I have an admission to make. I have, on occasion, these past few months been going through the motions with my blog posts. In our office it’s known as ‘phoning it in.’ It’s a half hearted effort, I’ve done the minimum and little more. I’ve been posting because I felt I had to as opposed to that I wanted to; I thought nobody would notice but it appears I’ve been underestimating the eagle eyed blogging community. They’re not fools.
My numbers have been dropping. It’s vanity, I know, but it’s also reassuring to see that people are reading and commenting on posts. It offers encouragement and the support and feedback guide me as to what people want me to write about. Just like a plant needs water, a blogger needs interaction and sounding boards to kick back off. Otherwise, it becomes a frustrating and largely futile task. Communication is a two-way street.
My posts have been flat and mundane. They have largely been tick-box exercises, blogging by numbers and on auto-pilot. The fire and passion that I normally feel stirring in my belly when I write has been sadly lacking. I haven’t wanted to write about anything close to my heart so I’ve just filled posts with fluff and inconsequential matters. I’ve been present but not a presence. I’ve been an empty vessel, a clanging cymbal.
The message has been missing and my mission has been a mess. I’m not quite sure why this has been. On paper, three months off work should have afforded me oodles of space within which to flex my creatives muscles. But I haven’t, other than finishing off the edits for my second novel. The lockdown has shut down the part of my brain that sparks and fizzes with new ideas and stories. I’ve shut up shop and turned my back on the challenge that a new writing project brings.
Returning to the workplace and a semblance of normality has helped although it has taken me several weeks to get back into the saddle. My focus and concentration levels were next to nothing to begin with but have improved in recent days to the point where I’m beginning to resemble a manager. Rusty cogs are starting to loosen and grind into life. I’m rediscovering my mojo, finding my rhythm. There’s life in this middle-aged dog yet.
The first green shoots of life emerged last week in the form of a post announcing a number of blog series I would be focusing on for the remainder of the train wreck that is 2020. Recent posts about my writing and OCD have attracted positive feedback. The blog is responding to treatment, it is stretching its aching limbs and clambering off the sick bed. I look forward to blogging again, whereas before it was an inconvenience, a necessary chore.
I also have been revisiting the pages of my favourite bloggers as well as discovering new sites. I’m reading more, which I feel is an essential area if one wants to improve as a writer. WordPress is no longer an irregular stopping point and I’m committed to delivering a quality product on a daily basis. It’s time well spent as opposed to wasted. I’m excited about what others have to offer and equally excited about what I’m serving up to you all.
So, I’m back, and I apologise for the average fare of recent months. I can, and will, do better. It’s 4th and inches and I’m going for it, hold back the punting unit. Writing is about taking chances, about exposing your soul in the hope that it reveals fresh insight to inspire others and offer hope to the broken. I no longer want to phone it in, to play it safe. I’m here and I’m ready to row across the great unknown towards fresh shores.