25 August 2019

Hafiz Adewuyi

Why I don't blog as often as I would love to

Can you even imagine that I stepped out of the middle of writing another blog post to write this one? I have problems 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️.

Well, I'm writing this because it just happens that writing this happens to feel more exciting, and easier than the one I was on. And this says a whole lot about why most of my articles end up as drafts that will never get revisited by me or anyone else.

Comment which of these articles (if any) that you're eager to read

A lot of times when I get the idea to write an article, it's because I had something of a light-bulb moment where it feels like the best idea in the world right now is to execute that writing idea. Usually, it's due to a memory I recalled, something I just experienced or any other such trigger that leads to me feeling excited about sharing an idea/experience.

When I get such an urge to write an article, depending on where I am or what I'm doing, I would do one of these things:

  • write a draft
  • synthesize the outline of the article in my head
  • just shelve the idea for the ensuing weekend or 
  • if the universe aligns (which is rarely), actual bang out the article on the spot (like this one).
Except in the last instance where I have the opportunity to write the article at the moment when the article idea was born, the chance of my article idea seeing the light of day is less than 1%. Even in that scenario, a lot of times, before I'm halfway through, I either get bored or distracted by something irrelevant. In either case, I always find a way to tell myself that I would be back to complete the article. One of the greatest lies ever told I wonder how I still manage to believe it, given how many times I've told it to myself.

As you might expect, the next time I get the urge to - or decide to - write, the idea in the spotlight is entirely different and going back to continue an article I was writing even just last weekend feels like utter grunt work. It literally feels like: "who's the idiot that dared to imagine that this was a good thing to write"?

Two weekends ago, I started to write an article about a day in my life at Carbon - my current workplace. I had drafted the article and cranked out at least 500 words. However, I had to leave it at some point because it was looking like a rather long one and I felt deserving of a break for the good work done so far. Since then, I've not even as much as opened it to see how far I've gone. At this moment, I have a little more than zero interest in seeing that article completed, the opposite of how I was feeling when I jumped on it two weeks ago.

All that having been said, I guess one tip that might work for me is to direct energy towards simpler article ideas like this one. I'm an explainer, so that means I tend to spare no words in going into as much detail as I think contributes to the comprehension and readability of my article. That, of course, translates to articles that - for a short-attention-span human like me - are long enough to be challenging to finish in one sitting.

Besides that, since all of my distractions are on the internet, it can be useful to make the first draft on a good offline editor - I tend to prefer writing in the blogger WYSIWYG editor because it feels like it increases the chances that I'll get to publish the article. Editing, which might need some internet research and image-sourcing can then be done online.

Blogger WYSIWYG editor

Another thing that comes to mind as a way to improve my completion rate is to enforce a rule that all new article ideas go into a backlog and will not get executed until I complete articles already in the queue. Now, that might sound straightforward but I fear that it might be a death spell to my writing career because I just might never be able to summon up the will to ramp up on an old draft. I know it's an irrational fear though, since most times, it actually takes just a few minutes of labouring to get into the rhythm and resurrect the emotions that were behind an old draft.

ASIDE: While editing this article, I came upon an incomplete sentence (in the previous paragraph) and I found that hilarious. Every time I'm writing an article, it happens to me that in the middle of constructing a sentence, the content of the next sentence would drop straight into my mind and that would feel so much more compelling at the moment that I have to stop the current sentence midway to pen down the next sentence just so I would not forget. I'm curious as to how common this phenomenon is amongst writers.

The best outcome for this article is that fellow writers who can relate to this completion challenge can read this and share me some tips that I can actually use which will increase my completion rate.

Now, I would go right back to try to complete the now boring article I started writing yesterday morning - before my day took an unproductive plunge - but I want to sleep. Let's see how early tomorrow morning works. I really need to find a rhythm for my non-work activities again - writing is close to the top - because I feel unsatisfied about the fact that of recent, I tend to spend all my free time only on self-gratifying and consumptive activities.

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