For awhile now I have thought about breaking the habit of daily blogging, but honestly there is a bit of fear in it. I got into a small thread on twitter yesterday about this topic and Wilhelm outlines my biggest fear. If I stopped blogging every single day… I question if I would ever start back up again. The irony of this daily blogging thing… is that when I started it I went from being one of the least prolific bloggers to one of the most… almost over night. I started doing this daily blogging routine in April of 2013. My blog however was started in April of 2009, and during those first four years I only managed to make 148 posts. The largest lapse without any posts was between August of 2012 and April of 2013. Ultimately my fear is that if I stop the routine… I will go back to that… because of the posts on my blog 1018 happened after I forced myself into this routine. Ultimately this is part of my schtick, that I tell folks during the Newbie Blogger Initiative and Blaugust is that once upon a time I used to be one of the least regular bloggers out there, but I started down a path…. and quite honestly I am now a bit scared to ever step off of it.
The truth is, my blog started out as a thing largely about gaming but has turned into something more than that. I never really kept a diary or a journal, but in essence that is what this blog has become. These are the chronicles of my adventures, mistakes and all of the various things that happen in between. Over the years I got considerably more personal, and have shared some pretty private stuff with my blog readers. When something bad has happened in my life, you have been there with me… and often times supporting me. When there has been a victory… you have all shared in the glory. Admittedly there are a lot of details that I leave off the page. For example I don’t usually mention my wife or family members by name. In theory I could give a name to her… the way my friend Grace does her husband… but there is not a nickname that I call her with enough consistency as to make that not feel artificial. Over the years I’ve created a bit of a rule set that I try and follow.
- Don’t call people out by name (unless they have called me out first)
- If something bad happens, focus on the event and not the people
- If something good happens, talk about the people who made it good
- Try and remain positive, and not get bogged down in the depression
- Even though I am filtering… be honest about my own failures
- Be humble and thankful that anyone reads my blog at all
I have of course failed at all of them at some point or another, but those are the basic guidelines that I think about when I am writing. When folks think about this whole daily blogging thing, they tend to focus on the negative. Sure it is tedious to get up every morning and knock out a blog post before I leave the house. On the weekends, and when I am taking a day off like I did today I tend to give myself a little more breathing room. However most of the time like clockwork I can knock out a blog post in thirty minutes to an hour depending on how much I get distracted. The only day it wears on me is Sundays, when I have to prepare both a podcast episode and knock out a blog post before I can really get on with my day. For a long time I was staying up until one or two in the morning editing AggroChat but I’ve recently started just heading to bed after the initial first pass. If I get up at a decent hour I can knock out all of my bloggy/podcasty duties before my wife gets home from church, which gives us a better start to the day.
There is however a lot of benefit to getting up every morning and writing a post. In many ways the act of writing about something, helps me investigate it further. I will turn an idea over in my head, and through writing often process my feelings. There is something about placing words on a page that makes it more “real” for me. There is also the benefit of having a written log of everything I did during the year. Each major event, ends up finding its way into my posts in one form or another, so in essence I am externalizing my memory. So if I wanted to know the weekend I did this, or that… there is almost always a footnote somewhere in my blog about it that I can search later and place specific dates to memories. Not sure exactly why, but there is something comforting about this… being able to look up with certainty when something happened in the past, and I have three years of my life documented like this now.
The part of the equation that I have not sorted out however, is why the hell I have actual readers that continue to grow over the years. At this point… they have to be in this because they care about me, and not necessarily what I happen to be saying. That proposition in itself is so damned strange. There is this huge part of me that cannot fathom why more of you have not wandered off in boredom by now. I do not lead an exciting life, and I tend to fall into the same routines in whatever I happen to be playing. The truth is I have nothing terribly profound to say, and just represent your average person applying fingers to the keyboard. I am blessed with some amazing friends, but it still shocks me when I meet someone and they tell me that they have read my blog for a long period of time. I just want to ask them why? At some point I stopped doing this because blogging seemed to be what the cool kids were doing. I guess in truth I do the daily routine for me, and because it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something every morning before I even leave the house. I get more out of this than I think anyone might realize. I have this open dialog with the world, but in truth I am mostly talking to myself. I am putting into print things I need to tell myself, and through the act of writing them out… I actually take the time to listen.