Last week, I moved this website from a sluggish WordPress instance to a nimble Ghost installation. It took a bit of tweaking the data for over 15 years of my posts and media.
Touching the blog after a long time made me wonder, why haven't I written a single post in nearly three years? I've been tweeting often, reading more than I ever have, learning new stuff, but no longer writing as much for some reason.
Writing clears the mind, similar to a good sleep or a jog. It's a competitive advantage, even if you're just competing with your old self to get better at things.
I realize now what turned the slate into a rock. Ghost's editor makes writing fun, which lacked on the old website. Using a brisk new editor feels refreshing, and encouraging. Our tools must match up to the flow of our thoughts, and help elaborate a notion, else they become a hindrance.
A bigger force at play messing up writer's curiosity, long-form and consistency is micro-blogging on social media.
Just as there's more fast-food, fast-fashion, and insta-art around, there's fast-writing on social media that's taking a toll. The ease of quick, bite-sized blurbs from the comfort of our palms is causing unexplored thoughts to bottle-up, and unexpressed ideas to go lost in oblivion.
The only social media network I use is Twitter, where I really like being able to share and learn from the thoughts of smart, path-breaking, brave people from around the world.
Tweets encourage mild forethought to maintain brevity, but they have turned thoughts, ideas and lessons into 280-character pebbles, flung into a rapid stream of mass opinion. It's far too short to express true appreciation for a subject matter. Certainly not enough to make one think clearly, or deeply.
Another confining factor has always been the writer's block. "What to write about?" One answer may well be, "write what everyone's thinking but nobody is saying", or as I did for years, "write what excites you."