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Why Write a Blog Post When You Have Nothing to Say?

Illustration © HikingArtist.com

I don’t imagine I am the first person to sit down to write a blog post and think, ‘I don’t really have the enthusiasm for this’, or ‘I’m not sure I have anything to write about’. (I mean this hardly even just applies to blog posts. This is writing in general.)

But it is a particularly urgent feeling with blog posts, because the idea presses upon us that if a blog is not regularly updated, any readers lose interest. (And not a ridiculous idea — if I like a particular blogger, I want them to write regularly.)

But what is the point? Why update a blog out of fear that no one will read your blog if you don’t? No one will read your blog if you don’t write with enthusiasm, either.

I know this, but that does not rid me of the compulsion. I feel I ought to write something because, if anyone is interested in this blog — and there is no guarantee of that, even those who follow it might receive the email and delete it, even those who read it might have no interest in what they read, even those who read all the way through might forget what they have read a moment later — then the least they expect is regular content.

But this is not a good use of writing time. Writing is pointless if you don’t enjoy the process. Are we struggling with writing in the hope that one day we might be able to make a living from this unenjoyable, pain-inducing activity?

So I’m setting myself some rules about posting on this blog. I know what I want the blogs I read to do for me — that’s what I want mine to do for other people:

  • No posting simply because of the time gap since the last post. (Adam Curtis writes infrequently, but at length and invariably interestingly. [On the other hand, when was the last time I read his blog?])
  • Posts must derive from notebook notes – in other words they must have started as an improvisation. The less forced, the more they come from a momentary enthusiasm, the better the writing.
  • Posts must fit the theme of the blog – in my case, the tyranny of careers and the joy of work for yourself. Not just something interesting I saw today on the Internet on a different subject. When I read blogs I follow I want to know they will stick to their theme, which is the reason I follow them. (Sharing other things of interest can happen elsewhere. I like posting interesting things I find about the writing process, but that is not the subject here, and can go on tumblr.
  • Most of all I must enjoy writing the posts. All writing is practice, is morning pages, is trying to make progress. I want to think of it this way, I want to revel in the joyous process that is writing words, attempting to clarify ideas. (And yes – I have quite enjoyed writing this post.)

So then we have it. A post about the potential pointlessness of writing blog posts. Til (possibly much) later.

Recent links on careers, fulfilling work and writing:

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