I published my most recent blog post on January 31st. The one before that? January 4th. What could I possibly have been doing for 27 days?
Throughout that time, three excuses circulated in my head. Until eventually, I had a realization.
I blamed my work schedule
I barely worked my first two months in Australia. I had odd jobs here and there, but I spent the majority of my time exploring Melbourne and the surrounding areas. Leaving ample time to write.
However, on January 9th, I started working at the hostel. That first week I worked 32 hours painting, cleaning, and moving furniture.
The week of the 15th, I started working at the Australian Open in Guest Services. Checking tickets, answering questions, and queue management standing on my feet all day. A total of 50 hours between the Australian Open and the hostel.
The week of the 22nd, I worked for a total of 38 hours.
I didn’t realize the amount of free time I had until it vanished.
Throughout the couple weeks, I found myself recording videos at midnight and 1 am. Telling myself I had no time during the day. That recording the short videos was the most I could do.
During that same time, I somehow found time to socialize and start doing workouts. But why couldn’t I find the time to write?
I blamed my writing habits
On January 23rd, I decided to start my next 30-day challenge. Writing 200 crappy words per day.
My frustration with my lack of posts moved me to make a change.
The story I continued to tell myself was that I needed an extended period of time to sit down and write. Oh, I only have an hour, that’s not enough time to put some words on a page.
Instead of writing in the gaps I had throughout the day I would waste time. I wanted to get into the habit of, I have 30min right now, I’m not gonna finish writing anything, but let’s start writing and see what comes out of it.
I thought the 200-word challenge was my solution to my writing procrastination.
No matter what, I would find the time during the day to sit down and crank out words. As a byproduct, I assumed blog posts would follow.
Unfortunately, a week passed and while I was writing more than ever every day, I still had no post to show for it. Why?
I blamed my hostel
When I arrived at this hostel on Jan 8th I didn’t know anybody. I felt like an outsider. The majority of people within the hostel already knew each other. I wanted to make friends and socialize at every chance I got. Not be the guy who sits in his room on his laptop all the time.
Solo traveling for the month before, I never had this problem. Occasionally, writing was the only option without an internet connection.
But I’m the house captain and I organize nightly activities. And participate in the majority of them. How do I balance socializing with the 40 people constantly around me and writing?
What actually happened:
I had 80% of my post written the whole time. I wrote a good chunk of it as my mind replayed the incident on repeat over the subsequent days. I felt that putting it down on paper would calm me down.
But whenever I’ve sat down to write since then, I started on other posts. I avoided editing it. I avoided putting the finishing touches on it. I avoided publishing it.
I’ve only shared that story with a couple people in person. And now I’m sharing it online with everyone I know.
I find the more vulnerable I am, the more trouble I have finding the words to express what I’m going through and feeling.
An inability to convey my thoughts on paper translated to procrastination.
Another example of my perfectionism at its finest.
I’m disappointed in myself for going 27 days between blog posts. Failing to meet my goal of posting at least once a week.
But in a way isn’t that a positive? Attempting to write about topics that otherwise would be kept hidden from everyone.
Ask my ex-girlfriends, I can barely talk about my emotions. Now I’m trying to express them in writing. To everyone. Doesn’t 27 days seem impressive from that perspective?
But that doesn’t mean 27 days is acceptable. I’ll publish weekly from now on. But I’ll also continue to tackle posts that might take me out of my writing comfort zone.