NBI: Dear Reader, I Have Nothing to Write About

Foo, quaggan is writer's blocked!

You may have noticed that I’ve been alternating between silence and incoherence for the last month or two.

I wish I knew why.

I might have fallen out of the blogging habit when I went full tilt obsession into Path of Exile, giving up my usual routine in favour of devoting more hours into achieving an arbitrary challenge.

It might have begun even earlier, when I settled into a comfortable daily routine of a couple games that made me happy and decided not to get all huffy and bothered about other people playing other games or not playing my games.

The problem is that there are only so many blog posts one can write about doing the same stuff in a game and being content, nor can one muster enough interest to care much or spend time thinking about topics beyond that narrow focus.

It could be because I’m feeling rather lost and aimless in my current set of games. I’ve definitely hit ‘endgame’ some time ago, so most of the activities are essentially busywork – do a bunch of things to maybe get a rare RNG chance at improvement or adding to a collection, or gather a bunch of things that will increment an achievement or collection.

It’s not grind, because grind implies a lack of enjoyment and enduring to get to the end reward.

I still -like- doing the activities. I’m not forced into doing the activities every day. I can and have skipped days. Given a choice, though, I’ll do these activities over not doing them because I want to do them and have fun in the process of doing them.

afarmingweshallgo

But really, it’s a toss up over whether you’ll come over to mercy kill me if I wrote blog posts entitled “Day 1 – Farmed Silverwastes,” “Day 2 – Farmed Silverwastes,” “Day 3 – Farmed Silverwastes,” or if I bored myself to death writing about it first.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I just can’t help but wonder… Is there something more I could be doing? Something new to write about?

The irony has not escaped me that I am battling a bout of Blogger’s Block during the same month as this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiative.

Given this struggle, I cannot muster sufficient energy to officially be a blog sponsor of any kind, but it strikes me as a great opportunity for putting my money where my mouth is and practising what I preach.

This month of May, I’m going to write. And write. And write some more.

I hope to do this alongside the new and returning bloggers that are joining us for this exciting, exhausting, intriguing, infuriating, depressing, uplifting, agonizing, engaging and altogether roller-coaster journey of distilling one’s thoughts into words…

…and offering them up as a gift to oneself and others.

There is a beautiful energy and synergy in the shared struggle, one topic spinning off from another, one blogger’s post inspiring a string of others, knowing that we’re not alone.

(I desperately need that energy to kickstart my blog writing again, and I hope in turn to contribute to the spirit of the NBI with the posts produced.)

I’ll be creating a modest set of goals, so as not to burn myself out in the striving, and also to create a fun writing challenge and a change of pace.

The target is a blog post of 500-1000 words, every 1-3 days or so.

And I’ll end off with a writing prompt or blog idea or exercise of some kind, to help combat that uncomfortable moment of staring at a blank page and having no ideas (or worse, deciding that one has nothing to write about, and avoiding sitting down in front of the blank page in the first place. Guilty.)

NBI Writing Exercise #1: So, you have nothing to write about. No ideas. Zilch. Your real life is boring. Your game life is boring.

No one, including yourself, could care less about the routine of incrementing some number or another, but you’re still doing it anyway, for reasons that escape you.

It’s time to freewrite.

Open a blank document or get a piece of paper – something different than your usual blogging method – and just start writing about how you have nothing to write about.

However you want. Stream of consciousness. Sentence fragments. Loose grammar. Every ohter word misspeled. Whatever.

Brood about why; philosophize; throw in random ideas and things you might want to do in the future; discuss what another person might do in your stead; talk about things you hate; talk about things you love; talk about things that you have a ‘meh’ response to, and why; go with the flow of where the writing takes you.

Keep freewriting until you’ve stirred some threads of interest, something that makes you go “hmm, maybe there’s something here.”

It doesn’t have to be a lot. It doesn’t have to be a fully formed thought. You just need a tiny thread of something that vaguely resonates, that you can pick up and explore further in writing, and right there, that’s your next blog post in potentia.

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7 thoughts on “NBI: Dear Reader, I Have Nothing to Write About

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I think everyone, no matter how prolific, occasionally feels that the well is running dry. When it comes to blogging there’s an ever-flowing source to which you can go for refreshment. It’s also a great place to practice your freewriting skills.

    I’m there right now. It’s other bloggers comment threads!

    Reaction is so much easier than action. There’s always someone saying something that suggests, deserves, demands or simply can’t move fast enough to get away from a reply. And I often find, as I’m pounding out yet another ill-considered, half-baked theory that I haven’t even begun to think through on some poor unsuspecting blogger’s innocent comment thread, that it would probably make a half-decent blog post if I just worked it up a bit.

    What’s more, though I’ve often felt quite self-conscious over the sheer number of comments I spew out, I can’t recall anyone ever complaining. Bloggers love comments so its a win-win!

  2. Aywren says:

    I’ll be cheering for you! I know that awful feeling of turning up at the screen (or giving up and not turning up) and having nothing to write. Not even an idea of where to start. I think writing about that kind of block is a good first step, because it does get you writing.

    I’ve struggled with that during my fiction writing more than my blogging for some reason, especially during my bouts of NaNoWriMo. Freewriting is a great suggestion and actually what NaNoWriMo encourages.

    Getting yourself into the mindset and going through the motions to write actually does help you eventually break through. It’s painful, and a lot of that freewriting could be drivel. I’ve been through it, too. But when you do hit on that moment of creativity you were hoping for, that idea or topic that frees you, it’s an amazing feeling.

    Don’t give up!

  3. Jonathan says:

    You always produce thought provoking material. I’ll be looking forward to what you put out there. But… don’t feel you owe us (the readers) anything. Put forward what you want to put forward, hold back what you want to hold back, and smell the flowers if they need sniffing. I enjoy your work, but you don’t work for me, y’know?

  4. C. T. Murphy says:

    I would miss your voice if you stopped. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help and get you back into the writing mood!

  5. As I’ve started the NBI, I’ve found that I have more things to write about even if it’s a bunch of “I did dailies. Today, I did dailies again. And here’s my third day of dailies.” Sometimes it’s the people I was doing them with and a funny story. Sometimes I ran into a rare mob. Maybe I hit a reputation milestone.

    Most of the time I’d look over these things and go, “Meh, I ran dailies. No blog to post about today!” but as I’ve started taking more screenshots (my way of taking notes without taking notes), I’ve realized that, yeah, I do have more stuff to talk about, even if it’s a short post of something cool that happened in between the monotony.

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