More and Less

Is blogging more like talking or writing?

I’ve had this conversation with several different friends recently.  Is this – what I’m doing right now – a form of expository writing or my contribution to a mass conversation?  When asked, I say it’s the latter.   But that’s a lie.  I think it’s both.  I think the blogosphere is a place where expository writing has become the medium for conversation.  We speak to one another through our posts, but our posts also exist as things in themselves.  Unlike letters, blog posts aren’t just communications; they are reflections.  Inquiries.  Examinations.

The blogging writer understands this intuitively.  That’s why we spend an inordinate amount of time crafting our posts, making sure they’re just right.  I venture to say that we wouldn’t go through this exercise if we were merely communicating.  We treat our posts differently because they are different.

I like this, but at the same time, I don’t.  I like that blogging demands that I bring my A game.  But I hate that I’ve fallen into the unhappy habit of writing less than I want to, not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I don’t have the time to say it properly.  I have a novel to finish and little feet to tickle and a house to think about cleaning.  So when time gets squeezed, the blog is first thing to go.

But.

I have things to say.  And I want to say them.  Here.  To you.  To myself.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I have not been able to add more hours to each day.  Nor have I been able to make my hours more productive.  (Although unsuccessful, the pursuit taught me something quite valuable:  there is a limit to how many things you can effectively (and safely) do at one time.  Cooking while breastfeeding while cleaning the floor while talking on the phone while blogging should be avoided if one values her unburnt skin.  And/or her sanity.)

The only viable solution, then, is to write faster.  To say more (more often) in less time.

This is dangerous for several reasons.

(1)  The things I say don’t always make sense.  I know this because I read my posts before you do.  And, well, sometimes they don’t make sense.  So I tweak them until they do.  This takes time.  Time that could be allocated to other things, thereby freeing up more time later to write more.  See what I mean about not making sense? Anyway, my point is, if I just write and publish, there’s a good chance you’ll be forced to read nonsense.  (I can hear my dad telling me not to refer to my writing as nonsense.  And if I stopped to think about it, maybe I wouldn’t.  But stopping and thinking takes time, and the whole point here is to trim time.  So nonsense it is.  Done.)

(2)  There appears to be a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend working on a post and the number of typos that appear in said post.  Typos are the spinach in my blogging teeth.

(3)  Fast typing leads to poor metaphors.  Refer to item #2 above.

(4)  Much of what I think but don’t say falls into the category of Things You Might Think But Shouldn’t Say.  I’m usually pretty good at determining which of my thoughts belong in this category, but if I write fast, I’m apt to be underexclusive.

(5)  I might discover that I have less to say than I think.

Notwithstanding items #1 – 5 above, I’m gonna give it a try.  For the next 7 days, I won’t spend more than one hour on any blog post.  And I’ll post every day.  In return, I ask that you ignore typos and skim over nonsense.

This post took me twenty-three minutes.  I’m on a roll.

+     +     +     +

Do you think blogging is more like talking or writing?  How much time do you spend writing blog posts?  Do you allocate a certain amount of time each day to blogging or do you just write for as long as it takes?  Have you ever taken down a post you decided later that you didn’t like?

  • 10 Comments