Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hitting the wall

Before this week, I had only heard about it.

The (hopefully) short time period in which blogging just doesn't seem that interesting, for whatever reason.

The dreaded "wall".

Surely I'd never experience it, I thought. Ever since I started this blog, I've tried to do at least two posts per day (even three a day in the first month or so in this blog's history). And, for the most part, I've succeeded.

One of the things I feel I am pretty good at in my life is spacing things out. Because of this, I have a decent chunk of time each day that I can dedicate to running this blog and reading others, mainly because I try not to put things off until the last minute. I do my best to finish my homework right away, even if it's not due for another week or two. (If there's one thing I've learned thus far in college, it's to not procrastinate, as I did a lot in high school.)

Luckily, I haven't had any major issues that have forced me to go days or weeks without doing much blogging (knock on wood). It's been a tremendous experience so far. Blogging has been one of the best ways I've spent my free time in my entire life.

I never thought it would be any different.

Last week, the "wall" appeared out of thin air. Around Thursday or so, I just didn't have much of an interest in doing a post. It wasn't due to any specific reason as far as I can tell, it just happened. It lasted for a couple days after that, as I got by on two trade posts and a theme post.

I couldn't figure it out.

Much like Aaron Rowand reaches for a hopelessly impossible home run ball, I was trying to reach for inspiration from my thousands of pieces of cardboard.

But I just couldn't come up with anything. I feared that the "wall" might be permanent.

In an ironic twist of fate, it was my baseball cards themselves that actually brought me out of the funk I was in.

Last afternoon, I had some free time, so I plopped down on my bed with one of my many jam-packed binders in hand, hoping for something, anything to scan and write about. I knew that there were tons of ideas sitting there in my collection, just waiting to be blogged about. (As there are in all of our respective collections.)

Something just clicked.

Happily, I found that I had a couple blog ideas for the future. And then a couple more.

I was overjoyed. The "wall" had been broken down. I knew it had, because I was eager to blog last night, even though I didn't get home until around eleven-thirty or so. That resulted in one of my latest posts ever, which I put the finishing touches on at around one o'clock. (I briefly got distracted by the Blackhawks game.)

Hitting the "Publish Post" button last night knocked the last brick out of the "wall". I felt fresh and at peace with the blogging world, and once again, I'm eager to do this for as long as I can.

Did I make a bit too much out of my brief blogging withdrawal? Perhaps. But it was my first experience with it. If there ever comes a time where I don't feel much of a pull to collect baseball cards, then there might be a problem. But the indifference I had towards blogging a few days ago turned out to not be a huge deal at all.

One thing I learned is that it's natural for us bloggers. I bet most of us have had something of this sort happen before. If there ever comes another time where I hit a second "wall", I'll be better prepared.

But perhaps the other thing I learned is the most important. A lot of things in life need to go through ups and downs in order to maintain long-term success. Friendships, relationships, marriage, you name it.

In a lot of ways, it's the same thing with blogging. I've only been at this thing for four months. I can imagine what some of the people who have been in the community for a few years have experienced. But breaking down that first "wall" in my blogging life gives me the confidence to say the following sentence.

You can count on "Dime Boxes" being on the blogroll for a long time down the road.


Robert said...

I wrote about the blahs back in either January or February, so I know exactly where you're coming from Nick.

The fact that you could elaborate on it as much as you did speaks to how much you're enjoying blogging.

Keep up the great posts!

night owl said...

I've hit the wall a couple of times. But I always know, even when I've hit it, that I'll bounce back. My need to write is way too strong and way too much a part of me. Sitting down with your cards is always a good way to break out of it.

As for your "latest post ever," contact me when you post at 4:31 a.m., which I believe is my latest. Come on, you're a college student, you can do it!

Play at the Plate said...

I just took a week off. A week off from work, the was therapeutic. You'll be fine and no one will hold it against you if you miss a day or two here and there. When I first started, I was trying so hard to keep up the posts and I was overly concerned about numbers like hits and followers. Just remember your writing for yourself and the rest of us will continue to enjoy reading it.