If it’s easy to start blogging these days, it’s even easier to stop. Or at least to pause.
So many reasons: not enough time (I’ll do it when that deadline is over); other priorities (I need to focus my attention/writing brain on something else right now); perfectionism (there’s no point in posting something mediocre); lack of fresh ideas (there’s nothing exciting me to write at the moment); unconvinced of the payback (it won’t make any difference if I wait a bit longer). I’ve had all those thoughts these past months, as the date of my last post creeps stubbornly further into the past.
This is the challenge of maintaining a blog that’s neither your core business (i.e. you’re not making money directly from it), nor your main passion (for me that label goes to an older blog) – but more of a shopfront for your organisation/work. There are plenty of good habits that can help you to post consistently: gather ideas in one place, write a few posts in one batch each month, create a schedule, set up reminders, reuse/adapt old content…). But honestly – like most things in life – it comes down to how much you want to do it.
I’m a bit torn on this one, though.
As an editor, I generally think less is more. If you don’t have something burning to share or original/valuable to add, don’t post it. Save your scribblings, and maybe some thoughts will work their way into a future article. Writing well takes time. It takes thought. Go for quality, not quantity.
As a communications adviser, though, I can see why it’s so good to keep putting stuff out there. It shows the world what you’re up to, and that things are still churning away behind the scenes. It shows that you’re reflecting on your work, maybe trying to do it better. It reminds people that you exist, and maybe of what you’re good at.
And as a writer, I like the idea of using a mini essay or even a good old list to organise your thinking. I’ve written blog posts as predecessors to published articles, used others to sum up what I’ve learned at workshops, and others to explore and learn about concepts that intrigued me.
To make regular blogging work, though, there’s really just two ingredients: establish a habit (whether that’s a monthly blitz or a daily reminder) and go after the topics that really interest you. Even if that topic is something as meta and nerdy as, well, blogging.
Photo above taken in Pistoia (Italy), 2017, hosted by CCT-SeeCity