Why do I go on blogging breaks so often?

Sometimes,  blogging slows down because of unavoidable reasons – work, family or travel interfere.  Other times, what happens is that I get fixated on a particular long post that I want to write. Usually, it is a bad idea for me  to write posts. It is the posts that write themselves.  So, when this long post refuses to write itself, I end up writing a few lines every day, with the result that a few days later, I think that the post is a complete mess, and needs to be rewritten. The prospect daunts me, and I don’t have time. So, I am stuck in a loop.

The worst is when a combination of the two reasons happen. Work forces me into a reasonably long break, and then I decide that when I come back, my first post just has to be about some recent event – like the elections, Article 377, or about Manmohan Singh’s capitulation in Egypt, or something. Then the post refuses to write itself, and I am stuck in another loop, and then another event occurs that absolutely has to be written about.

The solution is to first, get out of the topicality trap. I may write about the elections or article 377, but it will be when I choose to. If my post on the election is worth reading, it will be worth reading even if I write it a year after the election. Second, I should adopt the Fire and Motion strategy.  As long as I keep writing some short post every day, The Examined Life will maintain the momentum and the longer posts will write themselves.

Or, the second point may backfire – I may keep writing the short posts and never write the long one. But at any rate, I don’t see how things can be worse than these long shutdowns of my blog.

3 thoughts on “Restart

  1. bad posts are better than no posts. also, you are not the best judge as to which of your posts are good, so you shouldn’t filter. just keep writing away and good posts will happen.

  2. here’s felix salmon on the topic:

    When to blog?

    As always, there’s a trade-off between quantity and quality. Should you write more, with lower quality, or less, with higher quality? Fortunately, the blogosphere has been around for long enough that we have a simple empirical answer to this question: given the choice, go for quantity over quality. You might not like it — I certainly don’t — but I defy you to name a really good blogger who doesn’t blog frequently.

    Often bloggers are the worst judges of their own work; I can give you hundreds of personal examples of blog entries I thought were really good which disappeared all but unnoticed, and of blog entries I thought were tossed-off throwaways which got enormous traction and distribution. Mostly, blogging is a lottery on the individual-blog-entry level — and if you want to win the lottery, your best chance of doing so is to maximize the number of lottery tickets you buy.

  3. I think long and sensible posts are your forte. I don’t mind the long pauses. For short and superficial stuff, one can always read Amit Varma.

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