Freeing up mental space to fill with writing

TL;DR summary: expect my corner of the internet here to look more like the messy personal blog it was originally intended to be. The rest of the post is basically a “How I Got Here” story.

Once upon a time—after LiveJournal, before Blogger/Wordpress, I used Facebook as my daily check-in with myself. My feed was where I laid down in words what I could not make myself feel otherwise: namely, proof I DID things with my time, even when (especially when) those things hadn’t been on my original task horizon.

I also said when I didn’t do things, recorded failures and expectations too, so it wasn’t all rose petals & sunbeams. There was a lot of griping, tbh.

Then someone important to me mentioned that my task posts made them feel guilty because I accomplished so much.

Annnnnnnd that was the end of that. Guilty self-consciousness sucked all utility & joy out of sharing what I was doing. So I stopped sharing life stuff (except when I forced myself, and forcing myself felt gross and made me hate posting even more)

Not a healthy reaction, I know. Unfortunately, once I am self-conscious about an activity—like, say, once someone tells me It’s Done Them A Bad—I feel surveilled & creeped out and under constant threat of Doing A Wrong  if I continue. 

NO, IT WAS NOT YOU, SPOUSEMAN. No, not you either, you who are thinking it’s you & feeling guilty about harshing my happy. One reason I started the blog is that I KNOW they won’t read a blog. I rarely give up. I often refocus & redirect.

But there’s no way to prevent that defensive retreat now twitch. It’s toddler-training deep and linked to too many other aspects of me-ness to be excised. Going somewhere else where I can play in peace—figuratively speaking—is the closest to a healthy response I’ve found.

See also: criticism couched between compliments poisoning compliments from that source forevermore, inability to write without belief that an imaginary reader wants to read it, and other brain quirks.

Then somewhere along the line my brain decided this blog should be reserved for Important Writing Things. It made this decision all on its own, without consulting Conscious Me,  the way brains sometimes do. And over time, I wrote on here less and less, because whatever I was thinking or feeling—or doing—wasn’t Important enough. Not big enough. Not Blog Worthy.

Habitica (oh, how I love my Habitica) took care of the practical need for recording things–the essential “get it done, don’t forget” aspect of life, so the impulse to record goals & completions elsewhere felt petty and selfish and too much like bragging.

YES, I KNOW THAT IS NOT TRUE. I am ALLOWED to take pride in doing things, and to motivate myself with goals.

Except, well, I have a major problem holding onto that idea. It’s SLIPPERY. I’ve been dropping it more than holding it for years now. Oops.  

WordPress.com was complicit. The  user interface, once a straightforward, simple composer with a few cute layout features, has become ever clunkier, glitchier, & overwhelming.  Every new update loaded it down with more features aimed at advertisers, business web design, and fancy visuals. Time-sucking, frutstrating distractions, every one, & guilt-producing because the existence of features left me feeling like I wasn’t using the blog to its fullest if I wasn’t at least trying to use them.

But mostly it was me sliding into a bad habit of self-censoring what I was willing to write at all. I worried about posting too often or not often enough, wondering if a thoughtt was worth the effort of a post or not…

And things bogged down entirely.

I am not sociable enough to enjoy participating in most online conversations, and surfing without participating is a recipe for disastrous time & energy loss. So I am committed to doing more writing NOT on “social media” platforms.

Which means doing more here. More precisely, LETTING myself do more here. Letting myself write unimportant, “whatever pops into mind” stuff, unweighed, unpolished, whatever stuff.

Y’know, kinda like this.

On a practical level, this means I don’t have to spend extra time on images, tags, labels, SEO text, or excerpts. Unless I feel like it, which to be honest, I usually DO NOT CARE.

So, then. You, my imaginary readers, bot followers, real fans & friends, should expect more meandering blah-blah about whatever’s on my mind, from task lists to not tolerating intolerance. Brace yourselves. Fair warning. Can’t say I didn’t tell ya. Etc.

That’s it for now, until next time. Which might be tomorrow, or on the weekend, or…I don’t know, and I don’t have to ponder or plan it, this is officially messy me space again, and that’s VERY freeing.

ANYway. Here’s a Pippin pic, because this is still the internet.

Pippin
Pippin loves cuddling in his cozy blue blankie on sunny afternoons.

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