Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Wednesday January 21 2009

Bloggers like me, in other words.  I don’t know how “successful” this blog of mine has been, but I am convinced that one of its attractions is that I keep putting stuff up.  It helps that my “put stuff up every day” rule often results in stuff that is a good deal better than that rule suggests, although not always of course.  What I mean is that I start to put up something mundane, but then a thought that is perhaps a little better than mundane occurs to me, and it immediately gets said.  Whereas if I were not writing at the time the thought struck, it would be lost and gone.  It occurs to me that “It occurs to me that ...” is a phrase I often use.

For many, this something-every-day rule would not suit at all.  Writers who write well and entertainingly only when they have something big and important to say, but cannot simply hustle up something diverting by the mere act of starting to write, should follow their own rule and their own rhythm.  But for me, the something-every-day rules seems to work well.  I hope you agree.  Presumably you do, or you’d have been long gone.

This rule of mine, imposed by me on me, often results in bizarre self-imposed deadline angst.  It may seem idiotic – it is idiotic – but many have been the evenings when I have delayed sticking stuff up here until the very end of the evening.  I blog daily therefore I am.  Obeying this rule isn’t the whole story of my life.  I do have some other reasons to claim that I, as it were, am.  But it has become a big part of it.  Let an entire day go by, and soon I would be letting clutches of days, weeks even, go by.  And then it would become: I am a daily blogger who doesn’t actually blog daily, so; I am ... not.  Horror.

Once, I took a two month break, as you can see if you trawl through the months in my monthly archive, to your left.  Not that you would, but if you did.  But that was different.  I was on a break.  I’ll be back, I said, and I was.

Actually, my something-every-day rule has been relaxed by me somewhat, to something-before-I-go-to-bed-even-if-it’s-more-like-2 am-the-next-morning.  Then I fiddle the time to make the date go back to the previous day.  Perhaps you’ve noticed, if you live in my time zone.  It’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want to.  We all have our various compromises that are acceptable, and others that are not.  Once – just once – I seem to remember backdating a posting by about eight hours, having already slept for several hours and with clear next-day daylight outside.  Mea culpa.  And on another occasion I cheated by a similar number of hours because although I had written it, I had forgotten to actually publish it.  But mostly, and as I say apart from quite frequent cheating during the very small hours of the next morning, I stay on track.

So anyway, if the above subterfuges are in any way familiar to you, my advice is: if you are a self-imposed daily blogger like me, try to post something (anything) quite early in the day.  Do that, and you can then wallow in the luxury of nearly two whole days before the daily rigmarole begins again.

I suppose, if I wanted a short break without visibly taking one, I could also do what I used to do over Christmas (before the days of Jesus the Micro Laptop and Jesus’s Internet Dongle), and write about four postings at once and pre-date them, to manifest themselves daily.  But I’ve never really felt right with that.  What if an atom bomb goes off, and there I am still blogging about, basically, kittens?  (I know, the internet would not be at its best either, but you get my point.)

This nonsense was written, and with any luck will be posted, before noon today.  Deep joy.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a post-every-day rule, just to see what happens.  I probably have two or three posts a day in me, but can’t post because I’m busy with something else and then, just like you say, it ends up lost and gone.  What I’d really like is a direct connection from brain to blog.

Posted by Rob Fisher on 21 January 2009

Four postings in advance…

A colleague did a whole maternity leave’s worth in advance.

Posted by Matt Wardman on 22 January 2009

I was a daily blogger too, but am currently suffering from complete lack of anything to say. It is putting me in a panic because I feel that if I stop, then I will never start again.  I have decided to keep writing, even if it is crap and try to push through the blankness.

But is true how you start writing something crap and later you can think of a way to make it a million times better.

Posted by Po on 24 January 2009
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