But as I get a year in, I’m a little worried about finding rhythm in areas outside of MidRange, without quite-so-distinct deadlines to them. When given a project and told, “finish it sometime this month,” I often find myself in a place where the white space overwhelms me.
So I’m thinking quite hard about how to apply the best lessons of MidRange—the time limit, the tight focus, the muse following approach—to the many other words I need to write. Do I need to use Flow, my timer app of choice, for everything, or go full-Pomodoro?
I’m not sure. But what I do know is that MidRange has been good for me from a critical thinking perspective, as it forces me to sharpen my blades and stick to an unforgiving schedule.
Weirdly, I don’t feel burned out by MidRange, even as some of my other writing definitely can feel like it’s in that category sometimes.
I think the reason for that is because the approach is fully formed. Recently, I was talking to a writer friend of mine who has taken a sabbatical from his newsletter, citing the way that the research and stress of running it had chewed through his personal life.
I told him he needed to find a rhythm, and that the most dangerous thing he could do right now was step away from it in full, because he may not get the spark of that great idea back.
I know this, because I was there. In the summer and fall months of 2014, ShortFormBlog, a site that had thrived on an aggressive many-updates-per-day schedule, had started to fade out as I stepped away for a couple weeks to calm my stressed-out nerves.
When I came back, I found it was even harder to do. Soon enough, I found myself having to call it entirely. It broke my heart, but the inability to regain the rhythm, combined with the business challenges of Tumblr (nobody was getting rich running a Tumblr in 2014) meant that it was really easy to lose my pace.