Arbitrary Restrictions, Deadlines and Posting Crap.

It was a long time ago now, getting near to 3 years, when I made the decision to start publishing something on a week-daily basis to this blog. I can’t really say what drove me to do that, it certainly wasn’t because I was rolling in page views and I had an audience hungry for more content¹. For the first couple months the writing came easy since I was just mostly posting my opinion on one thing or another but you can only keep posting opinions about things for so long before you feel you’ve said all you need to say on those soft issues, at least when you’re trying to write to a deadline.

I’m not the only one suffering from this either, it seems:

Whilst I didn’t make the connection between my off days when I post inane crap because I can’t find anything better to write about (although I have been told that those off days are some of my best writing, go figure) and the mainstream media I can definitely understand it now. I had just always assumed that people getting paid to do this had a much better process of finding something to write about rather than my haphazard daily troll of other blogs, YouTube clips and news aggregation sites hoping that an article triggers that writing spark in the back of my head.

The restriction of daily posting, or it seems any deadline, is definitely what leads me to post what I feel is lesser quality work. In the beginning the wanting to write was what drove me but after a couple months of near daily posts it morphed from a routine into a habit, one that I’ve had a terrible time at breaking. It also doesn’t help that Google seems to punish me if I stray from my posting schedule, further reinforcing the behavior. I could probably circumvent the Google punishment if I tried hard enough (by writing with SEO in mind more) but I feel that’d erode the intentions of my blog further than me posting some crud every so often.

Funnily enough it seems that the solution to my problem may be found in adding more restrictions rather than lifting my current one. My goal of doing 1 game review per week for the entire year (I’ve only missed 1 week so far and have every intention to catch that up) has been an amazing experience, seeing me play all sorts of games that I wouldn’t have given a second thought to otherwise. It also means that I spend one less day a week wondering what the hell I’m going to write about in the morning, even if the time investment to getting that post there is orders of magnitude above anything else I’ve written.

It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone in your suffering, even if it doesn’t help you overcome that immediate problem. I all too often think that the problems I experience are because I was never really good at this writing thing in the first place only to find out later that no, all writers struggle with the same problems. At least then I can share in their misery and maybe even help out a little if I get the chance to, although it seems we’re much more likely to suffer in silence than to say anything about it.

Well, unless it makes for good blog fodder that is 😉

¹Indeed for the first couple months of its life I was happy that this blog would have a day that didn’t have 0 views. I’ve also been told in no uncertain terms that my initial attempt at being a blogger was crap, but usually in the same breath as saying that I’ve vastly improved since then (which I always appreciate hearing).

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