Writer’s block and Project52

This year, I thought it might be fun to try taking part in something that would get me writing more. Anton Peck started Project52 with a simple aim to produce a blog post a week for all of 2010.

It’s hard. Really hard.

It’s week 5 and although I generally suffer various rage related incidents* over the course of a week, nothing has presented itself as particularly bloggable. Likewise, work has been fairly unspectacular and I’ve not been especially creative so I’m lacking anything of true substance to talk about or teach. Next week should be better, as there’s an upcoming event I’ll be involved with and I’ll have produced some extra-curricular illustrative commisions I’d like to share.

I asked twitter – the natural home for people who don’t know what to talk about – and the suggestions came back that I just get this stupid meta-post over and done with and talk about writer’s block (cheers Olly and Craig).

I like writing. I don’t think I’m particularly good at it, but I can string a few words together into something that vaguely resembles prose. Finding topics that haven’t already been talked about excessively in the web world is just an especially difficult challenge.

Only today, a mailing list I frequent has been discussing how difficult it can be to stay motivated and interested in a field that’s coming out of it’s emergent phase. Finding a cause that doesn’t already have more than enough band-wagoners is rare and finding something unique to add is unusual and perhaps it’s feeling less ground-breaking. There’s less to do for the invidiual as more hands come on deck. Ultimately, this is super for the web but not so good for personal satisfaction, in my opinion. The word “jaded” was used, but I think (and hope) it’s a bit early for that.

Finally, a suggestion from Matt:

@phae Ask for suggestions of what to write about. :)


So, dear readers (probably, mostly, I should just address this to “mum”), anything I’ve hinted at in the past that you’d like me to elaborate on in the future? I know it’s a cop-out, and it’s lame to ask, but hey… you never know, it might work.

* OK, here’s a little bonus list of things that have made me want to strangle people this week:

  • CSS3 being compared directly to Java Applets – please, people. Lets at least let it out of the stalls before we condemn it.
  • More pro-homeopathy articles, the Pope, the Daily Mail, the usual.
  • Email responses to technical debates that consist of nothing more than off-topic quotations.
  • Latest version of Chrome reporting unexpected background-repeat values in JS-land.
  • iFrames.
  • A guy on the tube who complained about the placement of someone’s feet (they were a cm too close to his) and the crowded nature (it wasn’t very crowded) of the carriage.

4 thoughts on “Writer’s block and Project52”

  1. Pingback: Frances
  2. Perhaps you could write about the correct use of prepositions, and why “suggestions of what to write about” is a particularly egregious example of trying to get a clever tweet out too fast?

    Or what the grammatical equivalent of “spellchecking” is.

    Failing that, iframes sounds fine. :)

  3. Pingback: Frances
  4. I jumped on the project for many of the same reasons — I had written more regularly in the past and more recently I felt like I had passed up opportunities to post things because I wasn’t in the groove.

    bq. work has been fairly unspectacular and I’ve not been especially creative so I’m lacking anything of true substance to talk about or teach

    I’m hitting this as well. In the past most of my writing has been spurred by realizing there was something I had been repeatedly discussing or teaching at work, with clients, or in online forums of some type. The begging of the year hasn’t brought these new opportunities and I’ve sorta felt bad for not having more web topics to write about.

    What I have done in this case is two things — going back over those articles ideas I had skipped over in the past and looking for ones I’m still energized about [like the piece I’m trying to finish today] and writing about non-web stuff I’m working through in my head [in my case photography and photo geek stuff].

    That all said, I think its fine to get blocked for a week or two and to wait until you have something you want to say. It may be going against the “rules” of project 52 not to post every week, but if you’re sticking with it and get back in the groove soon then I don’t think you’re straying too far from the goal — to get back to regularly writing and sharing.

    Good luck with it!

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