I backed away from Facebook (not entirely though) a few months ago, and as a result my volume of new blog postings increased. I want to take it a step further. A step to revisit and tackle the question how to blog more. The main bottleneck is that I usually end up creating long posts, providing context which sometimes evolve into essay like things. That is not a bad thing, my blog is a space to think aloud, but it means long gaps between those type of postings. There are many smaller things I could blog about just, but I usually don’t, as I am worried it will end up as a long time-intensive posting. Setting targets of x blogpostings per week never worked in the past of course. The material then stays in my Evernote (yeah, still found no alternative).

So I am strivng for a more light-weight and unhurried way of creating blogposts of the non-essay variety. Short references with just a short observation, and/or a minimum of context. Over time it could be a more established routine, but for now I’m just looking at possible ingredients of such a light routine.

Ingredients that are involved I think:

  • Don’t write postings in WordPress, but as notes in Evernote. This keeps the ‘publish’ button out of view, which to me seems to signal I can only log out of WordPress if I finish the posting.
  • Write more about what I do, re-use material I use for my work
  • Allow multiple notes in different stages of construction to exist simultaneously. What gets finished gets posted.
  • Listen to feedback, use it.
  • Look through the stuff I bookmarked a few times a week, to either blog a few links on a topic, or jot down a few thoughts.
  • Use small chunks of time to write a few lines, 10 minutes on the train will do and will add up.
  • Link back to more of my existing postings if I want to add context and let the reader decide to go down the rabbithole of my musings.
  • Delete sidepaths, associations, contextual stuff while writing something (I deleted at least half a page of additional stuff while writing this posting)
  • Create and use ‘templates’ or repeating styles for certain types of postings, so as not to start from scratch. E.g. I’ve been posting some week notes recently and I use an empty template for it, which speeds up the writing, as it provides a clear path, where a blank screen allows me to go down all kinds of other paths.
  • Stop trying to be complete or exhaustive with linking to other sources, a few links suffice to weave the web as it is meant to be after all.
  • No need for pictures in every post, let alone the ‘perfect’ image to illustrate something.
  • Allow imperfection and unfinishedness. It doesn’t matter, if the purpose is to keep a log, or trigger interaction.
  • Writing is its own purpose. Produce first, improve later.
  • Stop.

10 thoughts on “How to Blog More?

  1. Something that has changed things dramatically for me is setting up the ability to post text, photos and sounds to my blog via email. This has reduced the friction involved in posting, and has allowed me to write more often, more spontaneously, from more places.

    The system I hacked together to allow this is relatively masking-tape-and-baling-wire, and involved email to a Postmarkapp email processor, which then fires a webhook on the server that hosts my Drupal blog, which then runs a PHP script that creates a new Drupal node, pulling out any MP3 or JPEG attachments and adding them to the post.

    But once I had it working, it just works, and the process of posting can be as simple as taking a picture, clicking the Android “share” icon, and sending the photo by email to my blog’s special email address.

    • Yes, I think you’re right Peter, making posting very low-threshold e.g. by mailing postings will improve my blogging. It’s what made sharing to FB so easy, once you started: being able to share from any stream to it.

  2. 2 ideas feel free to disregard 🙂

    1. post something once a day to your blog no matter how brief or draft or work in progress, works for me, i’ve been doing this for 2 years or so on rolandtanglao.com #ymmv (don’t understand you krazy 🙂 long form blog post writers)

    2. use a wiki for your continuously updated, knowledge garden (do you have a wiki? i can’t find it if you do) I need to start my own wiki in 2018 (w*kipedia’s culture is toxic so i refuse to post to their wiki)

    • hi Roland, thanks for dropping by. Ad 1, I found that setting goals like that never worked for me. Also doesn’t for other habits. I need to build habits a different way apparently.

      Ad 2. I used to have public wiki but it became a pain to maintain (keep it spam free etc), and it felt wrong to have all those incomplete bits / outdated stuff etc. It would just make me feel like having another maintenance task. I also used a wiki for notetaking on my own laptop locally. That worked, except for being able to save all kinds of snippets, media etc., like I can in Evernote. If there’s a wiki with that kind of functionality, I might very well trade my Evernote for it.

      • re 1. i don’t have goals, i just do things 🙂 i blog like i take photos because i have too just like breathing and walking 🙂
        finally i don’t drop by 🙂 i subscribe via RSS and read all your blog posts so looking forward to your non goal non habit blog posts 🙂
        re 2. no need for a wiki that allows others to add stuff or even comment because spam management isn’t worth it, just for your public knowledge that changes but you’d like to keep up to date. someday i’ll start mine 🙂

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