I’m having a slow, sleepy, and shivering start today. It’s a cold winter Sunday. It would be tempting to stay in bed but I did that yesterday and then never made it to my computer the whole day. So, total words written on any project yesterday. ZERO! Of course, that means today is an upward battle too.
What I was planning to write yesterday was a blog post. But I find myself leaning away from blogging because it feels like something I have to manufacture. It doesn’t feel real or even particularly honest when I spend a few hours honing an article for the blog. It also isn’t efficient because it’s not really driving up the traffic of the blog. Somewhere along the line things seemed to plateau out and my sporadicity, or perhaps the sheer boringness of my most recent efforts have done nothing to garner fresh interest.
Yesterday, instead of writing I did a lot of reading. The book I’m reading at the moment is Write. Publish. Repeat by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. I had just started reading the chapter about blogging. Now, I’ve had a blog for many, many years now. This one, The Craft of Writing Fiction, began as Writer’s Round-About way back in 2007. That’s 7 years of blogging experience with the writing topic alone. And I’ve fluctuated content a fair bit. But lately I haven’t been updating very frequently because I’ve been feeling like I need to sound like I know what I’m talking about. I need to write things that educate and inform. But the truth is, I just haven’t been inspired to do much of that.
Any yet, most mornings, before I get stuck into the nitty gritty of writing fiction, I take a few minutes to write a journal entry. Sometimes I add to that journal throughout the day with other writing snippets and thoughts that catch me as the process continues. These are easy, because I use these journals as a way to process my thoughts and so I’m writing them regardless of audience. In fact, I have dozens of journal entries I haven’t posted to the blog. And maybe that’s the problem.
In Write. Publish. Repeat., Sean and Johnny advocate simply telling your story in a very casual and commentary way. Rather than writing an Opus, simply being honest and real with the reader can be enough to engage interest on a blog (and indeed in any reader communication be it email or social media). Being human is much more interesting than being a text book.
Now, part of me knows that’s true. The fact that A Sax Outside My Window was such a popular post for so long is testament to the interest people have in the every day magic of life. The trouble is, the other part thinks, “people don’t care”. So, more often than not I’ve not posted up my journal entries on my blog.
But, perhaps I’m doing you a disservice by not. Recently my journal posts have included my thoughts, my excitement, and my stressors about self publishing. They’re not so much educational and informative, but they are real and immediate, in the moment, thoughts about the industry. Maybe you would be interested in those. I don’t know.
No matter what I do, I think going forward, it’s important that I make an effort to post something, anything, regularly. So, sometimes it’ll be those journal entries. I’d like to still write the occasional Opus, but I’m not going to hold myself to those as if they’re the only kind of quality writing worthy of being shared on this blog. Especially since some of the time they probably aren’t particularly ground-breaking anyway.
As good intentioned as I am about writing long, educational, informative, and interesting posts, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make them excellent. Sometimes it means I put off writing them at all. For example, I’ve been meaning to write a new blog post all week. My last update was on the 23rd. That’s six days ago. It’s a long time to be waiting until I’ve finally bit the bullet and written the blog post that’s sitting in my queue. I do however have journal entries for every day except yesterday and I could have posted those.
*sighs* Now I’m just rambling. One advantage of these – clearing the throat – journal entries is I normally start it as I settle at the computer and only have ten to fifteen minutes before my 6.30am writing session. Today I blew off my 6.30am start and it’s almost 7.30am already. I need to get back on track.
So, the decision? I’ll post up my journal entries in future, in lieu of feeling like I can only post if I’ve carefully crafted something phenomenal. Hopefully, from time to time I will still have phenomenal in me, and perhaps, sometimes I might even journal something profound. Let me know if that happens. Meanwhile, at least you’ll be able to peek inside my mind as it’s churning and maybe that’ll interest some readers. If there is anything in particularly you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment below or send me an email. I’d love to answer any questions you have or share on an experience I’ve had that might interest you.