Why I’m Blogging…Again…At Last

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You may have noticed I’ve started blogging again. Since Monday (10/20), I have released one blog every weekday on everything from favorite 80s scifi movies to neo-Nazis in my city to terrible movies to my thoughts on spending years reading mostly women. All of this is part of my effort to jumpstart my writing brain. The whole thing. Not just the blogging side, but also my fiction and academic writing sides, too. And I’m having a hell of a time getting there…

For those that don’t know, I’ve been in a massive writing dry spell for a while. Part of that is self-imposed. Four or five years ago, I stopped writing fiction to focus attention on my dissertation and academic work, with hopes of coming back once I had acquired a full time job (ha). I tried churning out a lot of other non-fiction that wasn’t academically-oriented, but that turned out to be mentally taxing (and not terribly successful). I eventually threw most of it aside to do the one thing I had to do:  write and edit that damn dissertation. The result is that pretty much every part of my writing brain has suffered. It hasn’t been a complete writing blackout, mind you, but sufficient enough that my lack of output is noticeable (to me, to my friends, to my dissertation directors, etc.).

None of this has been helpful. Like most people, I suffer from my fair amount of depression. Whether the depression fuels my inability to write anything or the inability to write feeds the depression, I’m in this pretty crummy mental space where I feel pretty much trapped — in this writing dry spell, in a life I didn’t exactly want, and so on and so forth.

And so I decided I’d try to force myself out of it. Sorta. I’m writing more on purpose, even if I don’t like doing it. The first step, of course, is figuring out how to come up with ideas for this blog. When your writing brain has been stagnant for so long, it’s actually really tough to come up with ideas I’m excited about. It’s not that I don’t have things I can write; it’s that I don’t have the inherent motivation to do that writing. And it damn well isn’t because I don’t enjoy writing things. Jumpstarting all of these little features is just hard to do when you’re so used to not doing it.

But no matter what my stupid brain says about what I’m writing, I’m just going to write something. I’m hoping this will at least let my depression focus on something else OR that the writing juices will start to flow on their own so that this writing thing is a little bit easier.

Hope. Hope. Hope.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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