I’ve Had Alot of Thoughts Lately and Most Mean Absolutely Nothing…

by Brad Isaac on June 24, 2009

Call it writer’s block. Call it burn out. Call it whatever you like. But my desire to write is overshadowed by the weight of writing something meaningful.

Somewhere between the early success of this blog (est. July 2005) and today things changed. I had a lot of fun in the beginning. It was new. I felt more comraderie with other bloggers. And the ideas flowed. I couldn’t wait to post again. Sometimes, I’d write 2-3 a day.

Lately I am lucky if I can squeeze out one per week. What changed? I ask myself that question every day. But I am still not closer to any real answers.

I like writing. I always have. It’s fun. But now it feels like a chore. I don’t want it to be that way.

Since the grand slams of my earlier posts, I wonder if the self-induced pressure of topping those success has gotten to me. Or could it be I’ve just gotten too technical and dry for my own good? What about the dramatic changes in my life – the death of my father – my special needs child – are events to blame? Or maybe it’s a combination of everything… It’s not clear to me, that’s for sure.

Many of you have been around since the first days. You probably know me through my writing better than most. What changes have you noticed? Are the changes better or worse?

New here? Let me ask you an important question. Why are you here? And did you find what you are looking for?

Finally, what topics do you want to see in the coming days, weeks and months?

Thanks for you input,
Brad Isaac

Set powerful goals online with our new online goal management tool


Tom June 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I’m just looking for things that make me think. The deeper the better. I do have a topic for you. “Conversation”. The good and the bad. I find great conversations very meaningful.

sarah June 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm

i’m new. i stumbled on your blog while looking for tips on goal setting/accomplishment. i stayed because you had good ideas. i am part of a “vision group” where we meet monthly to encourage each other and share ideas. we call it “war council” a la star wars. we read something where a group of people waged war in unknown ways before and came across victors – we wanted to be victors and felt like what we’d been doing for years wasn’t working so we needed to try new things. i still use the vacuum example when i talk about progress – remember your little self propelled vacuum that doesn’t suck well but it sucks persistently – that’s the one.
thanks for your good ideas. share more about maintaining hope and perspective – seems like losing a dad and having a challenging child can really bring a person down. i still struggle with the loss of my father and can’t imagine having a child with disabilities.

AD June 24, 2009 at 7:01 pm


I used to write for a blog called StreetAdvisor.com back in ’99 and my articles (personal finance, benefits, mutual funds, etc) are still on their new site IdeaAdvisor.com. I used to submit an article every week and ran into the same thing as you. All I can say is that if you write what you are passionate about, maybe someone will read your post. I like the previous comment in that things that make people think are good to write about. If you can find topics where half of the readers think you are nuts and the other half couln’t agree more with you, then you have a good article to write about.

With so many new blog and social web sites, it is if the writing world is getting diluted similar to baseball when they expanded the number of teams and pitching got a little weaker (which caused more offensive numbers by the best players).

It’s getting more difficult these days to write the articles but it is getting much easier to sit on the sidelines and comment like I am now doing. Stay at it, especially if you are passionate about writing.

June 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I agree with Tom. I look for content that makes me think. Really the subject is not that important. So obviously your posts inspire thought, and that’s why we’re all still here. Don’t worry about the frequency. We’re probably all on RSS. ;-)

June 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I come to your site for two reasons:

1. It’s an oasis of positivity in an online world of cynicism.

2. I’m a college instructor, and use your site as an example for my students: setting goals and aiming to achieve something instead of waiting for it to come to you.

As a writer by trade, I know the feeling that you’re talking about. Every writer has to overcome it; one way is to experience new things: taking a class or a vacation, eating at a new restaurant, attending a concert, etc, until you experience something so awesome that you can’t wait to write again.

Also: publicize your site by any and all means necessary. The bigger the audience, the more exciting it is to write. Based on the comments here alone, you’ve already got a dedicated audience.

Good luck.

David June 25, 2009 at 3:50 am

Hi Brad,

I’m actually glad you’re writing less. There’s so much info out there, so many e-mails, blogs, RSS feeds, etc., how can someone keep up with it all? So if favourite writers are writing less, it’s actually good.

You’re in good company, as even famous (and pioneering?) bloggers like Joel Spolsky don’t write nearly as much.

Even on a micro scale, after the early fun of Facebook, guess what? Hardly any of my FB friends are updating their status ten times a day.

So some things can start with a bang and naturally they will wane. So what I want to say is, I don’t view the fact that you post less to your blog as a negative or unexpected thing.

