Go Away. I iz writing my memoirs… Image credit: misshepeshu
The difficulty of blog writing
Maintaining a blog does not usually come easy, most of us in the blog space need to work really hard to maintain our blogs outside of our regular work, and with the need for regular and interesting content updates, the odd blog/website design change, replying to comments, and managing your online persona in general – all while attempting to win one of the categories in the next Blog awards – Suddenly having a blog may seem more work than it is worth.
For some (including me) blog writing is not our main talent, words do not seem to flow as easily as it does for those that place beautiful prose on the web with little to no effort.
Suggested writing inabilities aside, even if you have the most wonderful and interesting stories to share; should you forget to post on your blog one too many times (the biggest bloggers sin I am guilty of) you will watch it die a slow and often painful Internet interest withdrawal death. Should you allow this this fatal blog sickness to pass, reviving your blog to its former glory will be one of the most difficult online things you may ever do.
What I am doing to repent my blogging sins
The final result? Unsuccessful blog that will remain obscurity or Successful blog revival – I will investigate, and hopefully find, the root cause within myself and my daily/general habits that lead me down the path of the “once every three month post” blogging style my own blog is now following. A studied choice which will offer me one of the following result options:
- Should I keep this blog and maintain it properly (an all round improvement) OR
- Permanently archive my blog (maintaining my current “Odd occasion and blue moon posting” habits) OR
- Remove my blog entirely – let Twitter be my blog
Looking to self
My investigation, actually a personal review, is focused on how I operate online and the reasons why I have difficulty keeping up this blog. I mention other blogs that have helped me understand where i have gone wrong and those that have provided inspiration going forward. If you as a new blogger getting started or an old one wondering if it is still worth it can find similar inspiration from the post, I wish you well in reaching your goals.
The reasons (yes, excuses would also work) for my lack of regular blog updates:
- I have never made this blog personal
- Having this blog has always been an afterthought
- I never attempted to form a ‘blogging habit’
- Allowed self doubt about blog/website design to affect my writing
1. I have never made this blog personal
When i registered darwinshome.co.za I had the intention of using the website as my personal business front-end or an online resume of the work I had done – a place where I could send my (hopefully) future employers to, to gauge my skills in the field I professed to be an expert in. So when I added a blog, I kept most of the posts related to technology news (usually re-hashing stories I had seen on the BBC News website or heard about on the Buzz Out Loud podcast)
Even when I obtained a LiveJournal blog to separate the “personal” posts from any “work” posts, I seldom blogged anything substantial (I have since decommissioned my LiveJournal blog and imported all reasonably original posts into this blog)
2. Having this blog has always been an afterthought
This website started out as a PHP project, then became a resume of sorts, at the time adding a blog was the thing to do if you had your own website. My priority then was to have a working website, with a recent copy of my curriculum vitae for download. Having this blog on my website was more a navigation space filler than an actual attempt at flexing my writing muscles.
This website has come a long way since 2003, the habit of website first, blog second has remained.
Frank the typewriter felt forgotten and used… being only used for one, oh so special, night Image credit: thorinside
3. I never attempted to form a ‘blogging habit’
A blog is not a hobby that can be put down and forgotten, to be easily dusted off and shined when the mood takes you. If you forget about your blog for any extended period, anyone that has an interest in your ramblings will move on to more interesting blogs (or blogs that are updated) neglect your blog often enough and even those people will not return.
I have never made the conscious decisions to write a blog post regularly. I have never forced myself to put in the required time to write something meaningful (even if it is just meaningful to me) at least once every week.
This lack of ‘blogging habit’ has been my biggest downfall (and until recently it was also the reason I was not a true user of my gym contract: no gym habit = no real gym use).
4. Allowed self doubt about blog/website design to affect my writing
When I redesign my website (which is a task I perform far to rarely) I am all excited about the look and feel, and for a few weeks (or even months) I will put a little more effort into my blogging.
As time passes, my grey, rather flat website, with its outdated layout starts to really bug me; this self doubt and self deprecation turns me away from my website, and rather than turning me to designing a new layout it just turns me away from blogging on it.
What is a guy to do?
After having a few weeks of emotional strain (in almost every facet of my life) I started to make lists; To do lists of everykind – shopping lists, daily routine lists, workout lists, gym timetable lists, and even a blog list.
I realized that I wanted to spend enough time on my blog to maintain it, and keep it regularly updated – without limiting the rest of my life – and it is possible. So I guess my decision is made, out of the options I listed above for the outcome of my internal reviews, the only one that makes sense to me personally is;
- I should keep this blog and maintain it properly
Where the hope was found OR “That light at the end of the tunnel is not a train, but a friend (holding a flashlight) on their way to help”
Reaching this epiphany did not come without assistance; for one, Twitter, and the wonderful community of people I follow there has placed me in a different mind set – having conversations with people there has actually changed the way I view business and people interaction. This could also be one of the few documented cases of Twitter turning someone towards blogging an not away from it.
The other assistance I got was in the form of a solid kick in the pants I received from Heidi and Sheena, both told me to “buck up and just write” in their own special ways, on separate occasions. I took it to heart.
A big thank you to you both.
Where to from here?
I believe this is one of the Lengthiest posts I have written, and it should remain the exception – I remain a fan of the slightly shorter – more to the point style of blogging. This posts topic required a long internal process, and I thought I would make up for lost writing time in the process.
The first step goal for this blog – get a post (even a small post) of meaningful content out at least once a week.
Lets see how that goes for a month.
To the rest of you
What are your feelings on your own bloggers block? Do you get it? How do you get over it?
To those just moaning that it is too difficult to maintain a blog: Buck up and write what you feel. If you want your blog to work, PUT IN THE EFFORT!