As anyone who has followed my website for more than a few months may have realized, I tend to go through cycles of writing where I can write beautifully and coherently one month while the next month I can't even string together a subject and verb.
I'll go even further and say that my writing has sucked for most of this website's existence. It seems that since I am not writing for school, I am therefore not supposed to put as much thought into my writing. The harsh reality is that I am supposed to put even more effort into my writing, as is anyone who writes for the web.
Almost every single post (with only a few possible exceptions) has been the product of, oh, about half an hour's work at most. Clearly this is not enough effort. Perhaps it is enough effort, though.
For the relatively shoddy content I've been outputting minimal effort was needed. Such are the evils of blogging.
They say it allows everyone a voice. They say the blogging population doubles every 6 months. They say it takes under 5 minutes to create a blog.
I've fallen into the trap that we call the blogosphere, the trap where, at any time, from virtually any place, even from our phones, we can publish our thoughts on anything. This is the 90% crap. We take five minutes to compose a post that is just crap and will get you nowhere if you want to gain readership. This is exactly what I've been doing for this site. Of my eighty-something posts, I would say that less than 10% are good. For clarity's sake, we'll say that I've published 5 articles that I deem "not crap" over a period of 6 months.
This is unacceptable to my readers, the internet, and especially me.
I've always thought myself a relatively smart person. I like thinking and I like learning. Yet here I am, writing utter crap. That is not what makes you a smart.
So the question for me becomes: "How can I make my content better?" Well, for starters, I can think about what I'm writing. I can figure out what I can and want to say about certain topics. I can develop my thoughts and write them down in short, coherent sentences that I can later expand upon.
Second, I can take the time to make my writing and content better. Taking this time is half the battle. To echo a cliché, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Likewise, great content isn't generated in a half hour or even an hour. Most of this time, as stated by pretty much everyone (including my very insightful history teacher), the majority of your time should be spent editing a piece of writing. I've had a lot of teachers that say, "Cut the fat," an apt phrase for any writing, including blogging. 90% of my posts aren't even run through a spell/grammar checker; they're edited manually. This needs to change – for everyone, not just me.
Just because you or me or he can press a button to publish content does not excuse you or me or him from sub-par content.
Let the ideas develop and the read over them with an editor's mentality. I did exactly that with this very post. I started writing this post thinking it would be a two paragraph post about my writing cycles. Look what it turned into.
I will now be stopping the leak. I am hereby going to start thinking about what I write in an effort to create more intelligent content. For those of you who like my informal and lucrative style of writing, don't worry. I won't lose my sense of humor.
Please learn from my example and think before you post. Just as you are considered an idiot for crossing the street without looking both ways and then getting hit by a car, the entire internet will consider you an idiot if you don't put some thought into your writing. You and I both need to take the time to publish interesting/informative/awesome content. Let's not fall into this trap we call blogging.
If you're sick of reading my rant then read this article by Paul Graham. He is brilliant.
P.S. See what comes of a vacation with a lot of free time to think? As a result of this post, I will be posting a little less frequently, but with a lot better content hopefully.
Discovered after this post was written: You, to, Can Right Like a Blogger