Thanks for all the tips and I’ll be happy to keep up with you, even when there are fewer posts.


June 25, 2009 at 5:30 am

I don’t remember how I stumbled across your blog. But I liked it and stuck around for the last few weeks. I don’t mind reading anything from you, I love reading.

If you are not sure, just right about anything that come to your mind (twitter it and then follow-up) and maybe the character of your blog changes, but so what? Why does it always have to be the way it has started? Branch out into random topics – life, people, technology, your daily observations, future, your biography and tips from it.

Try out new things and maybe you will find a new path of writing. One which is better or just different and equally useful.

I personally want to get into writing. It gives me pleasure. But it was always put off. It would be great if you write about how you started writing, tips to continue writing, tips to improve your language skills. Things that would guide us with ideas/practical tips to become a writer like you.

Just have fun!

Brad Isaac June 25, 2009 at 11:08 am

I am grateful for your responses and advice. You’ve given me a lot to think about.     

The post ideas about communication are right up my alley. Though, I will say, since I took a CIO position, I find myself working more with machines and doing a lot less talking. :) but, I think I can draw on past experience. 

You might want to start with my series on the subject: here

And the recommendation about aa vacation…. that’s what I am doing right now with the family. if you’re interested, you can follow some of our adventures at Disney on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/brad_Isaac. I’ve been posting pictures and an occasional silly comment. All in fun.

But you are so right.  Getting away has inspired alot of ideas. Walt Disney himself took a vacation when he was on the verge of a self-described breakdown and came back with new ideas for his films.  

June 30, 2009 at 4:55 am

It’s normal to have the desire to write meaningful things. If writing has become a chore do something else, leave it for a while. Then you’ll come back to it with full stamina.
.-= Jean Relation´s last blog ..Et le lendemain… =-.

Yonathan Zarkovian July 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Hi Brad.

I’m new, and what led me here is my web research of recommended blogs to follow. I just kept looking through all the crap until I found that website with some recommendations.

Brad Isaac July 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Yonathan, thatnks for your post and welcome!

Steve-o August 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Hi Brad,

You’ve got a great blog going. Like others, I’ve enjoyed reading the articles you’ve written in the past and I look forward to the ones yet to come! You needn’t second-guess your committment to posting just because the frequency has diminished over time. As time passes, entropy increases, things change, life moves forward, and we find ourselves caught up or distracted a bit more each day. Post as often or as infrequently as you’d like without guilt or remorse. Your audience is loyal and understands that family and work take priority over blogging any time.

As far as having writer’s block as a result of wanting to author meaningful content, don’t sweat it. Think back: Did you worry overly about whether or not your posts were rich in meaning and provocative enough to invoke deep thought in those who read them? Doubtful. Sure, you may have always had the intent to write meaningful content for your blog, but did you place as much importance upon it when you first started? Unlikely, which is why you seem to be pretty frustrated with your lack of gripping subject matter about which to write.

My suggestion: Stop thinking so hard and start writing. “Sure, that’s easy for you to say,” you’re probably thinking. It can be that easy though! What you need to do to get back on track is to get waaaaay off track.

Think about it. You’re used to writing non-fiction to elucidate and edify your readers about various methods of remaining productive and reaching one’s goals through continually persistent effort. Perhaps instead you could develop a fictitious storyline wherein the main character(s) demonstrate or illustrate the underlying point that you are trying to make. A great example of this would be the book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. (http://www.amazon.com/Who-Moved-My-Cheese-Amazing/dp/0399144463) (If you haven’t yet read this book, I highly recommend you do so.) Without saying it directly, the author was able to get across a powerful message while managing to keep the tempo fast and the mood light. Perhaps you could do something similar as an alternate/additional bit of content that might interest readers. It could be an on-going saga about a little guy who works and works and works at building a dam stone by stone and then… you get what I mean, I hope. The point is, by changing up the style and delivery a little, you might not even think about the writer’s block that used to hinder you. By creating a recurrent story that is added to once weekly, you’ll give readers yet another reason to keep comin’ back! Perhaps, in so doing, you’ll regain some of the excitement you had about blogging in the first place and begin to change the perception of posting from being a chore back to being a pleasure.

Of course, it’s always good to know that people out there are reading and enjoying what you are posting, which really makes the whole thing worthwhile. I’d say you needn’t worry too much about that either. The comments made by myself and others should belay any such thoughts, so you’re concentration should be focused upon just putting black on white in a way that might be insightful to those of us waiting for the next post!

Keep on keepin’ on! :)


Yonathan Zarkovian August 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Best post ever, Steve!

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