The Trap of Becoming a Reactionary Blogger – My Struggles with Inspiration

In my years writing online in various forms, I go through a familiar cycle of behavour. One that begins with passion, an urge to do something creative, something different and to say something worth saying. From there, I eventually use up all my great ideas and start to struggle for inspiration. When I eventually start to feel like I’m writing out of obligation rather than because I want to, I end up falling off the wagon.

Thankfully, since January of 2018, I have managed to stay clean and keep up writing on a regular basis without taking another extended break. In fact, I have managed to increase my output to levels I’ve not managed to do since I was running a news site with a few friends years ago.

Updating this blog so frequently though, it means that not everything I write can be an amazingly insightful piece of observation on the media or the community that surrounds it. As much as I’d like to imagine I am capable of that. When you’re doing this in addition to a full time job, there is only so much time you can dedicate to having fabulously insightful ideas.

Consequently, there will be times where you realise that it’s Thursday and you have nothing planned for the big Friday update and it becomes a update of obligation rather than a passion filled tirade on the state of fandom you’re ingrained in or an important observation on gender in media you’re too nervous to upload.

You do something enough and some aspect of it eventually becomes like a job, especially when you’re doing it instead of playing a new Destiny expansion, for example, or watching a new episode of Star Trek: Discovery in the brief snippets of time between being unconscious and being back at your regular job.

It’s this issue that used to really bog me down and make me lose motivation to actually continue writing. The longer I went without writing something I felt was an important issue or worthwhile contribution to a particular discourse, the more I started to convince myself that what I was writing wasn’t worth the effort I was putting into it.

On multiple occasions during my trip on this big wheel of motivation (or lack thereof), I would find myself scouring for movies, video games or anime to watch simply so I’d have something to talk about. At which point I would just decide to stop.

I’d question why I was even writing anything at all when all I was doing was reacting to things. I was in a perpetual state of finding the next thing to react to, when so many other writers I looked up to were taking the time to break down, deconstruct and recontextualise topics I never even had the thought to look at beyond a skin deep level.

It was demoralising to me, which is why I’d go for months without writing anything afterwards. As I’d spiral into a minor depression, convincing myself that all I was doing was adding to noise on the internet, that there was no point to me doing it at all.

It’s a place I’m glad to say I’ve moved past. Sure, I sometimes suffer those feelings still today. But it’s okay. Not everyone can be “genius” all of the time. A lot of writers and bloggers simply write stuff to fill space, fluff pieces and collection of tweets reacting to some silly announcement. And oftentimes, the pieces that start out as review of anime you don’t feel especially strongly about end up expanding out into a piece you end up feeling pretty proud of.

I said to myself; I wanted to start using these Saturday posts to be more honest and put more of myself out there. I have a terrible habit of wanting to keep all of my inner thoughts and emotions locked away where they can’t be a bother to anyone else. But really, even people who feel like they’re pretty well adjusted suffer crisis of confidence and maintaing their public persona. I just feel like, through expressing myself a little more honestly, people might realise that we all go through the same things.

I’ll be honest and say that not every piece I write for my blog is something I am particularly proud of on a creative level. But that doesn’t mean the thought behind it isn’t as equally important. I enjoy doing this at the end of the day, and just because I’m not making diamonds on a weekly basis doesn’t mean its not worth doing.

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