a distinct and profound lack of motivation

To blog or not to blog…that is the question.

This is not one of those “I have nothing to write about so I’ll write about it” posts. I’ve just found it increasingly difficult to post lately. Health issues, daily life and a general lack of desire have consumed me. I have ideas, I have created many drafts waiting for some TLC and I have no intention of stopping. But I’m in a motivational rut.

I feel ok, not great. Dialysis kicks my ass to a certain degree. Despite all of the benefits, fatigue and washout are common the day of and often the next day as well. I may wake up eager to post but then I find I’m just too tired.

Dialysis is as time-consuming as a part-time job. My dialysis days have made it very difficult to find the time and energy to post. My time slot is 11:30 AM. I get up at 7. I watch the news and have my morning coffee. I take care of minor business like light housework or pay some bills and then I have to be out of the house by 10:40. I have a 30 minute drive, I need to report 20 minutes early, I’m in the chair for 4 hours on the machine and another 20 to make sure the bleeding has stopped and I am able to drive (dizziness and nausea are common after dialysis). Another 30 minute drive home and by then it’s almost dinner time. After dinner, I’m usually too tired to even think about writing. When I started dialysis I found a positive in sitting in a comfortable chair for 4 hours. I decided that I would have some great blogging time. What I found is that having to have my left arm perfectly still makes typing, or balancing a laptop near impossible. If I move my arm too much, the needles can move and cause an infiltrate. I did it once, it hurt to the point of keeping me up all night for 2 weeks. I’m relegated to reading a book with one hand (not as easy as it sounds) or watching TV. Such a waste of time on so many levels.

On off days, when I feel good I get out and do things. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday can be busy. I try to visit friends. I go down to MA as often as I can to stay involved with my Masonic Lodge. I see my kids whenever possible. I volunteer at 2 food pantries. These activities of course require me to feel well, and that is not always the case. Some days I can’t get off of the sofa. Therefore, for every one of those days that I do nothing, the next off day becomes even busier.

Blogging had become part of my daily routine. I always made time for it. This has created a conflict for me. It now becomes one more thing that I get mad at myself about when I don’t do it. Self-guilt is a powerful thing.

Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me. I have enjoyed catharsis I never dreamed of. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve enjoyed sharing my story. I enjoyed the growth of my blog and the wonderful feedback of my followers. I’m very thankful for the people I’ve gotten to know on this site. Some of you I proudly call friends. That being said, I’m not impressed with the lack of traffic to my blog lately. Despite my decline in regular posting, when I do post I do my best to put something of quality out there. I try to be relatable, thought-provoking and interesting. Lately I get a few comments and a few likes and that’s it. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

I am a blogger who “gets it”. I don’t click follow just to be followed. I follow you because I find you interesting. I read your posts, I don’t scroll and drop a uninspired “like”. I comment as often as I can. I offer feedback, anecdotes and I always try to be complimentary. I try to get to know you. I follow almost 170 blogs and I try to take time to catch up with all of them.

I have less than 400 followers. Some of you have thousands. It doesn’t bother me. I am grateful for all of them. The amount of followers means less to me than overall readership. I have some very regular readers who comment with great feedback. You know who you are and I appreciate you. But not even 5% seem to actually read me. The question begs to be asked. Who am I doing this for?

I’ve always subscribed to the notion, “the longer you stop doing something the harder it is to get back into it”. It’s definitely a real thing. Many days I have looked over at my laptop, hearing its call. It has been so difficult to answer. But I’m working on it and I look forward to returning to original form.

I’m still here.

30 thoughts on “a distinct and profound lack of motivation”

  1. I enjoy blogging as well and have never been disheartened that I have less than 400 followers BUT it does bother me that some posts I put a lot of myself into get disregarded and no one comments. I feel like throwing the towel in and , in fact, a few times I have! This is my THIRD blog and I’m sticking with this one, It seems to be worth it. I know my health issues are mild compared to mine but stay with it, Billy. You have an individual voice saying some valuable things and I enjoy your comments 🙂 I really do

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be clear, I am not worried about followers. My problem is what you just enunciated. I get discouraged when I really work hard on something and it doesn’t get noticed.
      I’m working through it and I plan on continuing. If for no other reason than connecting with people like you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post!! I know pain, fatigue and being literally as crazy as a shithouse rat is truly exhausting and many times one or all of the above give me writers block. I’m in a rut right now myself. It’s moving, the holidays, and just the general disorganization that comes with moving but has my OCD in a fiery frenzy but I feel so bad I can barely get off the couch….it’s a bummer. Hang in there, B!!🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiya, Billy! Though I know you weren’t singling anyone out, I feel like both this post and your “Bah Humbug” posts were applicable to me. I find my motivation to post anything waxes and wanes for no particular reason, but certainly the holidays don’t help at all. I got absolutely buried by holiday activities and my posting suffered. It’s just as well … I don’t really have anything new to post about.

    But worse than my posting taking a hit, my blog-reading also took an enormous hit. I’m just now trying to get caught up on all the blogs I enjoy reading (such as yours).

    If it makes you feel any better, I have heard many, many bloggers saying that traffic to their blogs has dropped precipitously over the past few months. Mine certainly has. Perhaps like anything else technology-related, blogging’s time has come and gone. Perhaps people are moving on to the Next Big Thing. However, there is hope. If vinyl albums can make a comeback, so can blogging!

