16 May 2012

i love my blog: keeping the "♥" in each post

During last night's #MNINB Twitter Chat, one of the questions posed was whether bloggers sometimes publish a post just for the sake of having written that day. I think the general consensus was: 

This is a bad   idea!

Make sure you're blogging for the right reasons!
This is a topic I've been thinking about for a few weeks now, actually, simply because I've been loving the direction this blog is going in, but some days I lose track of where I was going with a post I've started writing. Yesterday's "Opportunities for Writers" post is an example of that. I originally had on my editorial calendar to share a few upcoming writer's conferences. But as I started researching to put the post together, I realized it wasn't what I wanted to write at all. For a short while, my thought was to just not post at all ... then I thought about the fact that I'd be hosting a Twitter chat, and found myself newly inspired with a new topic. But there are also those days that I just have nothing in me to write: those are the hard days. Originally, I had planned an editorial calendar with posts seven days a week, but came to the realization that by week's end I had nothing left. The temptation was to try to come up with something anyway; it was actually a pretty tough decision to not write anything. 

Ultimately, I've made the decision to not just blog for blogging’s sake. If my heart isn’t in it, it really isn’t worth writing for me—or at least, it’s not worth writing in full. I might draft it, and save it for later, but I won’t post it until I’m happy with it. At the same time, if my heart isn’t in it I don’t think my readers’ hearts will be in reading it, either. I’m a firm believer in passion transference in writing: if I have passion in what I write, readers will sense passion when they read, and vice versa.

But don’t just take my word for it. After the #MNINB Twitter Chat, I pulled all of the feedback and advice on blogging for blogging’s sake, and put together these five tips. Each tip comes from at least one of the bloggers who participated in the chat yesterday. You can check out their blogs by clicking their names below:

1. Only write when you have something specific to say. (Jennifer Chow) If you post just for the sake of posting, you might wind up losing readers! (Robert Lee Brewer)

2. If you’re tempted to post just for the sake of having posted, it’s time to revisit your editorial calendar! (Lara Britt)

3. Posting is equal to publishing—draft and redraft before publishing anything. (Patrick J. Walsh)

4. You might not be “inspired” to write, but blogging regularly is still important. (Bolton Carley)

5. If what you’re writing doesn’t “work” for that day, don’t post it … but don’t waste it, either. Save it as a draft for later! (KasieWhitener)

Your Turn: What are your thoughts on blogging for blogging's sake? Do you ever post just to have something posted? What do you do when you've had a post scheduled but when the time comes, it's no longer what you feel like writing?

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Check out these previous Personal Update Wednesday posts from Our Lost Jungle:

18 comments:

  1. Great post, Khara. As I said in the chat yesterday, being true to my own heart means my blog has remained (for now) just about 100% poetry, not much "platform," per se...so posting daily is still coming easily to me right now, since I'm committed to writing every day. I had hoped to share the "Submission A Day" Challenge via my blog, but was overwhelmed right out of the gate with how those updates might look, the responsibility of keeping up with everyone's comments, etc (all in the midst of actually trying to SUBMIT, every day). It's been much easier to share that over on Facebook, when I can.

    As you know, I do hope to branch out into the occasional interview (my first subject is particularly appealing, and has me holding back just a bit until I can bring my best non-poet writer self to the task, in order to best highlight her fantastic answers.) But for now, I'm just kind of accepting that unless the left side of my brain suddenly fires up after 42 years of dormancy, I am first and foremost a POET, and shall poem daily, and post 'em when I think they're ready. (So yes, on that note, no "unborn poems," I hope. Though poems are always in some form of revision, aren't they?) ;)

    You're awesome. I am wholly envious of your whole brain. Mine is only ever in its half-crazed "right" mind.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, De! You've given me (and anyone else reading) a lot to think about. I just sat through a webinar on blogging a book, and I think one of the points on platforming applies to what you said about your content. The speaker mentioned that when you blog, you're building your platform, because a platform is simply the "base of readers or potential readers you create by everything you do to get people to know who you are." So even if you're not consciously platforming, you are building your platform just by posting regularly and telling people who you are: A (wonderful, and delightful to read) poet!

