We have all had gaps in our blogging lives. Some longer than others. And once one finds him or herself in such a bind, he or she must spur him or herself into blogging action. However, this can be a long, hard process. Through my own wealth of experience, I have been able to classify the stages of blog withdrawal for your scholarly appreciation.
STEP ONE: SHOCK AND DENIAL
Thought associated: "Oh my God, I haven't blogged in a two and a half weeks."
This first step is the most frequent, and the easiest point in which to reverse the downward spiral. A moment that, on the surface, catches the blogger off-guard, though the blogger knows that the lack of posting has been gnawing at his or her brain. Note the lack of exclamation points: it is not yet a panic-driven situation. Instead, it is simply a revelatory one that will obviously be addressed with the utmost immediacy.
STEP TWO: EXCUSES
Thought associated: "Well...define immediacy. 'Cuz I have this thing..."
'Excuses' can occur anywhere from a few days after the first step to mere seconds after it. The world outside the blogosphere rears its ugly head, demanding the blogger's attention, and prohibiting the blogger from writing. These events can include anything from regular commitments (say, finals), a new job (say, being named the Editor-In-Chief of his college newspaper) to a fun event that is too massive to undertake quickly in a "get off the ground" type of post (like a 21st birthday or the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo). No doubt these events will blow over quickly, says the blogger, and I will be able to devote the time necessary to all of them.
STEP THREE: ANGER AND BARGAINING
Thought associated: "WHAT THE %&$#!!! HOW COULD I...well okay. I will do a blog tomorrow after I finish this paper."
The blogger begins to feel what many intellectuals in the field deem 'social networking guilt.' He becomes angry with him or herself, expressing his or her disappointment in him or herself. The blogger then tries to set benchmarks or timelines for the next post, in an attempt to force something creative. This is the stage in which 'throwaway posts' are frequent: ones promising future blogging, often assuring the blogger's 'friends' that he or she is "lol not dead, promise!"
STEP FOUR: FORGETFULNESS
Thought associated: "The Internet has other things on it than Wikipedia, Facebook, and porn?"
Whether it be because whatever event was bargained for never occurred ("I'll do it after my laundry, which I'm totally going to do tomorrow...") or because step two occurred again, continued lack of blogging is common simply due to the lack of regimentalized writing and creativity. Because it is no longer a habitual act for the blogger, it is no longer on the blogger's mental to-do list. CT-scans of the brains of bloggers who are in this stage often show sever atrophy in the parts of the cerebellum responsible for creative thinking, online socialization, and bad puns.
STEP FIVE: ACCEPTANCE
Thought associated: "I guess I'll just never write on the Internets again."
The blogger loses all hope in him or herself as a blogger. He or she tries to convince him or herself that writing was "just a phase" and that they "will just move on to different, better things." While closely tied to step one, this stage is a different, more pathetic sort of denial than stage one.
STEP SIX: THE UPWARD TURN
Thought associated: "I can do this!"
This stage is usually set up by some sort of event, whether it is the rediscovery of the blogging home page on their bookmark list or an email alert from a comment on an old post. The blogger becomes nostalgic to the point of nausea, and decides that they "have time in [their] life to be creative again."
STEP SEVEN: REALIZATION/OVERWHELMENT
Thought associated: "I can't do this!"
Months upon months of repressed creativity spill out in such a way that absolutely no creativity spills out. No post they can summon up can truly provide the "bang" their triumphant return to the Internet so obviously deserves in their silly, poo-brained minds. The blogger thinks of a fraction of the stories that they SHOULD have turned into witty, insightful, and entertaining posts long ago, and struggles to find a way to bring all of them together in one grand masterstroke. Examples include a new girlfriend, old study abroad stories, meeting celebrities like Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg, being back in Hawaii, and a witty observation about beer.
STEP EIGHT: THEY CAN'T
Thought associated: "D': jkasdfajkldjklasdkfjlergiophwejnz;vxbkhlrgqiopgjkndfknl;advijoegqrhiopegrjkndv"
Then, they can't.
STEP NINE: ACTION
Thought associated: "Fuck it, we'll do it live."
The blogger, worried that he or she will fall back into complacency after coming so close to productivity, sits down and pounds out nonsense for several hundred words in hopes that simply posting will be enough of a spur to get the so-called "blog train a-rollin'." It rarely does.
Information from this study was based off of a real subject in a real study, neither of which involved the author of this post.