Hitting Pause on the Blog

write

One of the best pieces of advice I got in college was the KIS method of design. Keep it simple. Only, I didn’t fully realize what that meant until recently when I read an article on time management, in which it noted:

The basic principle of success is to focus. It is what makes the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, regardless of how much talent, resource, and energy that they have. – Thomas Oppong –

The Secret to Mastering Your Time is to Systematically Focus on Importance And Suppress Urgency

For a while now, and in particular the past year, I’ve spread myself incredibly thin on a variety of projects. But it all reached a head when, in April, I started creating content for YouTube, and simultaneously tried to blog daily. I was able to be successful at those two things, at the cost of me not writing anything for my novel for the better part of April.

In it’s earliest form, my blog was about furthering my platform, and largely that is still the point of all of the work I’ve been doing. But for me, my multitude of efforts to expand my platform has come at the cost of the very reason I need a platform in the first place. My novels. I tried desperately to balance everything. A full time day job, and my full time job as a writer. Blogging, podcasts, essays, shorts, vlogging. I convinced myself that if enough of these were spread far enough out that I could somehow, someway do them all.

Only, it didn’t work out that way. Perhaps if I had managed my time better I might have been able to make it all work out. But that’s the thing about it. Overworking myself, even with time management can only lead to one eventual outcome. Burnout, which will lead to a complete creative shutdown.

I can’t afford that.

I’ve had to make sacrifices and in the process I’ve decided where I think I should try and focus my efforts more.

I still love blogging.

I’ve done it for the better part of a decade now, and never in my life did I imagine that I would be writing this post, or even considering giving up blogging before I gave up anything else in my new creative endeavors.

This isn’t to say I’m never going to blog again.

I’d like to think that if a post strikes me to be written, I’ll put it out there. Maybe I can go back to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday system (not unlike how I do my vlogs) perhaps instead I’ll do Tuesday, Thurs, Sat so I always have new content somewhere. I haven’t decided yet.

For the time being at least, perhaps just through May, or perhaps a bit longer. I need to put things on pause.

Not writing at all for me is the worst possible scenario, and I would rather not do a lot of things than not write fiction.

Is it All Worth it?

writeRecently I’ve noticed a frustrating trend. I’ve worked diligently to ensure that I am posting daily blogs, and 3x weekly vlogs as well as bi-weekly podcasts and essays. I’m making it a point to utilize Twitter more and working to use Facebook more, and ultimately continuing work to grow my brand to its greatest potential. But this has come at a cost, in terms of my literary output. I spend so much of my time working on avenues to get my name out there and get my brand out there that I’m not actually doing the one thing that I desperately need to do to make all of this even worth the effort.

Write.

Mostly I am writing every day in the form of blog posts, or essays or ideas for things, but the novel writing, the part that is why I’m doing any of this has slowed considerably, and it makes me wonder, is platform building worth it, if it comes at the cost of me actually writing?

I feel like I’ve had this existential crisis before, but I still haven’t figured out the answer. I want to believe that I can have both in tandem with one another, building a platform while also continuing to write novels, but the evidence thus far is showing that less and less. The more I do one, the less I seem to do the other. Finding that balance has become increasingly tricky and I can’t help but wonder if something will fall by the wayside in the process.

The Evolving Narcissa Deville

At the start of my blog almost a decade ago now, I wrote about anything and everything. Though political themes seemed to run through every post, writing seemed to be one of the major themes that stuck, and helped to grow my brand. But as I’ve grown as a blogger I’ve wanted to branch out to other types of topics, there’s more to me than just writing, and so I’ve worked to evolve my brand to include pop culture, LGBT issues (particularly trans issues) political, beauty, technology and of course writing.

All with questionable results.

I’ve noticed a theme for a while now. Posts specifically about writing will get likes, maybe even a comment or two. (Less so now than in the past) but posts about anything not writing related, seem to go unseen. I get the impression, and perhaps this is incorrect, that those who follow me want to see me stick to writing only, rather than branching out as a creative person. I’ve never been one to stick to just one idea of anything and I certainly won’t start now. I’m trying to balance the wants of those who would actually read/watch what I do, and what I actually want to do. Ultimately no I’m not blogging for likes, but knowing people read something you wrote is something every writer wants isn’t it?

Since I’ve Been Gone

MISCSeptember just flew by, and while I’ve been very bad about blogging this month, I can say that it’s been for good reason. This month just before my birthday 9/22, I managed to finish another round of edits, which I’m very very proud of and very excited about. Naturally this doesn’t mean that the book is necessarily done, but it’s an exciting start. I’ve also been working on a top secret project for the last few months that has sucked up a surprising amount of time, but that I’m super proud of and excited to unveil. I have a tentative unveiling date in mind, however part of the reason I haven’t announced yet is I wanted to get a bit more ahead of myself than I currently am, so I may have to push that back a little bit.

