Can’t Finish…

Help! I can’t finish my blog posts. I’m great at coming up with topics. I come up with several topics a day but rarely write them down because when I start to write them down I can’t focus my thoughts into words. If I’ve been thinking a lot about a topic then I eventually do get to my phone or laptop and start drafting a post. I’ve got 50 of those in draft right now, with 15 pretty-well fleshed out:

My cartoon crushes
Abortion
Browser History
We’re Related app
Float Spa
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Lolita
Bipolar myths
Secular Sexuality
If you are an atheist, a materialist, a pantheist, or a naturalist, try to answer the following 11 questions
Celebrity Crushes
Obsessive Love
Favorite YouTube Channels
90s Fashion

The problem is that my mind will split into more options and can’t seem to come to any particular conclusion or coherent message. If I do end up having a specific focus I think What’s the point of writing this anyway?

And that, I think, is the crux. I love brainstorming and have a million ideas and want others to read my thoughts, however, I have no enduring motivation. For what reason should I take the effort to focus and decide what is it I’m trying to say?

I have this voice running around in my head when I try to write that says, You are being self-centered and what are you contributing to the world, anyway? I have an other-loathing as well as a self-loathing for the self-centeredness of social media. I’m just so damn sick of it and I think If you have nothing interesting to say just be quiet. 

Here’s what will happen: I will have a thought and then my mind will go to an alternate perspective and contradict the thought.

Is the fact my brain doesn’t work in a linear fashion a curse (not that I believe in curses)? Is it a curse that cognitively it jumps around it doesn’t settle down? Does this have anything to do with my mental illness? Or is it just a personality thing? Must the purpose of my writing even have a conclusion? But of course, I want what I write to be readable, because what’s the point in writing in a public forum if it’s not?

Perhaps I should work with what I’ve got going on in my noggin. Outlines are never going to help because too much structure drains the life outta me. C’mon, Quix, you are creative enough to come up with a solution.

I wonder if perhaps I should start a bit of fiction to my writing. Like, if the conflicting thoughts I have are characters interacting? Maybe they can make statements and ask questions and don’t have to come to any conclusions?

Quixie: What do you think?

Audience: Don’t ask us. Just try it and see how it goes!

But, really, what do you think?

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12 thoughts on “Can’t Finish…

    1. Oh really? I see very little evidence of that in your writing, to be honest. While you have occasional meanderings at the end of some posts your overall message of each posts is clear. You are able to stay on topic. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes but I’m honestly impressed with your ablity to do this.

      Let me give you a few examples of my draft posts. Here’s the latest:

      “Hi friends!

      I had to move my family out of our house by the end of May and I didn’t find a place until 3 days prior to the end of the lease. Talk about cutting it close. So, I’ve been a bit stressed, to say the least, and I haven’t been able to write.

      Three days, despite having two months notice that we had to leave. Those two months ”

      And suddenly my brain blanked out and I had to move onto something else.

      And another recent one:

      “Many many years before I lost my faith I stopped attending church services. What pushed me over the edge towards leaving was that many of the congregants wanted to proselytize at clinics that performed abortions. Not only did they want to sell Jesus but they thought it was their moral duty to remind the women going into the clinics that abortion is murder. Despite being staunchly pro-life I found this disgusting.”

      It was a great start but after several paragraphs I had started writing about how I’d called my own doctor to get an IUD replaced while my insurance still covered it and my brain blanked out.

      Lastly, I was going to write about my experiences at a float spa “I’ve heard and read only great things about float/sensory deprivation tanks and so I’d like to give my perspective about my mixed experience so far.” But during my float I connected with times when I had previously been severely depressed and didn’t want to write about it and couldn’t seem to continue.

      After reading this I think the issue is that I reach a point where what I’m writing about is too personal and I don’t know how to continue. Then I get paralyzed because when I’m not longer focused on writing about me I’m not sure how to continue. Hmm. Interesting. How do I reel it back in? Any tips?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Quixie! Glad you posted. I’ve been hoping you’re OK.

    This maybe isn’t quite the same thing as what you’re dealing with, but this is what came to mind, so I’m just gonna type it and hit the “Publish” button (thanks SB). 😉

    I’ve battled procrastination my whole life. At the moment, in fact, I’m losing pretty badly… lots of important things I should be doing, but most days I can’t summon the willpower or whatever it is to actually dig in and do them, or even part of them. And the biggest contributor to my procrastination monster has always boiled down to: Fear of failure, and some related things like perfectionism. It’s silly, it’s irrational, but there it is; I’m afraid to start, and then afraid to finish, because I don’t think I’ll like the results when I’m done, or I’ll wish I’d done it a different way, or… or… And knowing a lot of what causes my issues isn’t enough; I still seem to get trapped at the starting block, making excuses for why I’ll start tomorrow, but not today.

