I make the toolbox, then … bupkis

Published March 23, 2023

I find that I’m very good at collecting the tools and creating the workflow for a lot of projects — often with a noticeable expense (of money and time). Once I’ve put it all together, though, I run into a mental block where I can’t actually *use* the very detailed procedure I’ve created.

Take this very blog. I’ve designed it so when I write on my site via WordPress, it’s automatically shared to my social media feeds — an excerpt and link to Twitter, longer form to LinkedIn and my Facebook page. (Courtesy of Buffer and a plugin called “WordPress to Buffer Pro“.)

(Side note: It doesn’t go to my Facebook profile, sadly. It goes to a page I created as if I was a business, because Facebook doesn’t allow third-party tools to post to individuals’ profiles. Then again, I’m only on Facebook these days for one of my freelance gigs, so it’s not terribly important. At some point I’ll just not bother.)

It’s a pretty efficient system, although I have to figure out how to add paragraphs to what shows up on LinkedIn.


So I create this great workflow, and I’m all ready to blog my heart out to the … five people? who will actually read it. But I never do. (Yeah, there’s this message you’re reading, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to keep this up.)

Part of the problem is knowing that no one will read it — the Father Mackenzie effect, writing a sermon (or blog post) that no one will hear. What’s the point? Intellectually I know that I have to write to no one for a while before *someone* will start paying attention. (And there’s certainly value in writing for myself. I think.)

The other part is good ol’ ADHD, which is notorious for just this kind of scenario: Lots of work up front, then either getting distracted by SQUIRREL! or simply coming up with excuses not to do it.

The good news is that I gain a lot of experience by creating these workflows. I learn WordPress tricks (in the case of bloggish writing), or photo-organization tips (in the case of another any-day-now project), or whatever other tools (woodworking?) I buy and learn for a someday project.

All this is to say (if anyone’s reading) that I’m once again going to try to write more, publish it with tags and links, and hope that maybe someday someone says, “This guy is vaguely interesting. I’m gonna follow him.”