I’ve been doing some blogger self-examination, and I’ve come to the conclusion that lately, I’ve been hawking some weak sauce. For future reference, I’ve compiled the recipe here. Appropriately, I’ve broken it out into 5 Fs…:
- Faking it to make it. Sometimes, when you walk into the temple, it’s easy to get blinded by the idols and forget your own religion. Meaning, if you spend all day reading (and perhaps being intimidated by) the wisdom and insights of Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn, it might be easy to feel that you should be more like them. Not true. They’re them. You’re you. I’m me. And that’s all we can be. Speaking of that…
- Forgetting your roots. At the beginning of the year, everyone was talking about their “three words” to which they would tie their goals and actions for the year. I feel like a blog should have three words, too. With what purpose did we set on this blogging course, and what are the stars that guide us? Lately, I feel like I’ve neglected some of the subjects that, when I started this blog nearly a year ago, made blogging really exciting for me. I realized, while strolling the Commonwealth Mall on Saturday, that it had been a long time since I had blogged about my own urban tourism. And while pecking away at The Project, I realized I hadn’t blogged through any of my thoughts or ideas on that topic in a while.
- Forcing it. Per my earlier post about not publishing just because the shiny blue button lets you, only a well thought out post should see the light of day. I’m usually pretty good at this — lots of drafts never make it to prime time, some after hours of hacking away reveal the seed of an idea just can’t quite become a flowering plant — but sometimes, the shiny blueness gets the best of me.
- Falling in love with your own words. The toughest thing about being a blogger is being your own editor. At first blush, we adore our ideas and fawn over our wordcraft. But independent bloggers have a responsibility to police and challenge themselves. Sometimes, that’s like ratting on your spouse. When it comes to writing, though, true love is tough love.
- Flying blind. One of the great things about blogging is the potential for spontaneous pontification or response. But that doesn’t replace the need to have a plan in place. Call it an editorial calendar, call it a half-dozen drafts in WordPress, whatever works for you. But at least having the general framework of a schedule and a structure around your blogging can help alleviate the anxiety sometimes causes by the blank editing pane or the increasingly distant date of your last post.
I don’t lay this all out by way of a giant mea culpa or as a self-flagellatory exercise. But as I was thinking through how I might improve my blogging, I thought others might find these reminders helpful.
What helps you keep your blog on track?
Photo by Creative_Tools, Flickr/Creative Commons