#2: Now and Then

One of the rules I have set for myself when blogging is that I should have two posts every week. This rule is tighter compared to the other rules I have set (such as limiting your posts to 300-1000 words and not using any swear words). But that is necessary if I don’t want to see my blog stare at oblivion. That rule guarantees that if I’m not pumped up for writing, then there is no way out for me to procrastinate.

The freedom to write at anytime you want in your blog is sometimes a curse; in the midst of the everyday grind, your blog may recede in your mind, further and further, until you have forgotten that blog post that should have been. If that persists, then the blog will give off a final gasp and become deposited in the black hole of the Net. The rule I have placed makes it impossible for me to say “I’m not in the mood.” It bans me from flaking. I have better do what it takes to make a blog post that hangs together. Even if it be like clothing sewn from rags. I need something to wear every week, that’s all.

So I have my golden rule: two blog posts a week. Of course I won’t attempt to be dishonest. It means two standard blog posts a week; it does not mean that I can turn single sentences into blog posts. That would be deceiving myself. (Unless I want to become a master aphorist, like La Rochefoucauld or Nietzsche, who wrote one-liners worth more than the television claptrap turned out by the masses. But then they had to produce rough drafts too.)

At the minimum, two posts a week ensure that my writing juices are up and that I won’t lose my audience. However, my ultimate goal is improvement. Having regular blog posts help ensure that I am improving because of effort and mistake-spotting. How will you ever know whether a blog will click after less than five posts? Some bloggers labor for years before they achieve superstar status.

Intuitively, you may think similarly, so here is an analogy: Just because you messed up the first day of the first class you’ve ever been, or even at your first year of education, doesn’t mean that you are doomed to be a failure for your whole life. I’m not really aiming to become a smash-hit blogger, in the midst of hundreds of millions of blogs in the disconcertingly spacious expanse that is cyberspace; it’s enough for my blog to begin as a dim light that grows brighter per post.

Of course, regularly blogging about something ensures that there is always some piece of writing for me to think about. I can analyze works from the dead masters or from the best contemporary writers, some of which may be bloggers themselves, but there’s not as much as commitment involved as the time I put my own writing on the spot. Maybe I can learn many things from the greats, but there should be some writing in the first place where I can apply them. Also, of course I wouldn’t know when the ultimate answers may arrive, or whether they will really come, so the only reasonable thing to do is to carry on instead of waiting for them to fall down.

Two posts a week. If I write bad posts, then there’s no excusing myself from their existence. I’ll just remind myself of the bad points and their silliness (as they’ll seem after I look back at this after 50 years with a neuron-powered Internet) but I’ll keep dragging myself to my laptop and make new posts that I reckon to be better. There’s no permitting myself the luxury of rosy retrospection, no memory of things that were once better, because everything just gets better. I’m in no way putting myself in the position of the people who were successful but got flapjacked in one way or another and then quit because of that.

Although now leads to the future, now is not the future, and now is when I should be doing something.

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