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trying to write when you’re triaging

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started blogging again at a rate I haven’t in a number of years. The reason for this is to try and abate a growing problem with my writing.

In the last year or so, I’ve found myself feeling increasingly overloaded and lacking mental bandwidth to a degree I hadn’t experienced previously. The result has been that my writing had started to feel stilted and difficult, largely because it was unavoidably reduced to the status of ‘task’ to be ticked off a list.

This leaves writing as an externally-orientated process. It becomes an obligation to be fulfilled. An action to be completed in order to meet an external requirement. Whereas writing has only ever worked for me as an internally-orientated process, clarifying what I think through the process of expressing my inchoate thoughts: thinking-through-writing.

When externally-oriented, I find myself preoccupied by word counts, deadlines and the other things I have to do. When internally-orientated, I don’t ‘find myself’ at all because I’m just writing.

The problem has it origins in choices that I’ve made. For instance, there were 39 events that I organised, facilitated and/or spoke at last year. This now seems obviously incompatible with writing in the way I aspire to. I’ve been reevaluating my priorities and trying to change things to reflect them.

In the meantime though, simply setting aside time each day in order to blog is helping a lot. But sorry if you’re one of the many people I owe writing to. I’m getting there. Promise.

Categories: Archive Social Media for Academics Thinking

Mark

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