Today I present three things, with a single thread running through them all. Spoiler: the title, “I Quit”, is going to be the punchline at the end.
Thing 1: Steve Ditko Died Last Week
If you don’t know who Steve Ditko was, catch up. You know his work even if you never knew his name. While I was never a fan of his Ayn Rand-inspired later work, I appreciated his Salinger-like devotion to privacy. Ditko rarely gave interviews or made public appearances, and said he preferred to let his work speak for him.
Thing 2: I Dropped Another Best Seller
On Friday I released a new book. Within 24 hours it hit #1 on the Hottest Small Press list and earned a Copper Best Seller medallion. Within 48 hours it had gone up to Silver Best Seller and I had next month’s rent covered. I’m not saying this to brag (well, not entirely) but to provide some context.
Thing 3: The Man in the Arena
On Saturday I dropped a blog post at the Dancing Lights Press site, intended to be the first in a weekly series. I made my bones, so to speak, as an RPG blogger back in the day. As of Sunday afternoon, it had 3 views. That’s it. I know it’s a new endeavor, and released on a weekend, but seriously?
Common Thread: Pragmatism vs Mental Health
My business sense and my minimalist ethos look at all of the above pragmatically. Ditko didn’t want the attention on him, he wanted the focus to be on his work. I know that Facebook, Twitter, and blogging have never increased my sales. There is data to prove it. That is clearly not the best use of my time.
While I want to reach out and connect with people, I also have to manage my anxiety and depression. I continually second-guess everything that I post. How do I remain professional, without making whatever my emotional state is at the moment too obvious? It’s honestly easier to withdraw, Ditko-like, than to put myself out there.
Earlier this year I had all sorts of hopes and dreams about returning to blogging. A lot of people have been doing it, because of the various problems with social media these days. I made a run at it. I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been fun. But it’s work. It doesn’t make me money, and it causes me stress.
I’ve been taking things off of my plate since the end of March, trying to get my life in order. Focus on what’s important, and what gets results. I think that it’s clear that my business needs and my self-care needs are in alignment on this one. I’m not getting out of this what I want from blogging, either professionally or personally.
So blogging is coming off my schedule. I will post things as I have the time, and when I feel that I have something to say. This will not be consistent, or planned, or carefully curated. I might post every day for a while, then vanish for three months. It’s more important to add that word count to the paying projects, and shave some pressure off my deadlines. It’s a higher priority to go take a nap when I feel the need, or spend some extra time reading a book, than worrying about an arbitrary schedule for a blog that doesn’t contribute anything to my goals.