Do you know how many bloggers have published a post today? According to this post at Digital Buzz, on an average day, 2 million posts are published all across the ever-expanding blogosphere.
This factoid begs the question: How many of those 2 million posts are good?
I’m not talking grammar-snob good, or poetry-snob good.
I’m wondering how many of those 2 million posts have compelling content.
I want to know how many of them came from the author’s heart.
I want to know how many of those 2 million bloggers actually wanted to write those posts … and I want to know how many more wrote them because the Rules of Blogging dictate that a post a day is the only way. We’re told that if we post each and every day, we keep our audience engaged. They know what to expect from us. They keep coming back.
Do you keep coming back to read bloggers who sound dry and contrived?
Because, to put it in tough-love terms, forced writing sounds just that way: dry and contrived.
I love nineteenth-century literature. I adore the Victorian novel. I adore Jane Austen, not just for her words, but also for the fact that she wrote each of those monster-sized novels by hand, at her little desk, with an actual quill pen that she actually had to dip into actual ink. Think of the time; think of the waiting; think of the uncertainty of publication.
I adore those writers of old who had the patience to wait years to see their masterpieces published.
Granted, being a blogger, I also adore that enticing little blue button on the right-hand sidebar of my WordPress screen. “Publish!” It’s so exciting, isn’t it? Click. Published. One of two million. Available instantly for all the world, including your overly-involved parents, to read.
I’ve written a lot lately. And a lot of that writing has been for myself–really for myself, as in, for my eyes only. The things I know I need to write before I can write the work that I want to set before the eyes of the world: my great work, my opus.
And I’m realizing that even though I write every day, I don’t need to publish every day. I’m starting to see that, despite the fact that I don’t have to jump through the hoops of big-name publishing companies in order to get my words seen and heard, I don’t have to publish every thought I have, every time I have it.
Nothing will drive an audience away like the strained tone of blog posts written like school papers; squeezed out because the blogger in question feels the need to publish each day, smooth as clockwork.
Hey, I love the “publish” button as much as you do, kid. I love it like I love a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio on a hot summer night.
But I don’t drink white wine every night, because I know I’ll wake up all emotional with a killer headache. (I don’t hold my liquor well, or my wine either).
This is the route I’m going as I head into an academic semester that promises to busy me, filling my head with linguistics, pragmatics, morphology, syntax, and a slew of other things I may or may not ever need to know, and my offering of advice this blue September morning:
Publish the words that you’ve savored writing, and the words that you think your audience will savor, too.
Publish the words that make your heart beat faster because you know they’ll do the same to your readers.
Don’t write to meet a quota, and don’t believe that people will lose interest in your blog if you don’t force yourself to post every day.
When you get those crystal-clear moments of lucidity that spill over into days and days worth of publishable writing, then yes, blog every day.
But forget the post-a-day quota, or any quotas you’ve set for yourself.
After all, there are 2 million other blog posts sitting out there, every day, hoping to be read.
First of all, Jo Macdonald, founder of The Red Box Company, has just released her new book, Note to Self: The Secret to Becoming Your Own Best Friend, and it’s available for purchase in hard copy or e-book format. Ten percent of all proceeds go straight to the Because I am a Girl social initiative/nonprofit. The book is comprised of letters from 30 kick-ass women from around the world … including yours truly! What a joy to be included in this project. Thank you, Jo Macdonald.
And secondly, the latest issue of Wild Sister magazine was released on September 1st. It’s all about women finding their ROAR, and it truly is my favorite issue of the magazine thus far. (I don’t just say that because I’m in it! Really. I’m honored to be among all the incredible, amazing, empowering women who appear in the magazine each month). Treat yourself–go grab an issue, darling.