Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blogging Consistently Is...


That's right, I said it.  I broke the cardinal rule about blogging - I whined a little.

Don't get me wrong.  I love to write this blog.  I enjoy trying to figure out how to put into words my thoughts and feelings for the day.  I like it when I get comments and can have some kind of interaction with those who've taken the time to read it.  However, it's a lot more taxing than I thought it would be.

Simply putting words on the screen isn't hard.  Any imbecile can do that.  Watch:

I have a dog.  I like my dog.  He is nice and licks me.  I feed him every day and take him on a walk.  He is yellow and his tongue always sticks out of the side of his mouth.  He likes to take my other dog's toys.  He can't stand it when I am petting the other dog and not him.

Did any of you make it to the end of that paragraph?  I'd be shocked if you did, because it was both insanely boring and written at the comprehension level of a four year old.  And that's part of the point - writing is easy, but making it enjoyable and interesting to someone else takes effort.  Let's face it - most people hate putting in the effort required to make something stand out.  Most of us, myself included, would rather have the accolades fall upon us in a shower of glory, for, after all, we deserve it simply by being alive.

First, you have to plan out what you're going to write.  Will this topic be interesting?  Can I write enough to capture the spirit of what I want the reader to feel?  Or will I go way overboard and bore them to tears with my rambling?

Then you have to actually write it.  I know this sounds simple, but those that go out and do it stand out from the crowd.  As I discussed in one of my first posts, a great number of people say they want to write.  Let me repeat that sentiment - a lot of people like to say they want to write.  Since I came out of my shell and let people know I'm a writer, I've been amazed by the number of people who say they are going to write that next great American novel.  However, only a tiny fraction do so because most won't just sit down and write it.  It's the same here, since most people won't sit at the keyboard and put down on paper what they jabber on to their friends about.

Finally, you have to do it on a consistent basis.  It's one thing to sit down every couple of weeks and write a few things before returning to your exciting life.  However, you'll never build an audience by being inconsistent or flaky, so you need to put out new stuff on a regular basis so people will stop by every so often and read your stuff.  You need to get past that long day you've had and that headache that just won't go away and write.  You have to say, "I know the latest episode of Wipeout is on, but I haven't done my blogging for the day, so I must shun the escape of TV and pump out my next post."  This can be difficult when you think that no one will kill you if you don't post just this once.  But I've heard more than one person say that writing is like going to the gym - do it every day so you can get into a routine, but you'll discover that the more you say you'll rest just today, the easier it is to be lazy the next day as well.

I blog because I enjoy writing and this gives me a break from my novels, as well as a way to continue to work on the craft without delving into plotlines and character development, but it can be challenging at times.  Still, our readers deserve nothing less.


  1. I know what you mean Russ. Since I've launched my site I've been laboring between trying to post 2 or 3 times a week. Not sure if I can manage 3 times like you. Balancing work, the blog, writing and revising a manuscript, figuring out how to bring up traffic on the site, paying forward to those that have been supportive of me and maybe spending some time with the family is challenging.

    One thing I've slacked off on is working out. I write first thing in the morning rather than work out like I used to. Yes, my waist line is getting bigger!

  2. We just keep plugging away. Prioritizing is the hardest part sometimes.

    Still, what I'd give to have the audience you do! ;-)

  3. So so so so so true. It IS hard. And I would be a liar if I said I haven't done posts that are not my best, but I still keep plugging away and I still do it. Much like my own short stories and currently the book I'm working on, I do go to it everyday, or at least most days. It wasn't something I have always done but I feel right now it is something I am prepared for in my life - that dedication to our craft.

    And the writer who said it was like the gym? Right ON! Just like it! A discipline at first and then once your into it feels amazing.

    1. Some days are harder than others. I just wish I was always as motivated as I am when the spirit strikes. But then it wouldn't be as hard, would it? :-P

  4. I'm a writer too, and I still can't figure out why writing is so hard, especially for writers! Sometimes it's like "pulling teeth" when trying to write a piece or trying to find the motivation to write. Why? Probably because writing is work and many people like to avoid things that take work. The struggle of writing still baffles me and I wish writing were easier. When I write, I love it. But some days I put it off and do other tasks. It's quite silly, really. I'm hoping someday I will conquer my fear of work, follow a daily writing schedule, and enjoy it!

    1. I tend to think that it should be hard. Like Tom Hanks said in A league of Their Own - if it was hard, everyone would do it. The hard makes it great.

      As a writer, I know I struggle with the exact wording and how to bring out the mood without just writing how the reader should feel. But when you hit gold, there is no better feeling.