    But when I think about your posts here, I don’t think that way in the least. I enjoy them and am glad you posted them. I find what you have to say interesting. So, I suspect, we’re being way harder on ourselves than we are on others? So I’ll tell you what I should be telling myself: 80% is better than 0%, good-enough-and-done is better than perfect-but-never. So I’d say, just pick a few and post them!

    Here are the ones on your list that piqued my interest:

    We’re Related app
    Bipolar myths
    If you are an atheist, a materialist, a pantheist, or a naturalist, try to answer the following 11 questions

    I’m going to make a phone call now that I’ve been putting off. So there’s something your writing accomplished today. Thanks Q! 🙂

    Brent

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow Brent..I can relate to SO much of what you just wrote!! Procrastinating and perfectionism are one of my big challenges..also I suspect born out of fear.

      And Quixie..the fact that you even put ‘pen to paper’ to write this post is very encouraging..and a start.
      I too love to read your posts. You are a talented writer. *No pressure though..seriously. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hi Brent! I can’t say that I’ve been ‘OK’ but things are improving. I’ll give an update on what I mean at a later time.

      I can 100% relate your the fear of failure being a huge part of your procrastination. Nothing in my mind is as simple as it actually is in reality. A few years back I developed a mindset of doing things “half-assed” just to get the job done, however it is really hard not to fault into my default mode of being paralyzed by decision making and fear. Sad, really.

      With my therapist there are three techniques (?) I use to make progress on procrastination: 1. mindfulness (put away my phone and just look around and observe) 2. focus on my values (whether it be what I want in life or who I want to be as a person and 3. opposite action (if I’m having a very strong emotional reaction that is not appropriate given the situation I have trained myself over time to do the opposite.) I suspect in the case of my blogging I just need to do the third one is in line with SB’s “Fuck it, just hit publish” idea.

      I’m glad you enjoy my posts and find it interesting. I will try the 80% idea and try to publish a few of these drafted posts. But, in exchange, I’m requesting you do use the 80% for a few things in your own life. We can do it!

      So, did you ever make your phone call?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did make that phone call, and a few others (appointments etc. I’d been putting off making). And I’ve at least accomplished a few of the smaller projects that I’ve been putting off. So some progress anyway! Thanks for the cross-encouragement.

        I can relate to the “3 techniques” and sometimes that works for me also. When I walk I don’t use headphones; I try to practice mindfulness of the weather and the neighborhood, and also let my mind do some thinking and planning. I should do the “focus on my values” one more intentionally at those times, because yes, the bottom line is that living this way is not who I want to be.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I haven’t written a blog post in months, and I only have about 4 or 5 sitting in drafts at the moment. I should get back to writing, now that the crazy deadlines at work have calmed down. I’m looking forward to reading any of those 15 you listed!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Not everything needs a conclusion. 🙂 My updates on the changing seasons never has an end, for example…. unless nuclear war or something. 😁

    Perfectionism can want more structure, and inferiority complex will say it’s never good enough… but it’s a blog, adding as time goes on. Your readers appreciate how whatever you write tends to be easy to read. If it’s fleshed out and true, why not post it as is? Remember to have some fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate your saying that my writing tends to be easy to read. That’s what I hope for and I do put in the effort to make sure the reader is not left thinking “huh?” I often interact with others in real life in such a way that leaves them confused. This has resulted in a pretty severe level of what is called Communication Aprehension, which I’m learning about in the Communications course I’m taking. Basically, it is an anxiety about communicating with others. For me, making adjustments to the written word is much easier and less anxiety provoking. The problem is, it still takes a great deal of effort to try to focus on what direction I want the subject or conversation to go.

      “Not everything needs a conclusion.” True. Your updates on the changing seasons feel very mindful and present-moment, which feels very much the “point” of your posts. I think rather than perfectionism being the problem, it’s the anxiety over others not being able to follow along. If I could deal with that anxiety I think I’d be writing a post nearly every day.

      Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie" My nickname comes from the term I began using to describe myself when I began blogging nearly 4 years ago: "quixotic," meaning "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith at the time. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality.