It was better to put less on my plate

It’s tempting to get everything you want on your plate, and for bloggers, it’s tempting to try and write everything that we want to in one post, but that can lead to a lot of waste, and regret. If a post doesn’t get published because the author gave up due to the difficulty, then that’s wasted time and words. I’ve had that happen to me before, both eating too much at a buffet, and giving up on an unwieldy post that I spent a lot of time on.

Starting on the beginning of the 2014 Asexual Awareness Week, I had the ambition of creating an asexuality 101 page that would cover the various concepts discussed in asexual discourse. My goal was to get it published by the end of that week.

I finally got the “Asexuality (and related concepts) 101” page done, as the first entry on the “101-Level Resources” page! It’s not finalized, because there is still room to make corrections, and add in other topics if need be, but I’m glad I was able to get it polished enough to post.

I posted a draft of it in four parts (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4) and thanks to everyone who commented! However, I bit off way more than I could chew (pardon the cliche), because many of the topics could easily have their own pages. I left a lot out of the published page, including the “rhetoric to avoid” sub-sections, and the “relationships” sections, but I plan on incorporating what I wrote onto separate pages about those topics.

A topic I considered adding in was self-doubt, because I’ve seen so many doubt their asexuality for different reasons, mainly related to the “Unassailable Asexual” concept, and I’ve especially seen this doubt among those who are survivors of sexual violence. I’ve seen so many newbies on AVEN who are survivors of sexual violence ask if they “really” are asexual, concerned that their history invalidates it. I’m not sure I should include it, make it a separate page of its own, or leave this subject to someone more qualified than me.

Part of why I missed my goal, and why progress continued to stall afterwards, was that it was trying to cover so many topics, and in so much detail. It was overwhelming. I found The Asexual Agenda’s post “So you want to start your own blog” very helpful, especially the points “Shorter is better”, and “One small issue at a time”. Today, I was able to push myself to finish the page, by cutting a lot out. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by that page anymore. It actually felt manageable, and I felt like I could finish it.

I found it better to cut a large topic, or a sprawling manifesto into bite-sized pieces, and link them together. I believe now it can be done without sacrificing the details that I wanted to originally include. I can always go back, and incorporate what was cut out of it, into new pages.

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3 thoughts on “It was better to put less on my plate

  1. Sara K.

    This is one of the big advantages of setting a word limit (for the notes which do not fit, 500 words). It forced me to avoid writing manifestos and instead break down my thoughts into ideas simple enough to fit within the word limit, and then writing the post doesn’t require so much time/energy, and then I don’t get frustrated. I’m looser on the word limit than I was before, but I let myself do it because (I tell myself) that the world limit has already trained me to avoid burning myself out and avoid writing in TL;DR style, so I can ‘risk’ going over the word limit sometimes. Right now, I treat 500 words as an ideal, and 1000 words as a hard limit (if I can’t fit an idea into 1000 words, it really needs to be a multi-post series).

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    1. Aqua Post author

      Setting a word limit sounds like a good idea! I’ve split several drafts into multiple finished posts, but I wasn’t determining the cut-off by the word count, but by the sub-topic. It feels weird to me when one part is significantly longer than the other, but that’s the metric I’ve been using.

      For example, my posts on touch were originally going to be one post, but I found it better to split the first part into sensual intimacy and social expectations, and the second part into how that affected me personally. I found it better to organize it that way, because I was struggling with the flow, and transitioning from one point to another, when it was still one post.

      Even then, I’m afraid that some of my posts could still get unwieldy. “They nearly pushed me over the edge”, had a second part split off from it that has yet to be published. I still have the draft of that second part saved, and the current word count for it is 2,290. Splitting off the first part, about how the toll the pressure my friends were imposing was taking on me, allowed me to be able to publish it. I was getting bogged down by the difficulty of the second part.

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      1. Sara K.

        One of the reasons I’ve become looser about the word limit is that sometimes I haven’t been able to say something in less than 700 words, but splitting it into two posts of under 400 words didn’t feel right.

        I was very moved by your “They nearly pushed me over the edge” post. It made me feel really angry towards your ‘friends’. I am very interested in reading the second part, and I hope you will eventually edit it properly and publish it.

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