Sometimes offline, sometimes tired, sometimes stressed

I seem to be making a habit of writing at the “wrong end of the day” (or at least, it’s the wrong end of the day if you take any notice of the “Artists Way” book that the 750 words website eschews as the font of all creativity knowledge and wisdom). I have no idea what a head emptying in the early evening means in terms of your outlook, but I can speculate.

People always say that a night’s sleep cures most ills. By writing late in the day my head is full of frustration, annoyance, bitterness, anger, hopelessness, and every other emotion you might possible attribute to a day from hell. Yes, that’s right - a day from hell.

The more I work with a particular family of products (cough… SharePoint… cough), the more I lean towards eventually leaving the world of content management behind. Everything just seems so difficult in the corporate world sometimes. Most of it stems from working with others - and my own mistrust of them to do their job properly. When those “others” are another company, and their various failings are causing you to look bad, it’s not fun any more.

In another universe, I do bits and pieces of web design and development for people - and I know everything involved in doing it inside out. I can conjur entire websites in hours, and hand them over to delighted recipients. I am good at building stuff on the web - I always have been. Perhaps it’s because I’m not having to put up with anybody else’s mess; I can work alone, and be as anal as I want in crafting and building a solution.

Maybe the “working alone” thing extends into other areas of my life too. Like not answering the phone if I can help it, not calling to order takeaway food if I can help it, and not going out on an evening if I can help it. Perhaps the computer has provided a perfect foil for the shy (I was cripplingly shy as a kid). I can remember the wonderment of my first experiences with bulletin boards, and internet relay chat.

Ok. Bang goes the word rate graph tonight. Small person is repeatedly shouting for help upstairs. Oh… hang on - older sister is climbing the stairs to enquire after her. Turns out she just wants to tell somebody “I am running the bath”. Thanks for that.

The whole “being busy” thing over the last few days (fighting a war of attrition at work) has meant I’ve been pretty difficult to find - not appearing on instant messengers, not posting to the blog, not posting to Tumblr, or Twitter, or Facebook… in all honesty, I didn’t really have anything to say. It’s amazing how a stressful day can sap creativity from you.

I often struggle to find anything to say on the blog, perhaps because I filter the thoughts I write so heavily. I rarely recount stories of the children, I never pass opinion on real world friends, and I hardly ever mention anything detailed about work. The remainder seems to be limited to the content of my head - my thoughts about random things that pop up from time to time. If I wrote down even half the ideas that occur to me during the day, I would have enough material to fill a notebook each day - but I don’t.

It’s not that I’m forgetful - more that I cannot be bothered with the mundane ritual of recording things (says the guy writing this inane stream of garbage into a machine in a server farm somewhere). I keep installing task list applications on my phone, and then failing to use them. I used to be “Mr Productivity junkie” - using all the fashionable tools like Basecamp, and Backpack, and reading books like “Getting Things Done”.

Reading a book about doing something, and actually doing something are two entirely different things. It’s a bit like going to an athletics event and looking around the stands at the crowd. It’s always puzzled me how people who have obviously never worked out in their life have such an interest in watching people putting themselves through physical hell in the name of sport.

No doubt I will now face criticism for writing something vaguely bordering on “an opinion”, which perhaps illustrates why my blog attracts few readers any more - avoiding controversial content rather predictably avoids controversy, conflict and arguments. It also produces the most mind numbingly boring posts imaginable.