I’ve been having trouble trying to set the day of the week to work on this blog, Iterations of Zero. I’ve long tried to commit myself to writing a post every Sunday for IoZ, just as I write a post for my main blog on Thursdays (except when I’m ill, as was the case two weeks ago). Unfortunately, this hasn’t worked out too well.
The primary problem seems to be that, on Sunday mornings—the only morning on which I am consistently able to sleep in—with the whole day stretching ahead of me, I find it hard to discipline myself to start the day with a blog entry. Putting the writing off until the afternoon, even if I set a specific time, doesn’t work too well, either, as any procrastinator would probably predict from long experience. If I don’t get that writing done first thing in the day, the odds are good that I won’t get it done at all.
This failure is deeply disappointing. I like to imagine myself to be a reasonably disciplined person, not quite so subject to momentary whims of “motivation” as many others (including my own younger self) are. Unfortunately, I’m saddled with a merely human brain, and must accept what actually happens, rather than some imaginary ideal. Like Odysseus, I must face the sirens of day-to-day temptation and inattention with prior knowledge, binding myself to whatever mast is available to constrain me to do what needs to be done…and by “needs,” of course, I mean my larger, broader intentions in this collection of conflicting, parallel, and orthogonal processes that is the human nervous system.
I find it reasonably easy to write first thing in the morning on workdays. I just get up early, arrive at the office well before everyone else, and the “first” thing I do is my writing—which is, except on Thursdays, my fiction writing. Unfortunately, leaving the writing of Iterations of Zero for Sundays has meant, in practice, that I only produce the posts irregularly, and that’s unsatisfying.
There are many topics and interests that I want to explore here; two significant lists of these post ideas rest in the memo function of my smartphone, with new ideas arriving steadily, triggered by the many and various events in the world at large, as well as by ideas I encounter in the books I read and in the podcasts I follow. I really want to get those ideas out there into the meme pool, so they have the possibility of replicating and interacting with other memes, and maybe changing a mind or two along the way.
Of course, I occasionally also write a blog post that’s little more than my ruminations on some personal subject, such as the problems of depression, but I’m fairly satisfied with those results also, as I am with the posts that have met my initial criteria for being related to some subject on which I want to sound off (I almost wrote “off on which I want to sound,” but grammatical orthodoxy can be pushed too far).
Part of the problem with producing this blog has been my idealized desire to make it entirely a venue for the discussion of those ideas that I consider important, or at least personally gripping, as in the lists mentioned above. In this, I think I’ve tried to be too strict with myself and allowed the theoretically perfect to be the enemy of the actual good.
I am, thankfully, the only boss of this blog; I answer to no one regarding it, other than the many facets of myself. Of course, I would love to astonish and delight readers around the world and down through the ages, but that’s not my main purpose here, and trying to write with that in mind would be so daunting as to take the wind well and truly out of my sails. To counter that, I’m going to try to be less strict with myself, and just to write whatever I happen to write at any given time, and to hell with whether it’s about some coherent idea that I specifically want to address. It’s not as though I’m getting paid for this, at least at present.
Of course, I do mean to write about those important topics in the long run, but if I’m going to accomplish that lofty goal, I’m going to need, first and foremost, to write at all. Writing fiction isn’t as difficult for me; the characters and the story do what they want, and all I usually need to do is start writing, and out it comes (hopefully more like a blooming flower than an oozing pustule, but I can’t be the judge of that).
Given the above, as you have probably already inferred, I’ve decided to change my planned weekly schedule, and set one weekday morning (Tuesday, in the current plan) aside to write the posting for this blog, just as I set Thursdays aside for writing my “main” blog. Of course, to do this without slowing the progress I make on my fiction, I’m going to need to buckle down and commit to writing at least one page on that fiction every Sunday. This, however, will be easier for me (I predict) than to write a blog post such as this on Sundays, because once I review the last page and a half or so of what I’ve written on a story previously, I can usually just pick up writing where I left off. My stories very much have lives of their own. Usually, when I start with the intention of writing at least one page of fiction, much more comes out. I’m extremely lucky that way, and I am appropriately grateful.
So, for the present and the immediate future, my new plan is to reserve Tuesday mornings for the writing of this blog, and Thursdays for my “main” blog, and the other days of the week for working on my fiction. Of course, I hope one day to make enough money with my writing that I can do it “full time,” and produce more of it, without the constraints imposed on me by the need to feed and clothe myself, and—more importantly—to buy books. On that matter, however, I can only wait and see what will be.
In the meantime, writing whatever happens to come out of my mind is at least an acceptable substitute for conversations with like-minded others, and of course, I would very much enjoy receiving feedback from anyone who reads this. If nothing else, writing this blog can act as therapy, since I have neither the time nor the resources at present to engage the services of an actual therapist.
And, as Forrest Gump might say, that’s all I have to say about that, at least for the time being. I hope whoever reads this enjoys it, and that this new plan will mean a steadier and more productive output.
I wish you well.