoples blogging rather than my own… Depends on how you get off so to speak… some like to read of other peoples lives, some like to share their own… just a thought.

  20. Allen says:

    YPP player for 2+ years here. Long live Viridian. :) Hey, you should get in on Whirled. It’s pretty cool.

  21. Telas says:

    The same conundrum hits those who make a good income. The more you work, the more you make (even if it’s down the road a bit). The problem then is, the less time you have to enjoy it…

    In other words, Time = Money. The more you make, the more your time’s worth, so you tend to not do the things you used to… which can actually be less enjoyable.

    The trick is to find what’s important to you.

    (No, I’m not speaking from personal experience.)

  22. Author says:

    I face a similar problem. I tried to save blogging items by jotting them down into very rough drafts, but this approach has issues. First, some postings are relevant in the context of current events and delaying them makes them stale. Second, the busy periods seems to never end.

  23. xXDarkWolfXx says:

    I have an almost inverse problem. I havent got to much to write about and as a result im generally scrambling to keep my buffer nice and thick in the event that i lose contact with the internet.

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