Sunday, March 2, 2014

I moved to Toronto, and blogging

So, I moved to Toronto.

Every time I move to a new place, I think of it as a new beginning, and try to live a bit more like the ideal me in my mind: getting up earlier, reading more, exercising more, cleaner, better, healthier, and... blogging more.

It usually doesn't last very long. Maybe one habit would stick for more than a week or two, then I would be back to my boring old self. Yet every time, at a brand new room or apartment, I can't help but try again. It's kind of like a new year's resolution. You might know that you won't make it until the end of the year, but if it motivates you to live better for one month, or even one week -- that's still a positive change!

So yes, like everyone else out there who has a blog, I want to write more.

The thing that prevents me from writing more is that I take blog posts very seriously. After all, if I'm going to take your attention away from something else, it had better well be worth it. I like there to be a central thesis (which is difficult to distill down to), solid arguments (which are difficult to construct), and reasonable flow (which means writing and re-writing). It is possible to write several paragraphs, then realize that the central thesis had been wrong, and take a different perspective. This is why writing is so great for you: it forces you to organize your thoughts, and forces you to face the inconsistencies in your thought process.

So, maybe it's the writing and not the publishing that is more important for bloggers.

Incidentally, one experiment I tried a couple of years back is promising to write something every day. I had a list of ideas back then, and those were bite-sized thoughts that could be hashed out into an article in a reasonable amount of time. Though the experiment didn't last as long, it was clear that those posts did not actually provide that much value.

What actually did provide a lot of value are posts that I spent many days researching and perfecting. They were some of the more difficult posts to write, either because they are technical or because they are very close to heart (so close that I'd contemplate whether or not to post them at all). In fact, at least half of pageviews come from older posts that had gone viral, and newer, crisper posts have little traffic in comparison.

So, well, what is the point of all this? Well, I don't know, this is actually just a rant. I guess I'm actually going against my own advice about taking time to write quality posts as opposed to publishing. (, er, illustrate the point about inconsistencies!) I guess the point is... there will be triggers in your life that encourages you to become a better person. Even if those triggers don't give you enough momentum to change who you are, it can take you one step in the right direction, for however short a duration. And that is good. So long as you maximize for the right things. Unlike me.