Half Birthed Brain Sludge

29 Mar

You know, the pressure of not posting for a long time never gets easier. And every time I write a post after there’s been a lull, I wonder if I need to recognize my time away or if that just leads to a series of posts that highlight my absence and make it worse (it does).

*breathes into a paper bag*

Okay listen. I’m going to get real here. I’m writing right now because for some inexplicable reason, people keep subscribing to this blog in spite of it only featuring a new post every 6 months or so with a half-realized promise to get back to it. Today, I checked my dusty old internet folder labeled ‘blog’ to find another handful of new hopefuls, and was reminded again that today could be the day I actually publish something. And hey: I’m on my second bowl of dinner Cocoa Puffs and feeling feisty, so here I am. I’m not going to think about whether I want to post this or not when I’m done. I’m just going to agree right here that no matter what half-birthed sludge pushes out of my brain, I’m going to publish it. Just like those good old days of the first 365 when I would write about my emergency underwear collection because I just didn’t have anything else to work with and I needed to post. We’re going old school.

brains color

Illustration by John Michnya 

The fact is that I’ve written oodles of posts in the past several months, ducklings. Oodles of them. They’re all sitting on my desktop with various file names like “blogpost,” “newblogpost.” “forrealsiespost,” and “postthisyoumoron.” I’ve even done Lollipop Tuesdays that I’ve never posted about. Lots of them. Oh yes. I took a spinning class in one of those uber hip Crossfitty sorts of places with a full screen projection of a fake road and trees. And you better believe that when there was already sweat on the seat just from me sitting on it for the instructor to adjust it at the start of class – presumably my ass sweat from just existing – I thought about how much I wanted to tell you. I even GOT ON A PLANE THAT WENT ACROSS AN OCEAN. And that One Good Thing challenge I started for myself? It actually worked. I may have only posted three total times in the entirety of 2016, but I made some serious tweaks to my daily habits and I’m now a person who wakes up before work and actually cleans herself, does yoga, and reads things (whuuuuuut?) My life has been full of conquerings alongside anxiety-inducing wickedness and I’ve been keeping all the drafts of the proof on my desktop because, well, for some reason I’ve become weird about the blog.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the blog. The blog is the thing that has remedied a great many of my serious and deep human flaws. I still depend on the possibility of being able to post about terrifying and awkward experiences in order to get through said terrifying and awkward experiences. 

But there has been a marked shift in my frequency of posting that aligns with my real life career.

Back when I started all this business, some of you oldest and wisest ducklings will recall that I was an overworked, overtired executive assistant who posted about a variety of work-related oddities I encountered in the corporate jungle, like work holiday parties and elevator moments. I had to wear professional, uptight clothes and do very big girl things, and having a blog to talk about how ridiculous all of that was really helped me survive those difficult years when I reported to a Gorgon. The beautiful thing about it all was that people at work didn’t know about the blog. In fact, very few people in my real life circle did. It made it really easy to get on here and blab about whatever and be my authentic, hyperbolic, anxiety-ridden self whilst maintaining a regular life and relationship with the people I actually had to encounter.

Then people started finding out. Like, real life people. Not you digital ducklings.

I used to have a very strict rule about not being friends with people I worked with on Facebook. I kept my digital life and my real life quite separate and that helped to distinguish a safe place to let the monsters in my head waddle around. That’s where I kept them: away from a real life place where I might have to talk about the blog or account for the things I’ve written in it to actual, real life people. But then I got out of the corporate jungle and started doing something I actually love: working in the arts. And I had friends in the arts. Like, lots of them. So I automatically was friends with and shared a digital presence with an enormous amount of people who were going to interact with me in my work life. Then I had to start helping with social media platforms at work, and friending people who it’s usually wise to keep some sense of decorum with. And suddenly I found myself with a hoard of posts that I would have published if only I didn’t have this filter that wondered if someone who I actually knew would read it. And if they would try to talk to me about it. Or maybe not talk to me about it and just judge me a whole lot for it and talk to other people about it. And if I would maybe defecate in my pants as a result.

I mean, I don’t really want to be running a board meeting and have a board member around the table who follows my blog so that even though I’m churning out some impressive year-over-year financial data analysis and I sound pretty confident, they know that the moment the meeting is over, I’m going to get lost trying to find the bathroom in the building and that the adventure could take thirty minutes if I get confused and anxious enough and that eventually I’ll have a blog post about it…which they will read.

There are two Jackies at war behind the scenes here. One is the Jackie who needs this blog to live a real, human life where she goes places and does things and has a place to talk about it – who needs it as her defense system against her natural, hermity, video-game-addicted state. The other is a Jackie who is hyper-aware of all the actual people with real faces that she’s seen who will read it and think about it and maybe ask her about it or have a different opinion of her for it and who can’t separate the difference between an online persona and a real life person. One of those Jackies has written a whole lotta posts and one of them never pushes publish.

So anyway, that’s what’s going on, friends. And because my brain is now wired in this MUST DEVOUR EVERY FEAR blogosphere persona, it’s simply impossible for me to hang on to these admissions too long without staring them in the face and figuring out how to beat them into submission. Since I’ve always brought you along for those sorts of rides, I thought I’d go head and continue that trend. At least I know that if I’m in a big important meeting and some big scary professional character makes mention of my little blog, I can come back to you guys and tell you all about how I soiled myself in public from anxiety. I mean, that’s what you’re here for. That’s why we’re here.

