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The Grind and Crunch of Blog Production

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A short piece by Fred of A VC fame about the time of day (early morning) that he finds to write prompted me to think of what I can only describe as the grind and crunch of blog production.

This is a topic that I don't see bloggers talk about very often. You see a great many generalities of course about finding time and making room in your life to write but there's really something more fundamental at stake than that: bloggers and writers in general must have a neurotic, incessant, nearly haunting drive to get in front of a keyboard hour-after-hour, day-after-day in order to find popular success (which we can roughly define as a large-ish regular readership).

This is something – a condition – that you're born with, I'd wager. You either have it or you don't, and I'd be curious to hear someone describe a case where a writer developed this of sheer will.

Writing a blog is akin to generating a daily or nearly daily newspaper. Most blogs are one-person operations, so keeping the hum of the e-press going day in and day out – kids screaming, boss bawling, spouse lamenting – takes an enormous amount of staying power that is driven by the nightmare question lurking in the back of the blogger's brain: what will I write about next, and when will I write it?

And perhaps most important of all: will anyone care?

That mania forces the serious blogger to shove other responsibilities aside to get at that computer, to attack with a ferocity that will compel others in the digital void to take notice. That passion shines through and wins because it must.

So it's a mania driven of ego and fears and dreams, a blessed/cursed realm that all seriously drawn to the craft inhabit.

Stephen King describes writing a novel in On Writing as something close to trying to cross the Atlantic in a bathtub. I would agree as I've sunk (plunk to the depths) every time I've attempted this time-slurping and perilous voyage.

Blogging may be like trying to circle the globe on foot… and never stopping.

The grind and the crunch of blog production, I salute thee. I submit.

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  • Marcia L. Neil

    Blog publication also engenders some casualties, as well — the difference between a ‘beach bum’ blog and a ‘manufacturers’ rep blog is a stretcher.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Yes, you’re right Marcia. One of the areas I’d like to write about and explore further in the future is the difference between “casual” and “professional” blogging. There are a huge number of worlds that exist under the hood of the blogosphere, of course, and they all deserve some definition and exploration.

  • http://sterfish.blogspot.com Sterfish

    I started blogging when I was unemployed, so I did the daily, multiple-posts-per-day thing at the beginning. Once I started working, though, I found that I never really could manage updating daily and working. Even though I’ve been employed and blogging for two years, my posting schedule is still erratic.

    I’ve all but given up on courting a “readership” for my blog. Instead, I just try to write good stuff and know that through more dynamic places like BC, people will end up reading it anyway.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    In the end it’s all about finding balance and achieving the goals that you set out for yourself, Sterfish. The outside job/life factor is a huge one, and it’s great that you can find a way to weave blogging into your life/schedule in a way that’s meaningful for you.

    And it’s great that you’ve found a home for your great writing at BC as well !

  • Marcia L. Neil

    I tried to give my perspective at http://www.cadillacstory.com (it’s already given in album theme ‘Mink DeVille’ selection ‘Cadillac Walk’), but was redirected off AOL altogether. Code name ‘Cadillac Walk’ is a stretch of St. Lucie Boulevard south of SE Ocean Boulevard in Stuart, FL where the road passes over a watery slough without guard rails. The number of crosses alongside the road and sidewalk is a testament to the hazardous nature of the stretch — even after resurfacing — and the situation is the very stuff that blogs were intended to report (not chat) about.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Marcia — I tried to check out your perspective but unfortunately don’t have the right version of flash running on my (sort of ancient) computer I’m stuck on for the moment. What’s the gist?

  • Marcia L. Neil

    The gist is that cars move around a curve southward/northward and suddenly two large mudholes appear on each side of the road [‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’]adjacent to the sidewalks — no reflectors or railings at the water’s edge. The drivers’ ed books suggest a burst of speed to round curves, with a necessary + to rush past the slough, with the sidewalk serving as a sort of selvage.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Interesting — you mention that you feel that bloggers should “report, not chat.” What does that mean?

  • Marcia L. Neil

    The appropriate word ‘weblog’, shortened to cost-effective length, is usually different from repartee by definition. [And, story posting to http://www.mycadillacstory.com was finally successful.]