I sometimes struggle with the idea of trying to post here at least once a day. While perusing my archive I find days where my posts are cringeworthy or just not good, and part of me wonders whether it’s better to wait for a post to meet a certain level of quality before publishing it.
I have also seen this argument from other bloggers as well. They post the rules they have that include things like “it should start a conversation” or it should be “distinctive”. I remember reading tweets from one who shuns the idea of posting on a schedule in favour of only publishing something that’s “good”. From looking at their site, there’s probably only a single new post every two years on average1.
But reflecting on it now, I don’t think this works for me. Maybe it could if I was a journalist or a professional writer, but for me and this blog, I don’t see how holding back could help.
For one thing, it will mean a lot less posts. Of course the response to this is that’s the whole point: “quality over quantity” after all. But I think if I did this, the post frequency will probably drop to the point where I’d be in danger of abandoning this blog together. I tried the minimum-level-of-quality approach when I first started this blog, and I think I got a total of 5 or 6 posts in the first 8 months. And they weren’t good posts anyway: the minimum level of quality I was shooting for was just getting something out there at all.
That’s the reason why I joined Micro.blog2: writing smaller things more often. If I were to abandon this, I’d just be falling into old habits.
And if that isn’t enough, there are plenty of anecdotes in how quantity leads to quality. You can spend a day, week or month trying to come up with the perfect blog post and not publishing anything at all, or publishing something that is mediocre at best. Publishing regularly forces you to practice: sure what you write today may not be considered “good”, but you’d be force to write it, publish it, and judge it with a critical eye. That can only force you to write better, even if the improvements are small like checking your spelling, or reading it once through before publishing. I can tell by personal experience that this practice has helped me.
And let’s not even discuss the feeling of being accountable from publishing frequently. You know how often I read the blog of that person I mentioned earlier? Never. Why would I if I know there won’t be any new content for a year? When they do post something, it’s usually tens of thousands of words that feels so heavy to read. I set it aside for “later”, which usually means never.
The blogs I do read regularly? The ones that post daily, or weekly, or even a few times a month, with updates that range from a few sentences to several paragraphs in length. And the quality of the writing or the topic really doesn’t matter to me. It was good just to get an update on what they’re thinking.
And if this piece hasn’t convinced me yet, I’ll end it this way. If you want to keep a record of your days, or improve the clarity of your thinking, you’ll need to write. There aren’t many ways around that. And if you want to improve you’re writing, you need to practice. And to keep you honest, you need accountability, even if it’s just being accountable to yourself, and the best way to be accountable is to write in public.
So that’s why I’m sticking with writing daily. If that’s not enough of a reason to maintain this goal, I don’t know what is.
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