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When you don't feel like blogging, is it time to blog?

by Tom Johnson on Jul 27, 2008 •
categories: bloggingtechnical-writing

You've probably heard the saying, when you don't feel like praying, pray. When you don't feel like serving, serve. Feelings follow actions, so as soon as you start doing something, eventually you start feeling the desire to do it. But is the same true for blogging? If you don't feel like blogging, is it time to blog?

This past couple of weeks I haven't felt much like blogging or podcasting. Not sure why. I spent a good chunk of time doing some web design, preparing for a WordPress course, helping Shannon with her blog, and finishing up a project for an upcoming release at work.

With all that, my free time for blogging grew thinner and thinner. And the less you write, the less the muse speaks. After a while I wondered what I would even write about. I didn't have much to say. Coming up with something original required too much effort. Then it was Pioneer day, and we went camping in the woods.

Up at Bear Lake, Utah with kids

Little comments continued to trickle in from random readers. One liners. Short feedback. No one I knew. Regular readers seemed to stop coming. And I stopped reading other blogs. I was about to slip into a blogging coma. Where was it going anyway?

My lack of desire to blog made me wonder about something I once heard Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch say. He said blogging was a terrible business model because you have to keep posting new content every day to draw readers. It's like grabbing a handful of sand. Slowly the sand seeps through the cracks between your finders unless you reach down and grab more of it (by writing new posts). Blogging isn't a web 2.0 activity in the sense that readers themselves continue to generate new content for you.

Blogging does require a lot of effort. Blogging daily is like filling a part-time job. I know why so few technical writers blog. It takes time, and effort, and the rewards aren't always immediate or tangible.

But as people often say of writing, you know you're a writer when you can't stop writing. It's not an activity I can simply give up (just as, I suppose, born-Badminton players can't give up Badminton). So, I'm back. Not worrying too much about SEO and building an online empire anymore. Just .... writing.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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