August 26, 2009

A Severe Case of Bad Blogging

A reader wrote in and asked me if I ever encounter writer's block or situations in which I am less than satisfied with the quality of my posts. The answer is yes to both questions. It is not at all uncommon for me to stare at the screen and wonder why the words aren't magically filling it.

And without a doubt I have published more than one post whose quality was less than stellar. Blogging is no different than anything else in life there are good days and bad days. There is one significant difference between bad days in general and bad days in blogging.

A bad day in blogging can not only be memorialized forever it can go viral and be seen by millions of people. A bad day in blogging can hurt you professionally and personally. I suppose that if you are really paranoid I just helped to make your day.

In every day life you really have to work hard to do something dumb enough to receive that kind of life long notoriety.

For most of us none of these things in real life or in blogging will happen so let's circle back and talk about the more mundane question of what to do about bad blogging. What happens when the quality of your posts suffer and how do you deal with it.

There are a few initial questions to ask such as whether it is a personal or professional blog. The answer there is self evident. If your blog is supposed to provide a professional representation of your work you need to take extra care with what you publish. Better to provide fewer examples of a higher quality than a thousand mediocre ones.

On the personal side it is a different sort of question. I view my blog as a working tool and living chronicle of my life. As such I am less finicky about publishing posts that may not always be my finest work. Doing so provides me with benchmarks that I can use to measure my growth as a writer/blogger.

And candidly I am confident enough in my ability that I do not worry that I going to publish total crap. It doesn't mean that I love everything I write, but I can usually live with it.

One more thing to mention. I like reading a blog that isn't composed solely of shiny pennies. I think it is more authentic to read a series of posts and get a chance to see the diamonds in the rough.

The bottom line here is that blogging is another one those places where we have shared experiences. We all have moments of doubt and uncertainty. Sometimes you just have to endure a severe case of bad blogging and work your way through it.

What do you think?
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