The long-term cycles of weblog-writing…

11/28/2003

Writing for a weblog seems to me to go through cycles. At times, words just flow from your fingertips effortlessly. The quality of those words will generally be rather debatable, but they’ll have a fluidity to them and an honesty or playfulness that at least partly compensates for their lack of substance. Normally with me, these periods gradually bed down into highly productive periods of good writing about things that I’m thinking about in greater depth – pieces of writing that I think have some greater utility or worth about subjects that I care about. Normally I’ve been thinking around these issues for a while but not had the mental discipline to drag them into a more coherent shape. During these periods, I do my best work.

These periods – inevitably – do not last. What seems to happen is that the material I want to write gets more and more convoluted, high concept and/or involved, more necessarily rigorous in execution and generally larger in scale until such a point where the pressure to articulate an idea properly overwhelms my ability to write at all. At those points – suddenly – I find myself completely blocked and unable to produce anything. Smaller, lighter, trivial posts occasionally squeeze their way out – but for all intents and purposes, I’m just unable to write. From there it’s a short, unpleasant wait of mounting tension, frustration and irritation until the walls collapse and posts pour forth – this time with little or no discrimination in evidence, full of bad jokes, thrown together collections of links and the like. And then from there the cycle repeats itself as concepts of quality and discernment slowly start creeping back into my output.

As a matter of interest – does this pattern sound familiar to anyone else or is this simply a personal thing?