Tumbling Tumbleweeds: My Blogging Drought

Ever go through a creative dry patch? (Photo by Juli Kosolapova on Unsplash)

I admit it: I’m having a dry spell. (Oh, like you haven’t noticed.)

Or, to be more accurate, a dry year. At the moment, I have no less than 31 draft blogposts in various stages, which are waiting for me to finish and publish (see image, right, from my WordPress blogging software). I keep waiting for inspiration to strike, and it just never seems to come lately. And, as somebody who used to push out as many as 6 or 7 blogposts in a day, this creative desert I am experiencing is something new and unexpected.

Frankly, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed in my life these past six months, which is part of the reason why I am just not feeling that spark. I come home from my job as an academic librarian, and most evenings, the last thing I want to do is blog.

And it’s not like there is any shortage of news in virtual worlds, social VR, and the metaverse to report on or editorialize over, either. If anything—even though last year’s metaverse craze has clearly been traded in for this year’s artificial intelligence hype cycle—the number of things happening out there for me to react to, or pontificate on, is still quite a steady stream. Zero shortage of news and events.

I feel tired and burned out, and more than a little overwhelmed by it all, to be honest.

The virtual reality lab project my university library system is working on (an initiative I am involved with) is moving ahead, slowly but surely, but I’m having trouble feeling excited about it. (Or perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that I am 50% excited and 50% terrified!) Even though I have been working with virtual reality since December 2016/January 2017, I am struggling with a massive case of imposter syndrome. I remind myself that there’s literally nobody else in the University of Manitoba Libraries system who has the right kind of background and experience to work on this, but some days are a struggle nonetheless. Perhaps it’s the late summer doldrums; I don’t know.

I know that part of the problem is that I’m just not feeling that sense of wonder and magic that I used to, when I slipped on a VR headset. Perhaps what I really need to do is to go seek out that magic again, actively look for it. I know that there are some truly wonderful projects out there that people are working on, projects that I have started to write about, and then somehow they still sit in my WordPress drafts folder, unfinished.

It’s a mystery to me. Maybe it was inevitable after five years of break-neck blogging, that there would be a dry spell, a pause.

I’m not sure when I will be back. I find myself escaping into Second Life a lot lately, my first love and my first introduction to the power and potential of virtual worlds. I do feel a bit guilty that so much of my recent coverage has been about Second Life and its 20th anniversary celebrations, but I do consider it a significant milestone that was worthy of the attention. But it bothers me that I have not paid nearly as much attention to VRChat where, for example, I have recently had some wonderful experiences exploring the delightfully bizarre worlds of DrMorro, a talented Russian world-builder with a vivid imagination.

Perhaps the problem is one of format. I know a lot of people don’t follow blogs that much anymore; some consider them an outdated form of communication (which I disagree with). But maybe a blog just isn’t the best way to cover everything that’s happening in the metaverse. Maybe a switch to a newsletter, or a podcast, or perhaps a resurrection of the moribund Metaverse Newscast, is in order?

But I digress; I am rambling. I will end this post here.

See you on the other side of my dry spell!

Tumblin’ tumbleweeds… (Photo by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash)