January 1, 2014

Changes for 2014

2014 Calendar
Happy New Year (for those of you who celebrate such things)! Does 2014 feel any different yet? Yeah, I didn't think so. But just you wait! 2014 is going to be a good year for atheists.

At the beginning of 2013, I identified some changes I wanted to make with regard to this blog and how I spend my time online. As I noted recently, I was fairly successful with doing what was on the list. This was nice to see, but the important thing about the list is that there wasn't anything on it that I can cross off as being complete. It was a list of changes that require continued effort to sustain.

This raises the question of what else I'd like to accomplish in 2014 besides trying to stick with everything that was on the previous list from 2013. And yes, I have cope up with a few additions.

1. Be More Selective in the Atheist Content I'm Consuming

My RSS reader is overflowing with feeds from atheist blogs. The upside of this is that I generally feel like I have a reasonable idea of what is going on in the atheist community most of the time and that I am sure to expose myself to a variety of viewpoints. The downside is that I've lately found myself suffering from information overload as the number of blogs in my collection has more than tripled over the past year. There is just too much going on now for me to be able to keep up with it all. This is especially true given that one of the goals from 2013 involved spending less time online. Something has to give.

In addition to dropping a few of the blogs I find less useful, I plan to come up with a new system for how I sort the feeds in my RSS reader. I used to have a tiered system that would make it easier for me to stay on top of what my favorite blogs were doing when that was my goal and then try to promote what some of the newbies were doing when that was my goal. I've gotten away from that by lumping everything together, and it isn't working nearly as well. So I need to return to something like what I used to do or experiment with a different organizational scheme altogether.

2. Do a Better Job of Writing Ahead

Some atheist bloggers write their posts so far in advance that they have a backlog of finished posts that would last a month or more even if they were to stop writing new material. From what I understand, Cephus (Bitchspot) could stop writing new material today and post daily for a couple months without running dry. I've never been at that level, but I used to do a far better job of writing ahead.

I'd like to make an effort to return to that. For me, the key is to write as much as I can when I am inspired to do so and then give myself permission not to write the rest of the time. That generally results in better content for you and a more enjoyable experience for me. Of course, real life has a way of intruding and screwing that up. Still, I think it would be helpful for me to be more deliberate about doing this.

3. Take More Planned Breaks From Blogging

Atheist bloggers need to practice healthy self-care too, and I have been lousy at this for as long as I can remember. If I took more planned breaks from blogging, I probably would have to take as many unplanned ones. The unplanned ones typically involve me getting overwhelmed with some sort of real life obstacle and losing the motivation to write here for awhile. I don't think I'll ever be able to eliminate the unplanned breaks completely, but I plan to try taking some more deliberate blog vacation time this year. I did a little better with this in 2013, but I want to be more intentional about it in 2014. So expect more breaks.