Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Blaugust Promptapalooza: Posting when there's nothing to post about

This year's Blaugust is taking the form of a more relaxed drop-in style with a daily prompt, after the main annual blogging festival was brought forward to April. I haven't really been engaging in the whole thing, but today's the day that my name came out of the hat, so I guess I'd better give it the good old college try. Luckily, my prompt isn't something I feel like I'm going to struggle to talk about:

With the pandemic, we are going through an unprecedented time. In what ways has this shared global event impacted your content creation?

A quick glance over at the sidebar makes the short answer to this one painfully obvious. With a whole nine posts with April, including four Civ VI session reports, it's pretty clear that the whole pandemic situation hasn't exactly done wonders for my creative output here at the Leaflocker. But I have quiet months at the Leaflocker all the time, nine posts in months without blogging festivals isn't that far off the usual.

When I zoom out a little and start to look at other creative engagement, though, things become a little clearer. It's one thing to not actually be putting to many words to paper, but to even get to that stage, one needs to be engaging with new and interesting ideas. For me, creative input is the thing that drives creative output, and at the moment I'm just struggling to engage with anything much.

The seemingly eternal librarystack of doom
Take reading, for example. I borrowed five diverse and interesting books from my local library back in March. I have successfully read one and and half-way through another two. Let's call it two books in five months, for someone who reads a book in a day or two when in the right mood, that's a clear indication that something isn't quite right. Somehow, scrolling the old social media feeds has become a significant proportion of my reading, and that just ain't right either! Is it really a surprise that there's not a lot of inspiration for writing happening?

Or gaming. The blog is often full of thoughts I've had about new experiences, but for the last few months I've been on a steady diet of old reliables, spending all of my ludicrous amounts of gaming time on CounterStrike and Mahjong and reinstalling and murdering my way through Hitman again. I feel like I'm getting a lot better at all of these things as I play about with some of the nuances, but incremental improvements in better crosshair placement don't make for good fodder for blog posts, and it hasn't translated into making any progress in my long-planned Battle for Wesnoth campaigns, either.

I think something is very wrong at 24-across

Or crosswords. I've been enjoying doing crosswords each and every day since the beginning of the lockdown, really getting in the swing of them and noticing my solving times considerably improve (in no small part due to having the help of smarter and better-informed friends, but still), but this feels like a little bit of a rut, too, and it certainly isn't driving crossword creation, which has been completely stagnant despite the hours spent staring at blank pages.

Thankfully, I'm only employed for a casual ten hours a week at the moment, as with work just as with everything else, actually engaging on a deep enough level to make meaningful progress has been a real challenge. If I was still trying to do a full-time job I'm pretty sure I'd have had a meltdown by now.

So there you have it, this global event isn't doing a whole lot for me and I can't say I really know what to do to get out of this funk just at the moment. But for now there's a gap in the rain so I'm going to go for a walk and see if I can't find some inspiration somewhere out there.

On deck for tomorrow's prompt is Telwyn over at GamingSF, do drop on by and find out what some of those whose creativity has been less adversely affected by this whole thing have been up to.


Tipa said...

Hold on -- you play Mahjong? The solitaire version, or riichi mahjong? We're just about to play riichi mahjong for our next family game night and are super excited :-)

Unwiseowl said...

I am a big Riichi mahjong fan, and can attest that it makes for a great family game, at least once everyone agrees on the rules! Do let me know how it goes.