Writing I find easy. Putting it into the world is hard.
This month, I’ve been trying to publish a blog post every day. It’s not been easy to keep up the pace, particularly when I’ve been travelling. One post was finished on a train back from Gatwick; others have been written just before going to bed. But it was an useful experiment.
It’s not the first time I’ve attempted this. I tried it a couple of time this year, alongside two friends. These attempts didn’t go so well, with me flaking out very early in one of them, pissing one of the friends off. This time has definitely not been easy, and a few times I’ve relied on old posts I drafted without publishing (like I said, I find the writing bit easy). But I’ve finally succeeded.
I’ve felt some publication anxiety, but I’m still pretty happy with everything I’ve written. But posting a blog in 2017 feels a little archaic. There’s much less audience than there was, since most people are tied up on Facebook – and Facebook is not interested in pointing people towards personal sites.
Even with a small readership, this is also proving useful for writing on larger projects. Earlier this year, I tried to pull together a collection of pieces about commuting. It was a disaster, as I could not get it to cohere. Maybe the blogging will be a more successful way of doing this. I’ve got a lot of notes on Vindaloo, tourism and curry, which I’m slowly making into something larger. Writing short sections as blog posts forces me to finish passages, and gives me a better feel for the project than lots of notes.
Blogging is also a good way of processing the massive amount of information I take in. A few months back, I quoted Warren Ellis: “If we’re not doing something with the information we’re taking in, then we’re just pigs at the media trough.” These posts put this information into a larger structure. It also acts as a brake on the amount of information I take in, giving a way to see how relevant it is.
I’m going to continue this for another month and see how this goes. It will be challenging as I’ll be away from my laptop for a few days; and the supply of almost-written draft posts is dwindling. I’m also going to look at building a little more audience.Blogs used to get fairly high google rankings, which brought a lot of random traffic. These days, that traffic is caught by other sites, and there are very few people using RSS readers. So the question becomes, is it possible to blog and get enough readers to make it worth doing?
Anyway: I wrote 30 posts in August (the 31st being this one). The others are listed below.
- 28th The Forgotten Sport of Piano Smashing
- 24th My Favourite Books of 2016 – and the best so far this year
- 18th The October Ritual
- 10th Horror and Harlow
- 8th Bob Lives!
- 5th Manhole
- 3rd Passionate Machine!
- 26th The Joys of the Lonely Planet
- 23rd Why bother making my own food
- 14th Lonely Planet
- 13th More on politics and curry
- 12th The worst Indian meal I ever had
- 11th Slices of Balti
- 7th David Cameron’s Curry Curse
- 6th Brexit Curry
- 2nd My chilli plant is a dick
- 25th Some notes on remote working
- 17th A Day at an Alexa Workshop
- 16th Microservices for the monolith
- 15th The Complexity ofJava
- 9th Discipline vs. scheduling
- 4th The best answer to the factorial code interview question
- 1st Alexa, Please
- 30th Walking the Ridgeway (Days 1 and 2)
- 29th A lunch-time adventure in Brighton: the stone circle
- 27th How a simple walk changed British politics
- 22nd A business trip walk – Ulysses Episode 1
- 21st A walk to the Devil’s Punchbowl
- 20th In Search of Andy Goldsworthy
- 19th Walkerpunk