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Unblocked Me

Last updated on: 21st Feb 2021
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Alright then, here we go. But first, a friendly warning ahead:
If I manage to complete this post I will only scan it for faults and errors. This idea came spontaneously, and I am afraid that this post will lose its spontaneous character if I start to edit or rewrite.

The way I see it, this post may therefore become incredibly boring, completely incomprehensible, or a feast of recognition. Let’s find out.

Waking Up and Ready to Go

That is exactly how I felt this morning.
My first cup of coffee only encouraged me to ‘get to it’ as soon as possible, so I opened the laptop and tried to enjoy this feeling that today, I was going to write my best post ever!

Now, I haven’t written that many posts, but that’s not the point. It is about the mindset that I was in.
All hyped up and ready to roll!

A New State of Mind

I read somewhere that some people, after many years of training and seminars of Tibetan Monks manage to silence their minds completely if they focus hard enough.

Another, less long, path to this elevated state of mind is trying to do something creative…

As soon as the screen of my MacBook lit up, I entered that state.

Blank.

Backup Plan

Now, I have read a lot of blogs from other bloggers, about blogging and I learn a lot from them.

That is how I knew that, for days like these, it is necessary to have a list of topics, notes of your thoughts, or a lot of drafts as a backup plan.

Caffeine kicking in, still feeling invincible, so never mind that I am unable to think of a topic! I will browse through all of those notes and mind dumps and probably find something that I like to write about at this moment.

No Zero Days

Of course, it would be perfectly fine to skip a day and do nothing.
I don’t do this for a living (yet), but I have some mechanism build in to prevent myself from falling into a state of lethargic procrastination, and one of those mechanisms is: No Zero Days.

It does not matter how little effort it takes: I have to put some work into this blog, even if it is just checking for technical errors or for dead links.
So I started my routine.

Let’s Get to Work

I checked the logs for all 404’s first and after that, I took a look at the search words that were used on the site. Maybe there was an indication in there of what people were hoping to find.
It was not.

Then I went through my notes, but I found nothing that really motivated me to write about.
A lot of what I wrote down was conceptual or without context and I could not find a way to create a story with it.
The energy level was dropping rapidly…

To the Drafts!

I have a lot of draft pages lying around, some with just a title, some with lots of texts and notes I copied from doing research.

Before I give the wrong impression: I do not use these copied fragments in my posts!
It is more like a scrapbook. You collect everything that catches your attention and by sticking it all on one sheet of paper your idea will slowly take a certain shape and all parts start to fall into place.

I opened some of the drafts, but nothing fell into its place. I could not find a way to glue all the parts together.
Could it be that this whole drafts-and-notes thing doesn’t work for me?

Found one, or not?

Yesterday I made a page to collect and present all kinds of special offers, like discounts or coupons and deals like Black Friday deals.

I was quite happy, utilizing this plugin for WordPress to make a list of HTML snippets instead of ads, so I can set the start and end date. This way I always have a list of deals that are actual, so I don’t have to go in and delete those that have expired.
(Should I write about how I did it? Let me know in the comments)

One of the special Black Friday Deals that I added to that page was from the hosting company where I have a couple of websites: Hostinger (I know it is an affiliate link, but I really like them. Great service!)

I have a draft page about them, waiting to be completed, for a while now. This may be the perfect opportunity to finish it, so: Let’s do it.

Opened the file. Didn’t like what I wrote earlier. Couldn’t create new compelling content. Closed it, and decided that today was not the day that this post was going to be released into the wild…

Let’s take a break

Maybe another coffee would help. So I poured myself another one and I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration.
It didn’t work. Seeing all those pins from amazing articles made me feel like failing.

Maybe I was going to find inspiration in trying out some of the things I wrote about in a post about Surveys. It seemed like a good idea.
Taking surveys and playing paid games would set my mind to something else and I would at least feel a little productive, gaining experiences to write about later.

I picked TimeBucks and completed some surveys and tried a game, but it gave me the same feeling of procrastination as if I was watching Netflix.

Now it started to bug me

Why did I feel like I needed to deliver a post, while there was absolutely no compelling need to do so?

This blog is just starting, I have a very small (but appreciated!) audience and I have not settled for a posting frequency yet.

Before I started The Side Gig Longlist, I didn’t like to write blog content at all, so what is going on with me?

Even Grammarly is WoriedFunny observation: Even Grammarly thinks I’m worried and anxious.

It’s ok Grammarly, just wait until this post is finished. I will be fine!
(although I’m talking to my spellchecker now…)

Time for Some Reflection

Did I feel this way because of a lack of motivation?
I don’t believe so.
Remember that I said that I woke up, all hyped up, wanting to write the post-that-would-change-it-all.

The energy turned into frustration, but the motivation was still present.

Was it a lack of ideas?
Not really. I have a lot of drafts.
Over half of my published pages need more, optimized, content and I have some ideas on what I want with them.

I also have more notes in OneNote than I ever made in high school and there are so many things in my head that I would like to explore that it makes it difficult to focus.

My Hypothesis

One of my main drives to start with something is learning new things.
It suddenly occurred to me that I went through the same stages, trying to master photography years ago (I used stock photography websites as my personal key performance indicators to measure my progress).

The same thing happened to me trying to learn how to code (I am a developer), how to draw, how to create 3D models, how to garden, etcetera, etcetera.

I think… Just maybe… that I am starting to enjoy writing and creating articles.

Maybe I have passed the exploration phase and really want to master it now.

Growing Pains

So I believe that what I am feeling now is a bit of beginner’s frustration and that is not bad at all. In fact, I think it is great!

Every time that I read all these amazing and beautiful blogs and articles from writers I like to follow, I am, subconsciously, setting the bar to the level I want to grow to.

I like the idea that these are growing pains. I want to run, but need to learn how to crawl first. I need to learn how to write, in order to blog.

Finally

Just as I thought that it was not going to work out today, doing something completely different, this idea, to try to analyze what happened today in a post, came to me.

Like I wrote in the beginning, I am trying to refrain from editing or rewriting, so I wonder how I will feel about this post tomorrow whilst reading it back myself.

Now I just need to come up with a title. How about Unblocked Me?

What do You Think?

Was it boring? Did it make sense? Did you recognize yourself in it?
I would love to get some feedback!

What’s Next

If you liked this post, or if you think that it is useful to others, then do share it on your social media.

Thank you for visiting! You are awesome! 

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About

Hi there!

My name is Jip, and I created the Side Gig Longlist to learn all I can about blogging and making money online.
Having decades of experience in information technology, I decided to explore all the non-technical aspects of blogging, marketing, and promoting.
I also happen to like sharing the things I know and learn with others.
This blog is my platform to experiment, learn, and share.

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