Post Post Refractory Period and Thoughts on Writing

Not sure if I’ve ever actually said anything about this IN a post before.

I sit here and eventually get the engines of my fingers going and it just feels good to do. Frankly it really doesn’t make MUCH of a difference what I’m typing about, so long as my fingers are going back and forth over the keyboard and the funny amber word things are coming out.

But I encounter this perhaps not-so-weird phenomenon where I’ll finish something (or, more typically just…kinda stop), do some proofreading then hit ‘publish’ after which my brain goes completely blank.

It’s what I call my post-post refractory period. There’s this strange dead air in my head immediately after I get something out the door where the compulsion leaves me a bit and I scramble around for the next idea or topic.

Usually I’ll dick around on twitter and reddit a bit until something strikes me. Maybe I’ll look through the half-baked documents in my working folder. But truth be told I rarely go back to an in-progress piece. I think it’s a weakness in my writing process really.

So there’s this period of about a half hour or so where I’m in absolute limbo. If I weren’t pathologically incapable of relaxation it would be a nice time. Instead my brain starts almost immediately scrambling about for the next thing to blast out in a stream of consciousness.

I even have a “post ideas” page I keep in a OneNote document that I can add to from my phone and is automatically synced online and is accessible throughout the known universe.

I thought I was awfully clever setting that up and…maybe it’s a good solid step in the right direction. The problem is I’m victim of my own success in that…well…there’s never anything in there. I pull it up when I sit down here, grab the top idea and write about that so it’s always empty. It’s not nearly the Brian Eno deck of ideas (or whateverthepretentiouscrap he called that deck of cards) I hoped it would be.

Even this just started because I wanted to just keep typing SOMEthing even if it was just for the love of doing it.

I really want to teach myself (therein lies the rub) how to compose longer more cohesive pieces. Yeah these blog posts are fun. The process is really helping me get my thoughts in order, which is something I desperately need.

I’m just not sure how to get from here to there since I really don’t know what ‘there’ looks like. Post longer stuff? Outline first? Start Mind Mapping? (ugh. I mean yeah, but ugh.)

These are the problems the wiki is supposed to solve; allowing me to write a bunch of small pieces that I can seamlessly integrate so that I can create a corpus from which to draw for a larger piece. But it’s not really working out that way.

It’s something I’m going to have to attack far more intentionally than I have over the last…err…several…uhm…decades.

But it’s not enough. These are still just the pithy ramblings of an intentional if largely inadequate thinker.