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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Writing Impulses & Failing at Blogging

So I've been trying to get back into blogging properly (once again), because firstly I really enjoy it and secondly I actually believe that there is a tangible benefit to having a well-read & -trafficked blog (even if only to stroke my ego).

The age-old problem however remains: doesn't matter how much I try get to a point where I'm blogging daily (my current aim - or "dream" - is to blog 5 times a week, Monday through Friday), most of my days just don't allow for that. See, either I get stuck doing actual work (since blogging can't be regarded as actual work) or I'm doing a lot of writing over at WooThemes or I'm just not in the mood / inspired to publish something here.

Blah, blah, blah... Same old excuses... And I'm not intending this to be one of those posts where I set myself lofty blogging goals, promise you that things will be different this time and that I'll actually be publishing some value stuff here regularly. That'd be bullshit.

So to counter some of those issues I sometimes face to blog daily (lack of time or lack of inspiration), I decided that I would be doing two things:

  1. I'd make a concerted effort to at least write down any ideas for blog posts as I have them, which means that on those days when inspiration deserts me, I'll have something to write about; and
  2. When I have some free time on my hands (normally when I want a break from work i.e. when I procrastinate), I should draft a couple of posts that I could publish on days when I don't have much free time.

Voila! Nope...

I now have a "problem" of a different kind: whilst I have quite a list of ideas that'll probably make for some nice blog posts, I'm not as passionate about writing these as to when I initially had the idea. I write my best stuff when I actually sit down to write a post immediately after I had the idea. I enjoy writing more when it's impulsive and it doesn't feel like a chore when I get the opportunity to do that.

For that very reason it took my more than a year to finish Rockstar Business; it was relatively easy pumping out the first couple of random chapters, but when it came down to formalizing everything into a semi-coherent book (with an apparent structure), it became so much harder.

Daily blogging fails my impulses on that very level.

And somehow I don't think I'm alone in this boat. So many of us that have committed to blogging more (and written those quintessential "I've failed, but I'm doing this better this time around" posts), yet that aim could possibly be inherently flawed for most of us.

It's hard writing something of value every day and if you consider that there are only a handful of bloggers that manage to do this properly over a long stretch of time (Fred Wilson, Jason Cohen & Mark Suster are some of my favourites that manage this), you've got to ask yourself why that is. My opinion is that everyone is not a natural writer / blogger and to most of us, daily writing / blogging requires a skill and commitment that will challenge the mere mortals among us.

So I reckon it's okay to have lofty goals, more okay to screw up and writing the failure post should be something anyone should be ashamed of. I think the value is that we should continue trying and working hard (if a well-read blog is something you aspire to have), since you're probably adding value even if you only publish 5 posts in one week once every 3 / 6 / 12 months.

That being said, those failure posts are kinda lame. :)

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