So I’m going to get over this hump, and in classic JackieBlog fashion, I’m going to create a challenge for myself to force it and pledge to post every single week for the rest of the year.

The shriveled up creative force in me wonders how I’ll possibly have anything to post about every single week, and the Jackiepants on me remind me that this whole damn thing was founded on writing without something specific to say. And hey, if I feel like I need material, I can just go hunt down a big juicy Lollipop Tuesday

If you’re a writer of any kind and you’ve got your own slump to get through, why don’t you hop on board with me and pledge to write and share something every week? Challenges are my favorite. 

Talk soon, ducklings. Thanks for sticking around. ♣

13 Responses to “Half Birthed Brain Sludge”

  1. Ice_Badger March 29, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    Yes!! I will do it too!!! I am barely managing one or two a month at the moment!
    Your challenges make me do things!! I still hold you responsible for the massive change (for the better) in my life so there!!

    I seem to be using too many exclamation marks…oh well!!

    I sometimes forget that real people who know me read my blog, and I put (almost) everything on it, whatever I am thinking about or struggling with or anything! Then real people I know say real live words to me about it and I momentarily freak out!
    I hide it really well by saying stuff like
    “argh, er…what…oh yes, I forgot real people could read it”
    and other such stunningly subtle things!!


    • Jackie March 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      awwww yeah I’ve got myself a partner in pain. Thanks for hopping on board! I’m going to try to forget that real life people read it and go back to the good old days in my head. In the meantime I’ll let you know if i come up with any better response lines than awkward word barf for the moment when people try to talk to us about posts. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ice_Badger March 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

        Yes!! I think we should develop a set of stock responses for theses sorts of occasions! That way we can appear witty and erudite under questioning…
        Well erudite might be pushing it…but less awkward at any rate!!


  2. pegoleg March 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Jackie, I’m happy to hear real life is good – that’s the most important thing. Also glad to see output from your brain, even if it’s just the half-birthed, sludgy stuff.


    • Jackie March 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

      Aw, Peg you’re always here to welcome me back from the depths, even when you’re all famous and important now. That’s really swell of you. 😉


      • pegoleg March 31, 2017 at 11:36 am #

        Yeah, well, my girl told me about your new post so I took time out from sipping champagne from my diamond-encrusted shoes to stop in for a bit of slumming. I always try to be nice to the little people.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Momma March 29, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    wow. I was wondering where you went. You were long overdue for a post. Your blog helps me get through my terribly, awful days sorting and playing with all types of mail and what silly people do with it sometimes.
    I find it amazing that some people are in their 30’s and have never been in a Post Office. Really, where have they been all their lives?
    Glad to see you back! Looking forward to you getting me through the rest of the year.


    • Jackie March 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

      They were on the Internet, mom. 😛


  4. mell April 9, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Words cannot even begin to describe how much I love this post. This is so unbearably resonant!! And is EXACTLY the reason I quit my last blog, because the pressure built up so strongly the more I realised just how many ‘real life’ people knew about, were reading and were commenting on my blog posts – actually bringing them up with me in real life – i mean… wwaaaahhhhhh!?!?!?!! Especially when you are talking about dangerously vulnerable, sensitive and anxiety-provoking things with the tiny amounts of strength and courage that you build up within yourself simply to post to a platform of supposed strangers who won’t embarrass or awkwardly force you to talk about such anxieties in real life face to face (terrifying thought).

    And breathe

    I completely and utterly feel your pain. And it does become worse and worse the more you dont post, and the more said real life people comment on your lack of posting – it’s super suffocating! With a gasp of relief I quit my old blog and have only recently had the courage to begin writing about my mental health and anxiety related issues on my new page, and it was unbelievably liberating up until the point where someone in my local area got wind of it, and now i am back in that place of feeling worried to post for fear of judgement. BLEUGH.

    im not going to let it stop me this time. nah-uh!

    anyway, enough of the essay. thanks for the post. love the way you write! keep it up! (no pressure 😉


    • Jackie April 12, 2017 at 2:07 am #

      Mell, it means a lot to have someone know what I’m talking about with this one. I thought I’d move forward when I figured out the solution, but I haven’t found it and I’m afraid I’ll never post again in the interim. So I’m just going to trudge forward and hope I figure it out along the way. Perhaps a new tactic is creating a bit for myself where when I’m out and I’m asked about it, I act like it’s not me. Or maybe just don’t even hear the words – like I’m impervious to them.

      Not having my name in the blog might have helped a tad, but hey: hindsight, you know. 😉

      Let me know if you come up with any tricks I can borrow, and you keep posting too/no pressure


  5. amaranto es September 25, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    .” And is EXACTLY the grounds I throw in the towel my last-place blog, because the atmospheric pressure built up so strongly the more I literalised just how many ‘literal aliveness’ people knew about, were meter reading and were commenting on my blog posts – actually bringing them up with me in literal aliveness – i meanspirited… wwaaaahhhhhh!


    • Jackie September 27, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      The pressure is real. I’m just trudging through it hoping it will go away but it totally won’t. Everything is ruined. 😉



  1. Love Letter from a Type A Millenial | The Jackie Blog - April 5, 2017

    […] I was poring over my blog drafts of Jacklyn Past to support my post-a-week throwdown, I unearthed a few old emails that I wrote long ago and inexplicably saved on my hard drive. […]


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