It’s day seven of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.
There’s been some cool milestones noted in the Micro.blog community, with Brent Simmons celebrating 20 years of blogging. I wasn’t a regular reader until recently, but that’s okay. Manton Reece noted how blogging can give you a way to reflect on your journey, while Bix quite astutely also points out that social media interrupted many a personal blogger.
In my own journey, I’ve had somewhat of a mixed experience. I’ve always maintained my personal blog, even when I wasn’t writing much at it. For a while there, I’d post maybe once or twice a year. I’ve reflected on and off about what kept me away. While an avid early user of Twitter, I used to love it for the jokes we liked to write. Facebook was a college gimmick for a glow-in-the-dark night frisbee club, but despite having had an account there for nearly 12 years, I didn’t actually post much in the way of statuses or photos (it largely became a way to keep a list of people I knew, view and like their photos, and otherwise interact minimally unless I saw them in person).
Probably the only real site where I did anything resembling regular blogging was Tumblr, which had that nice sweet spot of ease of posting and a solid community.
The above, though, are still only part of the culprit. Some of what took me away was grad school, and having to work nearly 30 hours a week while being a full time grad student. Upon graduation, the work of a commuting job for a fellowship position took considerable time and energy, and then various career moves since. Some of these I’ve written about, others I haven’t.
I love the work I do, but as someone who ended up on the wrong side of burn-out one too many times, I left the predictability of a full-time, single position in favor of a combination of positions between two fields, being largely self-employed. This has lead to some overwork, wherein I work all day, then have paperwork at night, and also do some scheduling, admin work, etc.
In a word, having minimized my use of social media (and in some instances completely deleted), I still wasn’t writing like I used to. I found my way to personal blogging from message board groups, and for years it was a great way to think out loud, work through my thoughts, and watch them change over time. Lately, I’ve recognized that I spent far too much time trying to focus on work, and not spending enough time reflecting in one of the best ways I know how: by writing. Some of my writing ends up in journals (analog and digital), and other writing I like to post online.
Taking this month to focus on writing has lead me to an interesting realization: scheduling intentional time to do something just for me has been great for the soul. If some of my words help others realize something they needed, then so much the better.