Since I started “blogging” (it wasn’t called that yet when I first kept an online journal in the late 90’s), the frequency of my writing has ebbed and flowed. Some years I’ve written dozens of things and for some I’ve barely managed one each month. However, as 2013 rolled on I found I’d “lost my voice”. It wasn’t that I had nothing to share, it was that I just couldn’t seem to put the events into words and, as time went on, I thought I’d “challenge” myself to not write anything for a calender year to give myself time to find the motivation again.
This proved quite tough at times, as I have had things I wanted to write about. The Burns events I took part in to start the year, going to Indianapolis for the third time, doing Tough Mudder for the second time and all manner of other memorable things that took place over the course of the year. But when I went to write about them I just couldn’t find the words and that made it easy to carry on with the, in hindsight, stupid challenge.
I had the sudden realisation in the autumn that writing creatively exercises the brain needed to do that and, just like any other muscle, the less you use them the more they atrophy. By the time it dawned on me that I was playing out a self fulfilling prophecy there was only a couple of months to go to complete a year of inactivity on the site so, crestfallen, I reluctantly followed through with it.
Of all the daft challenges I’ve given myself over the years, this has to be the least worthwhile. Well, except maybe the wristband challenge – that was pretty pointless, but then it didn’t cost me anything. Abstaining from writing on my site for a year pretty much means that, although I still remember most of the year, I’ve lost a lot of the detail and that’s kind of been the point of gathering my thoughts here in the first place.
I have a folder in my Dropbox that I use for rough drafts of posts with the intention of eventually tidying them up and publishing them . In that folder, for 2013, there’s a single post back from early June that I couldn’t help but attempt to write. It’s entitled “Back home again in Indiana” and, although incomplete, just reading the six paragraphs that are there bring that amazing week flooding back to me.
So, in a late attempt to salvage something from this lost year, I’m going to finish that post and at least have some content from 2013 that I’ll be able to revisit on the site in years to come.