Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why Blogging Hasn't Worked For Me In The Past

Martin Neuhof

First, I'd like to send a shout-out (HI!) and a big thank you (THANK YOU!) to the recent subscribers to The Journal Keeper.  I appreciate you!

Now, in light of the fact that it's been six days since my last blog post (Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...), I think now would be a good time to write about why blogging hasn't worked for me in the past, and why I still struggle with it today.

As I've mentioned before, I've made several attempts at blogging.  And shortly after starting, I lose my motivation.  And I think that is largely because... 

I crave instant gratification.  And when I don't get it, I take my ball and bat and go home.  It's as simple as that, yet I also recognize that it's unreasonable.  What I really want is to have perfectly written and very witty posts flow magically from my fingers.  I want readers who are sitting at their computers dutifully waiting for my next brilliant words.  And I want comments from my adoring fans to overflow my inbox.

Ok, you can stop laughing now.  That's just mean.  

I get hung up on how my blog looks.  I focus first on the theme and the colors and the cool widgets before I have even published the first posts.  I've even jumped from platform to platform, changing the address of my blogs over and over so that even if I did have any readers they wouldn't be able to find me! 

I didn't want to start a blog until I could start it "perfectly."  I am a perfectionist by nature.  The bad kind.  I get so hung up on every aspect of what I do being absolutely, positively perfect that it becomes debilitating.  I either get frustrated, or discouraged, or burned out.  In the end, the task I was trying so hard to get right doesn't get done at all.  This goes for many aspects of my life, and not just blogging.

What I've come to realize is that while there is nothing wrong with trying to do perfect work, in a lot of cases it's more important to just get the work done.  And in many cases, there's no such thing as perfect.

Lately I've been educating myself on the blogging culture.  There are some really awesome resources out there.  And I've come to realize that I need to build up my blog.  Give it some time.  Darren Rowse at ProBlogger reminds me that even the big names in the blogosphere started out small -- most with zero readers for a while.  They key is to keep at it.  Keep writing quality content.  Focus on quality and not quantity, but try to keep posting on a regular schedule.

So I am going to focus on creating content and getting the word out.  I'm not going to worry about having an eye-pleasing design.  Yet.  I'm also going to try to stick to a more regular posting schedule.  This is all a learning process, and an exercise in self-discipline.  I hope you'll stick with me on the journey!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I suffer from all of the same blogging ailments. 1 hour spent changing the background color on my twitter account I rarely use and I think I don't have enough time to blog?! I need to spend more time writing and less time worrying and searching for perfection. I had 5 months in a row of very regular posting - and I was SO happy having a regular creative outlet. And then I got scared (aka I got readers) and disappeared. I'm finally back and hope that I can silence my inner critic and find the joy in writing again. All the best!!