One way or another, it’s been a long six months. I’ve made my usual mistake of not taking any significant time off for half the year, and am tired, niggly and unenthusiastic as a result. Holiday beckons.
But reading a couple of posts today has made me realise that there’s another factor at work here:
Many moons ago, in the early days of blogging David Weinberger described it as “writing ourselves into existence”. I was reminded recently of just how transformative blogging has been in my life.
I do find the possibility that I might blog an experience transforms that experience. I begin to compose the post in my head, even if I know I’m not actually going to write about it. I did this to some extent before the seventh day of creation (G-d rested, looked at what He had created, and then we started blogging complaints about i), but I now find myself shaping experience according to how I might present that experience in public: finding the words, deciding what might be interesting in the experience to someone other than me.
I find that applies equally as much to ideas as to experiences; that many of my ideas only truly clarify themselves and take a coherent form once they’re locked down in the discipline of sentences, links, blockquotes and paragraphs that make up a blog post. And I’ve long used this blog as an outlet for that, thinking out loud, transferring stresses and ideas from my head to the digital page and out into the internet. Sharing concepts, and allowing them to return to me through others refined, challenged and improved.
However, I’ve actually been depriving myself of that process this year. Much of the work I’ve been doing hasn’t appeared on this blog in anything but the most obscure form. The competitive environment around my work is much more intense that it was even a year ago, and I’m acutely aware that I’m read as much by our competitors as I am by my colleagues. There have been many, many posts I’ve started writing this year, and then abandoned because I find myself thinking that I’m sharing too much of what I’m being paid to think.
And thus too much is staying, unformed, undisciplined in my head. And this mass of unresolved, unwritten, undefined thinking is cluttering my mind, and adding to my general levels of stress.
Once I’m back from my break, I think I need to force myself to use my (neglected) internal blog much more, allowing those thoughts to take concrete form inside the firewall and amongst my colleagues, where they belong. To write my working self back into existence, but in a different form.