A crisis of confidence and purpose, and a new approach

Confession time: I’m not really sure where I’m going with this blog, and I don’t know what my long-term purpose is.

I started blogging because I was trying to sort my thoughts out. As long as I’m finding my way through all this, there’s not a problem, but if I ever reach a satisfactory conclusion, it changes the whole situation and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I don’t want to spend my time blogging if I’m not adding anything different or important. I’ve never been happy with just repeating things that hundreds of other people are saying, but nor do I see any appeal in just being a contrarian for the sake of it. I’m also concerned that I might end up allowing my life to be dominated by what I don’t believe in a way that could be unhealthy.

That’s one side of the problem. The other, which may be related, is that I’ve noticed I’m probably far too obsessive over the quality of everything I post. I hate the feeling of “I shouldn’t have posted that” or “I wish I’d said this”. Combined with an almost total inability to assess the quality of what I write, that makes me prone to holding posts in draft for ages, trying to improve them, when I just need to get them out and move on.

As a way of dealing with both problems, and because I’ve got a huge backlog of things I’d like to write about but haven’t got around to, I’m trying to make my blogging far more instinctive. I might say I’m still trying to find my voice, but I probably wouldn’t because it would make me want to punch myself. But if I’m going to carry on with this, I need to know that it’s serving a purpose.

I hope that this approach will allow me to post a lot more in future, with no discernible change in quality. Early indications from the last few days are good, but please let me know if it’s going wahoonie-shaped.

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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

7 responses to “A crisis of confidence and purpose, and a new approach”

  1. mgm75 says :

    You write from the heart and that is always good. Have you ever used the schedule tool for posts? That helps stop me thinking “Oh I wish I had said…” On the New Post page, to the right there is a little box with the header “Publish”. Look down the list and it says Publish: Immediately [edit] Click the little [edit] button and that gives you a box to set a date and a time. I usually do it for an hour or so into the future so I can preview it and then go back and makes changes. Sometimes if I have a lot of posting to do I tend to spread them a couple of days apart to spread them out a bit. I tend to do this with book reviews on my main site. I write them while I’m going and schedule for about how long I think it will take me to read (usually 1-2 weeks).

    Anyway, not a lot of people know about the scheduling tool and I’m always surprised. Have a little play around if you haven’t already! You might find that you want to post once a week and stick to that routine. Once written, that gives you ample time to think about other things you might want to say and making yourself post once a week will give you structure.

    Enjoying reading your posts. Good luck and keep up the good work!

    • Recovering Agnostic says :

      I do know about scheduling – in fact, it always causes problems for me when I have ideas on the move. Creating a draft with the Android app seems to automatically schedule the post for the time when the draft was created, and that scheduling can’t be turned off, as far as I can see. So anything that I initially created on my mobile has to be scheduled when I publish.

      I’ve previously scheduled my posts when I’ve been on holiday or just held onto them for a couple of days when I had a lot going on, but I’ve got to the point where I have so many things that I want to say that it’s getting ridiculous – you should see my list of drafts. That’s based on never being more than about a week between posts anyway. So I’m currently trying to clear some of the ridiculous number of things that have been running around my head.

  2. Neil Rickert says :

    I’m not really sure where I’m going with this blog, and I don’t know what my long-term purpose is.

    You don’t have to be going anywhere, and you need not have a long term purpose.

    I’ll suggest that you broaden the scope a little. For example, there are probably public issues that you now look at differently.

    • Wen Scott says :

      Agreed. As you progress, your blog may surprise you and suggest its own themes for followup in the future. As mgm75 suggests, scheduled posts may offer some support, a sort of promise to yourself. And as a reader I look forward to blog posts when the author publishes on the same day each week, for example. There is a sort of formality to that, that I think engages the reader — I know it does for me.

      I enjoy your blogs and feel privileged to be included in your journey. Thank you for sharing with us.

      • Recovering Agnostic says :

        That’s something I’ve been thinking about – I’ve got a few different projects that I could plan weekly posts on, and everything else can be fitted around that. I’m not going to go completely in that direction, because there are often current affairs that I want to write about immediately. But something regular would be good.

    • Recovering Agnostic says :

      There’s lots that I could write about, but I have ideas, whims and ultimately, I end up waiting for inspiration which comes in all sorts of strange ways. I recently had a thought when reading a Mr Men book to my son, the nature of which I hope will become clear in time.

      I don’t particularly want to branch out too far, because this blog has a certain purpose and I hope that will continue. But there are possibly areas that are pretty well related to my wider aims, which I could spend more time on. I’ll see where inspiration strikes.

  3. unkleE says :

    We can blog for ourselves (to help us sort out ideas), to help others, to get feedback, etc, for for all those reasons, or even for fun. Whatever, we can generally assess whether we’re achieving our aims.

    Obviously I wouldn’t keep visiting and commenting if I didn’t find something worthwhile. So I think you should continue as long as you think that it’s working for you.

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