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    2. Awww, thanks, Khara. That means so much to me.
      To be clear, I am definitely agreeing with the "don't post just for the sake of posting" thought. I'd rather WAIT for a great post from a favorite blogger than read something with the passion sucked out of it.
      (Mind you, this is from the girl who had a major typo in this morning's 5:30am poem, and had to go back in and fix it later after the coffee set in.)

      ;)

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    3. And happy to hear I'm maybe still sorta platform diving. Now, where did I put my goggles?

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  2. Agree with #4 & 5. I don't think anyone should blog, 'for blogging's sake." I'd rather look through my drafts and pick something.

    If nothing peaks my interest and I can't get excited about it I'd rather not blog but I will push myself at these times because I think it's part of the commitment to writing. Sometimes these end up being the short entries, but that's okay.

    I feel that if I continue with the "I don't feel like it," I'll end up with writer's block. Thanks for the post today which allowed me to find out what transpired in Twitter chat.

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    1. That's great advice regarding keeping up the commitment to write. During the Twitter chat, a few people brought up the idea of writing a very short post if nothing else occurred to them, which seems like a very good, very workable idea!

      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. I loved the idea of short entries, too. Frankly, sometimes that's all a reader might have time for, anyway, and so long as it's interesting and well-crafted, it keeps the audience coming back. ;)

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    3. Good point, De! That could be potentially great for keeping a regular audience, too.

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  3. I'm a big believer in experimentation. I think folks are a lot kinder with experiments in blogging than in other forms. I would rather have a fail that is short lived and learn from it. What I'm finding from my stats is that I get a lot of traffic to my blog on some days. So I'm now saving my sure fire hits for that particular day of the week. But I will still throw something out there to see if it sticks. But I won't do that as a regular feature. Who knows. I surely didn't know what folks were wanting from me before I started this thing. But that is distinctly different from phoning it in.
    BTW, your blog keeps looking more amazing every time I visit, Khara.

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    1. That's such a great plan! Hopefully with time you'll see more days getting more stats, too, so throughout the week you're getting great viewership for great posts!

      (And thank you--I keep working at it, and am getting more and more happy with how it looks.)

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  4. Excellent work pulling all those tweets into one valuable post. Way to go! And thanks for the mention and link!

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  5. I do believe Misky has crafted the most perfectly pithy "short post" ever. It suits her blog's subject matter, and her personality. ;)
    See it, here:
    http://miskcooks.com/2012/05/17/the-kitchen-is-closed/

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  6. Thanks for sharing that link, De.

    Kasie, you're welcome; and thank you, for your invaluable contribution to the chat!

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  7. Khara, I just stumbled across this while looking for something else on your blog. I love reading comments from our group when we were all just forming -- and SO agree with everyone's ideas. While getting into the groove of an editorial calendar is one of the items on my resolutions this year, I still never post if I have nothing worth saying.

    Now I'm back to looking for that other post on OLJ. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elissa. I agree, it's so fun to look back at a post like this and see where we were so many months ago. And I agree; it is so important to look at an editorial calendar as sort of a "set of guidelines" instead of a rigid "do or die" chart!

      I hope you find the post you were looking for! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I mainly blog about books I've read (discriminatingreader.com) so I try to post whenever I finish reading a book worth writing about. Sometimes I add other posts that are more general or reading related. I wish I could elicit more comments. I hunger for feedback. (Don't we all?) The counter at the bottom helps, but isn't the same. Still, I am gratified to run into people who tell me they use my blog to build their reading lists.

    I have a second blog I use much less regularly (alabamatarheel). I post more of my poetry here. I want to develop this blog more during 2013.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Nancy. There is definitely something greatly gratifying about having anyone using your blog and/or writing in a meaningful way.

      Best wishes with the Discriminating Reader site, and in developing your second blog!

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  9. So true not to post for posting's sake. When I feel the ned to do that, I'll wedge in a scrap of my work-in-progress, or something fro the novel we already published. That keeps the content flowing when nothing bloggy is happening in my head.

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Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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