When I’m bored and not inspired enough to write something, I sometimes read silly things like blogging tips. They always seem to include the obvious, like “write interesting things” and “allow your personality to show through.” They also all seem to include, “always blog on a regular schedule.”
Somehow, this doesn’t seem to work for me. When I raised the question at the tea blogging roundtable at World Tea Expo last month, I couldn’t find a single serious tea blogger that blogged on a regular schedule. Why is that?
According to the pundits, having a regular update schedule gives your readers something to look forward to.
But what does a regular update schedule do to the quality of your blog?
I understand deadlines in the magazine and newspaper business. I’ve been on both sides of those. And books. The editor needs to know when the manuscript will be complete to schedule copyediting and cover design and all of that other fun stuff. None of that, however, applies to a blog.
In my humble opinion, a blog like this one can be badly damaged by the obsessive urge to post on a schedule.
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
— Douglas Adams
I do not presume here to speak for other bloggers. In fact, I would love to hear the opinions of other bloggers in my comments. Speaking just for myself, then, I believe that two things inspire good blog posts: inspiration and breaking news. Neither of those things is enough by itself. They both require passion and at least a smidgeon of writing skill.
Neither of those things happens on a schedule.
I may see something new and interesting while scanning a news site, tea blog, newsletter, or even Facebook or Twitter. What would be the appropriate reaction?
(A) This is cool! I must let all of my readers know about this post haste while I’m still excited about it and it’s still news!
(B) This is cool! I must put this on my schedule of things to write about. How does three weeks from Thursday sound?
I don’t know about you, but for me writing it now produces a good blog post, and by the time three weeks from Thursday rolls around something else has caught my interest.
“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”
— Louis E. Boone
Or what about the flipside? It’s blog update day. My deadline is coming at me like an enraged ROUS (that’s Rodent of Unusual Size for those of you who aren’t fans of The Princess Bride) with its tail on fire. I can’t think of a bloody thing to write about. I scratch out something marginally adequate, thus making my deadline. My dear readers say, “Gary’s certainly off his game lately, isn’t he? Mayhaps we should read Robert Godden instead. He’s not boring.” I’m having a hard time seeing the win in this scenario.
I will continue, then, writing for my blogs when the spirit moves me or when I have something to write about. I really do try to get in about a post a week on this blog and two or three posts a month on my other blog. This is my sixth post this month on Tea With Gary. I think I’ll celebrate with a nice cup of pu-erh.
Mind if I close with a little bit of xkcd? Of course you don’t. Unless you don’t like four-letter words. In that case, stop reading now.