Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blogging Advice #1: No apologies

I write at two places. Here, and my other long-standing blog. A few days ago I realized I had not updated here in a while and immediately had the instinct to log in to apologize to y'all for not blogging. Except, the truth is, no one should ever apologize for not blogging. While the internet is of seemingly infinite space, and you are certainly entitled to write about anything you want from the current state of koala bear fashion to apologies for not blogging- as a long-time blogger and reader of blogs I can tell you the most boring of updates is the apologies for non-blogging. Its okay to announce a hiatus- to let readers who expect a regular update know to not worry when you're away for a while, but to log in simply to apologize with nothing of substance to add is the  equivalent of driving to my house, knocking on the door to tell me sorry for not coming by more- and then promptly turning around heading back home.

Many bloggers feel pressured to constantly update- hence the sincere apologies when its been a while. There is this guilt that if you haven't updated you are letting people down. A fear that if you don't update for a while you will lose all the readers you found. Unless you are blogging for a living, these feelings of guilt and fear are unfounded particularly with the advent of the RSS feed which lets anyone interested know as soon as you've clicked 'update'.

This is not to say that you should let your blog go without updates for weeks or months at a time, a regular schedule is always a good thing not just for readership, but also for developing a mindful habit of blogging since the more you write, the more your ideas will flow. But you don't need to update daily, and if you lapse, you don't need to apologize.

Anne Allen introduced me to a concept called Slow Blogging which encourages bloggers to focus on writing quality posts over merely updating for the sake of updating. While I am not a 'slow blogger' as I do maintain two blogs, this writing space is going to be more prone to being a 'slow blog' as I want to make sure what I post is of value- and while this may mean a once weekly post, maybe once every other weekly- I hope that what I write, you find valuable- not simply words tossed on the screen to give an update- that's a waste of time for you and me. So the slow blogging will continue here, and my sincerest thanks to you for reading, though if you don't hear from me for a while, trust me, there will be no apologies!

What are your thoughts? Do you feel pressured to update regularly?

[photo source here]


  1. When I started blogging, I made a commitment (to myself) to blog everyday. As you say, it's a good way of developing a mindful habit. Now that I'm blogging everyday, I enjoy the continuity and connection with the community of writers. However, that said, if I was going to take a day (or even more) off, I doubt I'd blog just to say that--unless it was permanent or semi-permanent! (Now I need to check out your other blog :)

  2. Julia, daily blogging is impressive! I am sure your readership is larger for it, and like you said I've also found that the more I blog the more I find ideas to write about- the only catch- then my writing of manuscripts falls to the wayside :) Its a tender balance! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Good idea. One of the reasons I'm posting such silly stuff during the A - Z Challenge is to give readers a break from long post. But during my regular blog schedule I have a Writing post on Mondays and we are currently covering plot, which will resume in May. Tuesday is music day. Wed. is Hump Day Improvisation and Thursday through Saturday is a round robin story. This way I can still challenge my readers without exhausting my self.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  4. Ify, I saw a comment show up in my comment box but it never showed up here on the comment page- strange! I didn't delete it- I just wish I knew where it went?!

    NR, I admire anyone who can post daily and regularly- I just see people get burned out from the process of updating reuglarly and then give up- and apologize excessively, lol. I enjoy your blog posts though I'm a silent reader most of the time as my reading is done primarily on my cell phone :(

  5. Aisha, I've been trying to figure out your site's commenting profile choices, tried an OpenID and my wordpress identity but think I kept getting rejected, glad you saw the comment. No apologies! :)

  6. Excellent post! I used to feel pressure, but now I realize exactly what you said: it's best to speak when you legitimately have something to say. Otherwise, you're just adding to the noise.

    LOL to this, btw: "but to log in simply to apologize with nothing of substance to add is the equivalent of driving to my house, knocking on the door to tell me sorry for not coming by more- and then promptly turning around heading back home."