Meanwhile I have a lot to talk about with regards to edits, and of course I’m hoping to compete successfully in NaNoWriMo this year– I have some rough outlines for the sequel to my current work in progress which hopefully will see me through. I originally wanted to challenge myself to writing double my word count every day so the 1,667 day one 3,334 day two, but by like the end I’d be expected to write 50k in one day which just seems crazy so yeah, not going to do that.

I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated as to my plans and what’s going to be happening with my top secret project but I’ve definitely got a bit of work to do and almost no time in which to do it.

On Tags

days copyI’ve been blogging for the better part of a decade, and I still don’t do tags well. I know they’re theoretically to help readers find your blog, but it’s probably the worst part of the blogging process for me. I feel like (and there’s a very good possibility that I’m remembering this wrong) back when I had the self-hosted WordPress site, there was like auto tags based on like keywords I was writing and honestly that would be super if that could be the case back here on regular WordPress.

WordPress offers this handy little blurb about tags:

Tags provide a useful way to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Tags also make it easier for people to find your content.

Fair enough, though I already knew that much.

A quick Google search on how to use tags, comes up with a fair amount of articles (which is how I found the WordPress official statement on them) and what I realized is a) no one really knows what they’re doing, but b) tags are whatever the hell you want. They can be used to help people find your content if they’re tags like writing or books as I often use, but they don’t have to be anything serious. Like a Twitter/Instagram hashtag.

#icequeenrealness #transgoddess #amwriting

So maybe I have been doing them right all along. I just need to get more fun with it.

the To-Do List

monI love lists. There’s nothing I enjoy more on a Monday or any old weekday, than making a list of the things I have to do that day, and that week. It’s a recent love affair, and it includes everything from writing out and scheduling blog posts for the week, to workouts, books to read, and pages to write, and pretty much everything in between. So you’d think with all of this, and how organized I’ve worked to make myself lately, that I would have been better equipped to handle the challenges I’ve set for myself, and more importantly, the tasks I’ve set for myself. One might think, that given my lists, and my day planner that I would not have had several posts go up late last week. Particularly considering that I had the posts written, just not necessarily typed up, (though several did change between what I had planned for that day and what actually was published). One might think that I would not, at this very moment be writing this post, at nearly midnight on Sunday, given the fact that, I did have an idea written, and given that my to-do list said to have this scheduled by Friday or Saturday.

I love lists, but actually remembering to look at them and do the things on them, is going to take some work.

Who Cares

mon“What other people think of me, is none of my business,” says Veteran drag performer RuPaul of her detractors. It’s a brilliant motto, and one I’ve strived to adopt for myself, so why is it that I often find myself worrying about what other people think of me?

Not all that long ago, but long enough ago that it feels like it was a lifetime, I never really gave a shit what people thought of me. I didn’t really care if people liked me or hated me, whether in my personal life or in my blog. I wasn’t exactly fearless by any means, but I certainly didn’t let it hold me back, and for the most part in my personal life people seemed to get a long with me rather well.

More recently however, my inner dialogue and self doubt, particularly surrounding my blog has often questioned, who cares? Why would anyone want to read this? I began to second guess myself so often that after a while I stopped even trying. Even as I type this, the little voice of anxiety creeps in, why are you writing this? Who cares? Who even are you?

I realize now however, that at the very least, I care, I’m writing this largely for me. Because I love blogging and I love sharing my stories. If people read them, and see themselves in my words and see themselves in my story, that’s great, and that’s definitely what every writer hopes for, especially me. But at the end of the day, my blog is my story, and it’s one I want to tell again. So whether people enjoy it or not, I’m going to keep trying, and keep perfecting my blog, and keep doing what I love. I may never stop wondering who cares, but I’d like to believe that maybe my caring, is enough.

Five Months Later…

There’s a certain suggestion that those of my generation are preternaturally self-obsessed. We’re the epitome of narcissism and we believe that our thoughts no matter how dull or meaningless ought to be heard by the world. Of course, this is no truer of my generation than it is of any other, but there seems to be an obsession as of late with mocking millennials, and if you’re in the business of journalism, it seems, there is no shortage of stories to be written, bemoaning the ruination of the world at the hands of ‘millennials’.

The reality of the situation is that the internet writ large has created an environment where everyone believes their every thought and rumination in the shower at three am to be important. This can be exhausting at times and entertaining at others. The problem is, I’m just not really one of those people.

A constant struggle I have faced, since this blog’s inception has always been the question: Who cares? Why is what I’m saying worth writing about let alone worth reading, and more importantly, do I have anything to say that people will care about? This all can be rather problematic for a blogger who previously enjoyed a full year and a half or so of daily blogging, before it all came crashing down to the point that it’s been the better part of five months now since I last blogged and I miss it terribly.

I can’t promise that everything I say will be brimming with insight or intellect, even as I write this I question whether or not it’s worth polluting the already overcrowded blogosphere with my thoughts, but until we reach a point in which there is a serious concern about the no longer infinite space of the internet, I’m going to find a way to make sure that I keep on blogging, because I miss this, and I still have thoughts.

So let’s get to it shall we?