My writing on the blog has been a bit sketchy lately. Posts haven’t been very long or very detailed. Some might say boring, even. This may all very well be true. I ended yesterday’s post with the question why I would write a post anyway, if I know it is gonna suck. There’s a couple of reasons, some good, some silly, but they’re good for a post.
1. A post is a post – This sounds silly, but it isn’t. At least I think not. If you want to write, or become better at writing, the best thing you can do is write a lot. Only by writing more you get better. It doesn’t matter what you write. It can be a pile of horse shit. As long as there are words that form a sentence or two, it counts as writing. Nobody said that writing needs to be good. But practice makes perfect. Even a shabby post will train your writing. Better to write a failed post and learn from it, than to not write it at all. So you need to train regularly, which brings me to:
2. Writing routine – I decided that my writing routine would be daily. It has become a daily grind for me, and some days a bit of an obsession. I think the routine bit is important. We all complain that we don’t have time, and that we can’t do stuff we want to. It’s bullshit. If you don’t do something that you claim to want, often it’s because you don’t want it enough. Everyone can schedule in a 15 minute slot per day to work on something, whether it’s something creative like painting, drawing or writing, or even sports. I’m guilty too. I complain that I don’t move enough, don’t do yoga enough. Reality is that I could work on all these things, and still have time left. I just don’t want to do them bad enough. I bet the same is true for you too. For me, writing was important enough to schedule it in every day. A routine. It doesn’t take me long to write a post, usually anywhere between 5 – 60 minutes, with most posts below half an hour. By making it a routine, it becomes a non-negotiable part of the daily grind. Like taking a shower, preparing coffee, having dinner, or putting the kids to bed. It helps to have a routine. There’s no debate what to do with the time, you already know. It is hard, and it is definitely hard to keep up. What helps me is:
3. Momentum – Once you have reached a certain point, it becomes a bit of a prestige to yourself to keep the hard work going. One of my strong drivers for writing daily is that I take pride in being able to say I wrote 250+ daily posts in a row. The first posts were hard to write, and awful to read I guess, but once you get that momentum going, everything will be easier. For keeping momentum, not breaking the chain is somewhat essential. If I skip it once, I’ll skip it again. I’m a lazy fucker, trying to find a way out. Maintaining the daily momentum is key to this blog’s survival. Once I decide not to post for one day, I can assure you that this lazy behaviour will become a recurring pattern. Until I stop posting entirely. It has to be daily.
4. Some readers like crap – This is a bit silly, too. I generally don’t enjoy writing the shorter crap posts, and I’m not proud of them either. However, it seems like the posts that I find poor – or wrote almost jokingly – get better views, while the posts that I’m proud of – and wrote with the hope that they would help someone – barely get attention. I can’t really grasp why and how these numbers work the way they do. There doesn’t seem to be a law for this.
5. The golden percentile – It is very hard to predict what a post will do. Some will fly, some will die. There’s a very very low percentile of posts that is somehow picked up by the masses, and gets the deserved readership. Now, if you post three times a year, that’ll happen once every three decades. Maybe. If you write every day, it might just happen that you strike gold a few times per year. I’m not in it for the numbers – I write whether there are three or three hundred people reading – but I have to admit, it feels good when people show appreciation for some of the work. The golden percentile becomes a side goal, but s goal nonetheless.
6. Storytelling – There’s story in everything. Most of us just aren’t very good at telling it. I’m not saying I am fantastic at it, but I appreciate the art form. I want to achieve the level of storytelling skill where I can make you sit on the edge of your seat with a story about tying shoelaces, or whatever. I know, there’s a long way to go. But coming up with story out of nothing is a very unique skill that not many have, and everyone should desire to have. Good storytellers are the most fun people. I wouldn’t mind being part of that group. Would you?
So there you go, six reasons why I write daily, even if I don’t have shit to say.