Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slow Blogging

Lots of theories abound when it comes to social media and how blogging should be utilized:

  • Post every day.
  • Respond to each and every comment.
  • Read and comment on other blogs indiscriminately.
  • Flaunt yourself as much as possible.

Trouble is, I’ve never been much of an exhibitionist. Admittedly, blogging is a bit of a contradiction for me. Every time I post, I put myself out there in the ether for public consideration – except I do this under an alias because I’m not ready to own up to being a wannabe writer unless I make it. So why do I do it? Because the benefits of writing practice and engagement with the larger writing community far outweigh the nuisances of blogging.

That said, I’d rather be working on my WIPs instead of putting together my next blog post. But when I do blog, I want my posts to be as strong as possible. I’ll revise, research, and let them sit until they’re ready. This takes time. I guess I’ve always preferred quality over quantity.

When it comes to commenting and interacting with others, it’s all about the content for me. Not the brown nosing, the contests, the polls. If I feel I can’t add to the discussion on someone else’s blog, I don’t bother to comment. Blasphemy, I know. I’m just not comfortable saying something for the sake of saying something. I like to think about things, and I don’t want to rattle off the first thing that comes to mind. Especially when it is so easy to follow things back to the source. I don’t want to be haunted by half-assed comments years from now.

So when I heard about the notion of slow blogging, I felt relieved that it wasn’t just me who took issue with the time pressure of producing content and interacting with others. The concept has been around for awhile now. Anne R. Allen provides a great overview of the movement with respect to writers, which I stumbled upon thanks to a post by Elizabeth Craig. If you want to know more, you can read the Slow Blogging Manifesto and a New York Times article on the movement.


So from here on forward, I will aim to post once a week – usually on Wednesdays.

Before, I loosely coupled my posting schedule to the number of trips I took to the coffee shop to write – roughly two times a week. It was an informal schedule at the best of times before it was utterly destroyed during the big move and subsequent babysitting of contractors over the last two months. But weekly blog posts? That I can get behind. People have talked about the benefits of having a posting schedule before (Elizabeth Craig again comes to mind), so we’ll see how it goes.

I see this move to slow(er) blogging as:

  • a way to help me handle the time pressure of blogging,
  • a justification of the pace of posting I’ve already unconsciously set,
  • a way to reinforce the quality over quantity criterion I’ve always valued,
  • a formal acknowledgement of my accountability to myself and my readers, and
  • a way to ensures I have time to do justice to the topics I post about.

Hurrah.

And if this builds in extra time for writing, who am I to complain?

I’ll also be tinkering with some of the labels and tags this week, so apologies for any inconsistencies on that front.

5 comments:

Laura Marcella said...

This is admirable of you! Everyone's needs and wants are different, so naturally what works for one blogger might not work for another. It's great you found something that works for you! Good luck with your writing and submissions. :)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I've found myself having increased my blogging activity. Before a week would go by and it seemed next to impossible to hold up interest. Now I'm holding up interest and have no shortage of ideas for the blog. I've vowed not to blog on Saturdays and Sundays though now. I do need to take a couple days each week to rest from posting a new blog.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think blogs can successfully update once a week and hold onto their readership...and even build on it.

Erratic posting (this is just an observation of mine) seems to be a big indicator of a blogging problem. I've seen bloggers that have a week where they're full of post ideas--and they share them every day, sometimes more than once a day. But then the next week there'll be nothing. Soon the blog posts all seem to start with apologies for the lapses. It's too bad because they're usually great blogs. Much better, I think, to put a posting sched. in the sidebar and when the post ideas start flying in, just keep them in a Word doc and get ahead. Consistency seems to be so key.

Best wishes with your writing!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I posted every day for a while...it was exhausting. I'm posting three times a week now and feel much better about it. I did a post one week that I loved so much I left it up for the entire week...I wasn't worried about readership...I wanted to share my thoughts and passion about the topic (a kiddo named Lenny).

Do what is best for you...what makes you happy. I really enjoy all of the interaction via my blog.

Happy writing!

Bluestocking said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. Been traveling and haven't had a chance to check in until now. I'm hopeful this new wed schedule will give me more flexibility in terms of my other writing and still provide structure to my blog. Fingers crossed, and thank you all for your support these past few months!

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