I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I tend to have a buffer of posts for this site; I’m not sure exactly how it started but by mid-April last year, I’d built up a three week advance on what was going to be posted and when, and it’s something I’ve more or less maintained ever since, with a couple of bumps where I simply didn’t have time to write.
It’s an imperfect system, for sure, and purposefully so — the buffer is literally just that, and I tend to play with scheduling and rearranging the timing of posts a bunch. Often, I’ll write things that go live that day or the next, and bump what had been loosely scheduled for that spot to some time in the future as a placeholder; it’s not uncommon for those posts to end up getting bumped repeatedly and eventually show up months after I originally wrote them, to the point where I’ve even forgotten what they’re about. But that’s kind of the point of the whole system.
As a system, it’s only come close to breaking down once before, and that was the result of overwork and having no time to do anything new for a week or so; I remember the anxiety I felt watching the number of scheduled posts count down to five, at which point I just decided to spend an entire morning just writing, to fix that.
This time, though, I got to just a couple of pre-scheduled posts before I started being able to replenish the supply, and the reason was simply that I had nothing to say. The combination of being sick, then catching up on work, while the internet exhausted me and real life just kept happening completely burned me out, and every time I sat down to write something for here, I realized that I had nothing.
It was, I guess, unsettling, but more than that, it was something I recognized as a sign that I needed to stop for a while and let my brain soak, relax and refill with the dumb ephemera that would let me come back when I was ready. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to recognize the need to just… stop, sometimes. It’s a small victory for self care, but a victory nonetheless.
And, ironically, because of the buffer of posts, I got to take the necessary break and come back recharged without posts here even pausing. I knew there was a reason I did it.