John Leonard an audience of one.

About Projects Now Archive

Running out of subjects

As I near the end of the 30 day project, I’m experiencing a mixture of relief and sorrow. I have struggled on some days to find something to write about, and on other days have been able to fire out 500 words without even thinking about it. Today is one of the former days, but then I’m hardly being kind to myself - I literally sat down, opened my text editor, and expected an idea to flow into my mind. I am feeling a little blank today.

I have been splitting my time recently between learning project management principles, learning how to code, working, and looking after my son in the evenings. I have quickly realised that the time I expected to have available to me when Freddie was sleeping in the evenings has utterly failed to materialise. I never realised just how much maintenance a child needs - even one that mainly eats and sleeps.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I have discovered over the last six months that my energy levels tend to be fixed and do not change, and although my motivation levels should follow the same cycle, they don’t. This results in the strange set of circumstances when I can be incredibly motivated to do something but not have the energy to invest in a new project or able to sort through my poorly organised tasks to give me ease of access to a range of jobs that can be done with low effort. The flip side of that is that I can have lots of energy and no motivation - this usually quickly caves in to blank minded TV watching that erodes my energy levels faster than I could imagine.

I’ve got a strange relationship with energy and motivation levels. I have struggled to find something to boost motivation levels when they are low - albeit in the evening when I am exhausted but I have the most time available to me to do projects outside of the day job. Energy can be manipulated by the judicious application of coffee - which I drink far too much of - and occasional cans of Red Bull, which acts as the proverbial rocket booster and leave me with jangling nerves for hours after the initial burst wears off. I’ve often found that motivation levels are given a juice by the thought of a shiny new project but that feeling wears off after a day or two and the next part is the hard slog; this is where I experience the project with the constant mix of low energy levels and free time.

When I consider what happens over the next few months as I keep on with the 500 word a day project - out of the public eye, most likely - I am less concerned about what I’ll manage to write about. When I don’t have to consider what I write or the impact it may have on others, then I can churn out pages of repeated nonsense and be done for the day. I’ll agree that that wasn’t the point of the task, and admit that despite that frequent occurrence my standards have risen.

I suppose not writing in the public eye may cause my writing standards to lessen. I will have to add regular public posting to keep my quality up. I hope I can maintain that…