So this blog has been silent for more than a year now… which is a bummer for me, since I’ve not run out of ideas or content to share – I’ve just been utterly overwhelmed by work-related activities and having to prioritize my time, I chose family / kids over blogging.
I’m sure many of you will agree with my choice and admittedly, writing about that choice is just an easy way to dismiss the matter for me… a sort of quick justification. To be 100% honest, that is only part of the reason I have not updated my blog for so long.
I firmly believe that almost in any case, the old saying is right:
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
So reflecting about last year I definitely could have found some time to jot down a few posts. What prevented me from doing so?
I tried to look back and analyze what happened (and maybe most importantly – what didn’t happen)… I think I identified two main reasons behind my blog’s “silent” year:
1. Analysis Paralysis
Recently I attended a workshop about blogging and social media, interesting for me from both a personal and professional point of view. I already knew many of the ideas and suggestions given, but openly discussing them with other bloggers was stimulating and helped me find the motivation to reflect – hence this post.
Looking back at last year I can see the main reason why I didn’t publish any post – not lack of time, not lack of ideas for content… it was probably thinking too much and too hard about what to post.
I quite often had ideas come into my mind and noted them down in my “blog ideas” page in OneNote… and then, every time I looked at the items in that page I thought: “Will it be worth to blog about this? I’m sure there will already plenty of posts around… I have to check thoroughly. This must not be just another blog post like thousands of others – this must be awesome. Well, OK, it’s already 2AM so let’s think about this tomorrow.”
2. Perfectionism + Pressure = Procrastination
That’s right, those 3 Ps have been a major roadblock for me and my blogging activity in the past year.
- Perfectionism: “it has to be great before I can publish this! It has to be informative, nice and clean!”. So I have to make sure I gather all the necessary screenshots, do the necessary checking to avoid incorrect information, re-read and proofread the text, polish the general layout and images in the post, etc. What started as a quick note with only a couple of words in my “to do” list suddenly starts to look like a sizeable task.
- Pressure: time management is really tough for me. When I plan to dedicate time to something, I often end up focusing on something else (usually work related) which is urgent. Free time is not much and what’s worse, it’s very fragmented. Finding a whole hour to focus on writing is a luxury I can very rarely afford… so I tell myself “well, to write this post properly, I need to find one entire hour of peace, where I can give proper attention and effort. Hm, right now it’s impossible. Let’s wait“
Now you are probably starting to see how the first and second Ps lead to the third…
- Procrastination: “I have to write something cool, new and informative, in the best way possible before I can publish it. But this takes time, which I currently I don’t have because of X and Y… so let’s do this tomorrow or next week”. Needless to say, that day or week gets pushed further and further away as time passes and even an idea that looked good on paper starts to lose grip. New information and technologies arrive, so the post can become outdated before it’s even written and it can end up never seeing the light of day.
(image credit: Pixpired blog – check it out, I find it very interesting!)
I can’t deny feeling a little helpless when this happens… it is that kind of thing that feeds on itself, a vicious circle of inactivity causing more inactivity.
What can I do to break this circle and give new lifeblood to this blog?
- Focus on shorter, quicker posts. I very regularly use Twitter and I love it because it’s concise. The term “micro-blogging” is spot-on in my opinion: I can quickly share funny stuff, thoughts and experiences using very short “posts” without over-thinking, over-checking and getting stuck
- Set more realistic expectations. Probably, none of my posts will ever be super popular and/or important. Let’s not freeze waiting for some exceptional idea or content that will most likely never arrive. Besides, previous experience shows that “basic” topics are often much more successful than niche / more advanced ones
For this reason, I have decided to start a new series of short posts named Veeam Quick Tips. The objective is to share useful and/or lesser known features of Veeam applications, along with general tips about getting the most out of them. Nothing “ground-breaking”, “disruptive” or any other buzzword 😉 Just a few “good to know” things that hopefully will help somebody out there in their everyday life as an IT Professional.
Let’s get out of this impasse! As usual, I’d love to see your feedback or questions in the comments.
Happy new year!