Writer’s Bottleneck

When it comes to writing, one of the most common ailments talked about is the dreaded writer’s block, where a writer stares at a blank screen/sheet, unable to write anything. Writing coaches often recommend creativity exercises to spark inspiration.

For many years I’ve struggled to publish any articles online (except for the rare blog post every now and then). But it’s not because I suffer from writer’s block. Instead, I suffer from Writer’s Bottleneck. I don’t struggle to find something to write about. I struggle to pick which of my interests to write about, what idea to share or point to make. Since I seem to value all my ideas equally, I end up oscillating between them, unable to decide which to pick.

This isn’t just a writing problem. It can also be a reading problem (when you can’t decide what to read, so you end up checking your Twitter feed) and a life problem (when you can’t decide what activity to do, so you end up watching TV… flicking through channels, without watching a full program).

The more interests you have, the more severe the bottleneck becomes.

I’ve failed time and time again to prioritize my interests. When I want to write about critical thinking I recall the political problems we’re facing, and ways to promote morality, and improving education, and documenting open source projects, and on, and on…

All these interests are important to me. How can I possibly choose?

Last night I realized that I should abandon trying to prioritize my interests. Instead, I should prioritize the act writing, regardless of what interest I write about.

That way I will at least write about one interest, instead of none.

And so I’ve decided to publish a blog post every day for the next 30 days.

The topics may vary, and some posts may be unrefined ideas or snippets from longer works I’m (trying to) write. What matters is that every post will be useful to my readers, and helpful in getting rid of my writer’s bottleneck.

This is my first post. Expect 29 more. 🙂

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