I’m back (I hope!)

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It’s been just over a year since I burned out from doing many things, and especially from doing much in the way of intellectual or cognitively demanding activities, such as reading and writing.

I used to read a lot, but in the past 12 months I’ve got through a grand total of… 1.5 books. I’ve done only slightly better in terms of writing – I have been journalling ad nauseam (though that’s been for my eyes only) and succeeded in writing a handful of blog posts.

Whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of this, I do wish I could improve! So I decided to take a not-at-all daunting-looking photo of all the unread, semi-read and re-read worthy books I’d like to get through, in the hopes that might somehow help?

What’s more, I actually managed to set myself some goals to perhaps help prod me along in the right direction. They are to:

  • Read an article online most days of the week
  • Share one or two of the above articles per week on social media.
  • Read one book every couple of months
  • Write one thing on this blog every couple of months (most likely a review of the above book)

(And if all goes well / I feel like it, I might even try to up the book reading and blog writing to once per month!)

 

About these goals…

I do have a slight problem with being quite all-or-nothing, especially it seems this past year. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of why I have been struggling so much to engage in content which I was not so long ago ENTIRELY captivated by (for that, refer to the blog post on special interest ‘death’ where I explore the issue to death).

Suffice to say, I don’t want to do nothing… but nor do I anymore want to over-invest time and mental and emotional energy in this stuff. So the above ‘rules’ are in place to provide some structure and hopefully make it easier to strike a more sustainable balance, so I might remember that doing just ‘a bit’ is still valid, and better than nothing at all.

Having said this, the ‘rules’ are not meant to be strict or anything. I’m not gonna worry about meeting them perfectly. And if I really do want to do nothing, then this is what I shall do*. There’s not much point in forcing myself. This is just an experiment of sorts, with little to no pressure. Just to see how much motivation and ability I might have, especially once I’ve overcome the barrier to starting and hopefully gathered some momentum.

I suspect a small amount will be do-able. Like reading quite literally one page of a book each day, or spending 10 minutes skimming over something online. Really, I can’t know what I can do or how I might feel about doing it until I do it, hence the essentially forcing myself to get started via these rules.

Also, while I’m at it, I will soon be making some adjustments to the blog to reflect the shift in content and, basically, the changes in my life. I have already changed the name – as the blog is no longer solely focused on autism – and will get to updating the home and about pages at some point too.

Content I hope to be reading, writing and sharing about will likely include:

  • Autism
  • Queerness (especially the intersection with the above)
  • Mental health
  • Self-help and emotional intelligence, especially around dating/relationships I suspect
  • Sharing/briefly reviewing books, films and shows (especially around autism and/or queerness)

 

*I may well explore this topic in a separate post, but I’ve been thinking about ‘productivity’ a lot the past year, especially the guilt around feeling you aren’t being productive, for whatever reason. And the guilt/bad feels seem to have been quite pronounced for me, I think, because I actually WANT to be reading and engaging around certain topics, wishing that I could and feeling that it is a worthwhile thing to be doing (if only for entirely selfish reasons). But at the same time… what is with this intense focus on being productive and useful and all the guilt at falling short (I’m not only talking about myself here, but in society more widely)? Especially when it comes to demonstrating to the world (through sharing things online or whatever) that you are doing things, that you are engaged and up-to-date, that you make things, help others and are basically a useful person. These are all fantastic ways to be, no doubt. But also, I’m not sure where it leads exactly for us as a culture to be condemning the alternative either? Anyway, thoughts along these lines sometimes lead me to question what I am doing/not doing, why i feel i should be doing certain things, what is the reason or point of doing things (especially when it comes to sharing things), who are you doing things for, etc. 

4 thoughts on “I’m back (I hope!)

  1. I started reading Authoring Autism and absolutely loved it. Must get back to it sometime.

    I’ve had similar thoughts regarding productivity. It’s interesting to me which activities I have internalised as productive, and which I have internalised as unproductive. For me it’s definitely a reflection of societal norms, and maybe more specifically related to actual or potential ‘capitalisation’; ie, if a skill or activity is not financially exploitable now or in the future, then it is seen as unproductive. Reading feels educational, which is associated with qualifications, and therefore employment; watching television does not have the same connotations and therefore feels unproductive, for example. That’s my working theory anyway…

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    1. Yeah the Yergeau book is like my fav autism book ever. Been trying to pick it up for a re-read 😉

      For me also, the feeling productive is linked to ”might this help me strengthen my social connections or make new ones”. A bit weird i guess, but i suppose because that’s s a current focus/goal of mine, and one which is quite linked to wellbeing/happiness.

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