update 17apr23

©2023 michael raven

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

I’m going to try an experiment (yes, another one of the mad scientist’s mad ideas) in the coming weeks:

I’m going to post fewer posts.

This site is basically my electronic notebook.

I have experimented, written straight pieces, and posted items in various degrees of “DRAFT” status since it’s inception. It was always intended as a bit of a mixed bag of varying degrees of quality as I explored various ideas tumbling around in my head. Some I take time to heavily edit, some are freshly fired bits of clay still cooling on the rack, and yet others are in the middle stages in between.

I’ve never been hung up on sharing my works in progress. My attitude comes from the writing class I ended my high school years being heavily invested in way back before the dawn of written history. We always saw writing as something to be shared, regardless of the draft/final status, and I have long felt that keeping my unshared writing piled in an office box or on a USB-drive a bit of a waste (not that it is all fantastic or even noteworthy stuff, but why do it at all if it is never going to receive any daylight?).

That’s not to say that I’ve traded my free-for-all attitude towards writing in for a garden-walled approach. I have other reasons for considering this experiment rather than merely “holding back” material.

Without going into a long, drawn out and tiresome piece explaining some philosophical concepts I have entertained, the tldr; version of my reasons are these:

  • I have concerns about the dopamine effect of social media as an influence on what is written by any given author. And while I feel that WordPress tends to be a slightly different beast than the platforms that favor short-form writing over long-form writing, WordPress is still a branch of social media, with many of the same addictive Pavlovian feedback loops found in places like Facebook and Twitter. And the discovery algorithms tend to bunch like-minded people together in much the same detrimental way as those other platforms (in the same way your search engines out there funnel your queries). I ask myself if the dopamine “feelgoods” are drivers for content, style and subject matter and if it impacts the creative process in a negative fashion (or, even, just impacts). As such, I want to test the potential impact on me by writing more outside the sphere of WordPress (or any online platform), where immediate feedback is essentially nonexistent. Remember, if you are getting a product for “free”, you are the product.
  • I have a very nebulous idea for a mixed-writing project that I’ve been toying around with in the back of my head for around a year now that I haven’t made much progress on because I focus much of my writing time (published and private posts) on more “whim” writing. I reckon if I write more away from the core platform I have been employing, I might make actual progress on that project and turn it into a reality.
  • It bothers me that I encounter a bit of a writer’s block when I put pen to paper. Keyboards are part of my normal writing practice these days and when I sit down with other physical writing tools, I find it hard to overcome that sudden disconnect between the creative mind and the writing process. Put a phone or keyboard in my hands and, poof, the impediment drops away and I am chronically verbose as ever. I want to break that cycle and this experiment allows me an opportunity to get back into the physical act of writing (I think it is the inability to backspace and delete that causes my blockage, somehow making the writing more real, and I want to overcome that).

This experiment might only last a few days or weeks, but I thought I should toss it out there in case someone is wondering what is hecking going on with Mr. Raven (who might be more Mr. Crow these days), who seems to be posting significantly fewer posts each day. I will still post at least once a day, but will probably spare everyone the frequently six to ten post days for the time being.

6 thoughts on “update 17apr23

  1. I’m excited to see what comes from this experiment. Please report back. I’ve had some similar thoughts lately. I have a book I want to self-publish and another book I want to try pitching out there—but I seem to spend most of my time making content for my blog. It’s a bit of disconnect with the creative process. I’m not sure I’m ready to do anything drastic, but while I’m taking a tiny break from my own blog, I might give it some more thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been hard to switch gears, oddly enough. But my brain is warming up to the idea. I’ve got an e-ink writing pad that has nominal OCR abilities. I’ve been using that and my “do not disturb” feature on my phone more to try and focus. Now… If only the kids would cooperate 🤣

      Of course, I find out they added a keyboard folio for my device and I’m tempted to pick it up and use my tablet as a distraction-free “typewriter”.

      I’ve done some very rough outlining of my project the past few days and set it up in Scrivener; less to write within and more to allow myself to move elements around and rework to improve flow.

      Now I just need to actually write beyond brainstorming.

      Liked by 1 person

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