    Keep on blogging! People are reading.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy New Year, Billy!

        Excellent advice, as always. I’m going to try to be less stat-conscious in 2019.

        I think my concern with stats is just the engineer in me. We live in a world ruled by statistics and metrics. These are the feedback in the loop that keeps us from oscillating or spinning out of control. But as you so rightly point out, I should just blog for the enjoyment of it (which, for the most part, I do).

        Happy New Year! I shall definitely be dropping by your blog often. We can just put our feet up and shoot the breeze.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have even less followers than you but don’t give a shit because I didn’t do this for the adulation.

    I feel your pain regarding the dialysis. Plasma Apheresis is similar, but I only have to do it once a month and it lasts only two hours. Plus I can’t nap, so the experience is boring as hell. When I get infused with meds. It is a seven hour day. I have done this for so long that finding veins has often become a challenge. I dread the day I need a port, although that would give me something to write about.

    I’ve though your posts have been especially insightful. I hit dry wells on occasion too but try to plow through. Keep it up, and Merry Christmas

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not followers that I want. I just want to be read. Like everyone else.
      I needed infusions pre transplant. Almost 8 hours. But I was able to sleep. I can’t imagine 7 hours awake. You’re a tough guy Steve

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I can’t imagine how tough it must be to go through dialysis; chilling for 4 hours when you want to is one thing but to do it because you have to is quite another! My feeling about blogging has always been that it’s something for me – I can’t see that I’ll ever make any money out of it and I’m sure that, if I didn’t post for a month I’d soon be a distant memory – it’s a release if you like. Saying that it’s a wonderful community and, when life is a bit shit, there is a lot of comfort available from other bloggers and its comfort without request or obligation and I think that’s a rare and wonderful thing. Blog when you want to blog Billy and write what you want to write about because if we do anything else it becomes a chore and not a pleasure.
    I love reading your stuff as you know but if you decided to stop I’d be happy that you had made a decision for you, for your own happiness. Love and hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey! I’m not receiving your posts in email or on the reader. I just thought you were busy….turns out you were! J K. Have you tried just talking into a phone app or whatever to write your blogs? It would be a way to take your mind off the dialysis, maybe? I’m lucky not to have to go through that. I admire your strength and keeping your sense of humor. I think it’s a very important part of coping. I’ve had a hard time trying to be motivated for a few months. Hopefully 2019 will be a better year. Happy holidays and keep writing, it’s cathartic.🤗🎄🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I always enjoy your posts, but I’ve admittedly been extremely out of the loop over the past few months for all kinds of annoying reasons. Sometimes it’s a case of out of sight of mind which sucks, but at the end of the day, we have to do things with ourselves in mind and not other people.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You write well and sometimes just sharing your life is enough. I’m impressed with what you do manage to get down while going through dialysis. It’s more than I (a relatively healthy person) get done. Having engaged followers is better than having thousands of one time visitors. At least for me. Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the good words. I am ever grateful for an engaged following, I hope I never came across as otherwise. I’m just hard on myself, creating high expectations. My body just isn’t up to it right now. Frustrations all around

      Like

  9. Even at the best of times, I go through periods where I have a hard time sitting down to put my ideas into words. When something else is impinging on your time like you have, I can imagine it would be tough to get into the zone where you can write.

    In my experience, the holidays are always a time where it seems like no one reads blogs. My numbers always drop around this time of year, to the point where I used to joke that my Thanksgiving week post was bound to be my least read. But feedback and interaction are a big part of what makes blogging so rewarding, and it’s frustrating when I feel like I’m not getting out of it what I put in.

    Glad you’re still here and I look forward to whatever you post next!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly what Harry said. Since my rebirth my readership has dropped dramatically and I wondered “was everyone looking for an excuse to stop watching?” Well, I gave ’em one. 🤣

      But, like you, I can’t imagine quitting. I enjoy the crafting of it (and, honestly, the sound of my own voice) too much. So, despite their efforts, I persist. 😉

      Glad you do, too, Bill. You’re a fave!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. There are certain times of year when ‘contact’ via this world is slow and seems in decline. It’s just life.
    I have a friend in outback Australia who finally got internet to her region early this year – and she posted every day! And then the storms came, internet down for weeks at a time. Another storm. Two more storms. I get emails dated/time-stamped weeks prior to receipt!
    She posts when she can, chats when she can, swears a lot at telecomms in country areas.
    Sometimes, life, storms, and needle-stiff arms don’t let us do …

    I enjoy reading your pieces, whether they come once a month or any other time-scale (I’ve done my last post for the year, back in January, still reading when I can) because I like what you write, I feel a sense of connection, and communication is a ten-way street (these days lots of people are voyeurs, not participants – everything runs off ‘feeds’).

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You’re doing it for yourself and all of us who follow you so there’s no reason to feel guilty. Blog when you feel like it. It not, wait for the right time.
    As for comments, you should keep in mind many of us struggle too. Liking means they are there. Not commenting does not necessarily mean they have nth to say but, as said, having often their own shit to deal with.

    Liked by 4 people

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