One of my readers sent me a link to today's New York Times article on blogging titled "In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Til They Drop."
I find it touching that someone would think of me while reading the article. :) Actually, I read a sneak peak of the article in yesterday's Blog Herald. It made me think hard about how much I've been posting lately.
Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.
Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
“I haven't died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I'll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”
“This is not sustainable,” he said.
The article exposes the negative physical effects of blogging not often mentioned -- sleep disorders, weight loss/gain, nervous breakdown, and heart disease. In the addictive drive to write more and more posts, the blogger often embraces an unhealthy physical lifestyle.
If I didn't have blogging and podcasting as my hobbies, I would probably lead a more active lifestyle, would go to sleep earlier, and might be more productive in all my other endeavors.
Anytime that any hobby, be it blogging or basketball, begins to hinder your health, stop posting/playing so much. Unless you're making a living from it, no hobby should detract from your mental/social/physical health.
On the other hand, blogging and podcasting energizes me and makes me enthusiastic about life and my career. Since my wife also blogs, our blogs have given us a lot to talk about.
Blogging gives me a sounding board and a space to publish my thoughts. The rewards of blogging are numerous -- interacting with others, engaging in exchanges about the latest trends, thinking analytically about the day's events. It makes life a lot more engaging.
Most of all, blogging gives me a space to write and allows me to express the creative side of me that is often left dormant during the day with technical writing.
How can one put aside the negative effects of blogging? I'm not a model example of what I'll recommend, but here are 5 tips I'm trying to implement:
Do you have any tips to avoid the physical dark side of blogging?
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.