I have been writing a blog since early 1998, and I have often went through both the feast and famine aspects of creativity. For some time, I have felt underwhelmed by this blog and have often let it go months or even a year between posts.
I really don’t want this to be the case. I have a lot of things I’m interested in and would like to share with others, but there are several factors affecting my ability to write.
- I originally set out to write a blog about policy analysis, specifically in the Canadian regulatory context. This is a very niche topic and generates very little to no engagement.
- I am disappointment by my ability to reach people and learn new things. This is, of course, due to the lack of content. This one hits a littler harder than you might think. It makes me confront questions from my ability to commit to projects and how much value I derive from others, rather than doing the work.
- About a two years ago, I took on a new role at a different department and found that I was in no position to think or write about work after a long day.
- I started getting back into programming and developing useful tools to help my team and hopefully others. This meant even less time for writing.
When I think about what is happening, I know that it’s mostly negative introspection and constant comparison to the may great writers I follow that are getting in the way.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.Barbara Kingsolver
Just rereading this list of barriers makes me hopefully that I can move past them. Here are some ideas of ways that I can help get back into the habit of writing:
- Change the topic from just policy analysis of regulatory affairs to all matters of policy. This would allow me to write about all manner of topics and examine them from a policy perspective or a distributional lens.
- Write. Just write something. Sometimes getting started is all it takes. So I will try to write three posts no matter how big or small a week for four weeks and re-evaluate how it’s going.
- Remember that writing gives me a sense of accomplishment and I really enjoy writing content that people have opinions about as I love learning new things. While I may not feel like writing some days, if I get back in the habit, I will likely feel positively about it again.
- The final idea I had was to invite other authors to write on Policy Geek. I could convert the site to a bilingual site and ask any public servants who want a place to write that they can help author content and hopefully build a community of people who like to share their thoughts.
If you know anyone that wants a place to publish their writing publicly, but may not have the resources, or desire to manage a content management system by themselves, let them know that I’m looking at adding authors to the site. A best case scenario for me would be to generate interesting conversation and learning opportunities for people who write for or read the site.
Today is August 11th, 2021. I’m going to try these for a month and I will re-evaluate how I want to handle the site going forward. Hopefully by then I will have a better idea of how I want to run the site going forward. I’m happy to hear any other ideas you have on how to move forward.