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Breaking Routines


I took a few days off this past week. I didn’t even go anywhere, but getting posts out when I’m off my routine was harder than expected.

I was off work Wednesday through Friday. For one, I kept compulsively checking my work email, as if something would come up that I’d be needed for. (No such emergencies arose.) I also got off my normal sleep schedule, which really hammers my productivity and concentration. I think being on a regular routine really helps me get my posts done properly.

I also have concerns about quality. None of the topics this past week broke any new ground, as far as I’m concerned. You’d think that posts produced with much less time pressure would be better, but I think it’s more the issue that I was on vacation and just didn’t feel like pushing myself too hard. It could then be argued that I should just not post while on vacation, but then I’m breaking the discipline that was a major component of doing this blog in the first place.

I suppose it doesn’t matter a whole lot, given the limited readership of this site. Its main purpose is practice: the only way I’ll get better at this kind of writing is by continuing to do it, to work on it every day (or at least as many days as I can), and keep pushing forward even when I really don’t want to. That’s what discipline is, after all.

I’ve also determined I can say just about anything I want in these meta posts, because what the hell, nobody reads them! Not that I blame anybody for that. If I were to cut any particular topic from my schedule, it would be these. There’s no much reason to do one every week, and yet I’ve done it anyway. The link roundups have more of a purpose than these meta posts. I could always just omit Sundays unless and until I have something to say, but I don’t know.

I’ve gotten way off track! I did want to mention that I have yet to do the recategorization. I know I need to. I’ve already got the stats in hand to guide the new category list. I just need to sit down and apply it, which will be a tedious job requiring a few hours or so. Of course, I could always write some SQL code to do it instead of using the WordPress interface. That would be the smart thing, honestly. I could likely accomplish that much more quickly than doing a point-and-click change on each post. In any case, we’re closing in on September and I think I said I’d do this back in February or something, so I’ve been enormously lazy. This is what happens when I don’t set deadlines, I suppose.

Speaking of phrases like “in any case,” I need to work on purging such crutch phrases and cliches from my posts. I tend to use them a lot. They’re fluff. They’re pointless. The main reason I use them, I think, is because they add a sense of structure. They’re connective tissue and elements of my style. But do they add anything? I don’t think so. I should just work to rid my posts of them.

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for this week. I saw Sausage Party and I might do a review of that tomorrow. It seems I disagree with the positive consensus on that one. It’s fun to be contrary.

I’ve also been reading The Private Life of Chairman Mao, which is a fascinating book that I’ll likely be done with in the next couple weeks (it’s thick). I will no doubt have some thoughts on that when I’m finished with it. That won’t be this week, though!

As an aside, it seems the latest WordPress update broke my featured images plugin, which is a real bummer. I hope that gets fixed soon. Having to set them by hand is kind of a pain!

I think that’s about it for now. Have a good week out there!