Blog Guilt & Upgrades

Blogging – Not IF, But When, Where, and Why (Via Sharon Peters.) It was easy for me to relate to this bit Sharon Peters wrote recently:

It has been much too long since my last blog post. When I lamented how far behind I felt in my writing recently to a friend, she wisely pointed out that my “life stress score” was probably pretty high. She went through the list – kitchen renovation, two parents and nephew in hospital, hosting a big family reunion, child leaving home for university, change of job, change of routine….. okay, okay!! I have been a little busier than usual in the last few months!

I guess just starting my second year of my own business, trying to finish my dissertation, having a baby on the way – and even making an offer on a new house because of it – my own life stress score must be pretty high right now, despite (or perhaps because of) my efforts at life style changes to live a more balanced life. While it’s a good thing that I’m quitting work around six each night to spend time with Eva, relax, and take care of other things, it does mean I’m stressed on account of getting less done each day. ;)

In any case, I’ve been struggling with a lot of blog guilt as this blog seems to keep falling far enough down my priority list that I don’t get to it very often. This post from Liz Strauss suggests some reasons bloggers are blogging less these days, many of which resonate with me: 5 Leading Bloggers and 5 Reasons on Why We’re Blogging Less (Via Successful Blog.)

My list is not much different:

  1. I too have to make money, and thankfully I’ve had workshops and projects to keep me busy. Also, of course, I’m trying to finish my dissertation as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t cost me more than it has to… not to mention I want to finish the bulk of it before the baby comes in February. When deadlines loom it’s harder to make time for the intangible benefits of blogging – even though I’ve experienced them time and time again.
  2. I too have gotten busy – see the bit on life stress above. ;)
  3. I too am talking in shorter bits, mainly on twitter. I also find myself commenting more on other’s blogs than ever before (when I make the time to read my feeds).
  4. I suppose I agree with the blogging less is blogging more sentiment – in essence, quality is more important than quantity. Unfortunately, I don’t find myself putting in the time for quality posts any more than the quantity of posts right now. But, that is my aim for the future.
  5. And of course, as the title of this blog would suggest, the blog is not my life. Still, I often miss the time for reflection and composition, and I miss the feedback, camaraderie, and sense of contribution that blogging brings as well.

In any case, I’ve taken the opportunity this morning to make some long needed upgrades to this blog:

  • I’ve finally aggregated all my workshop wikis. Links to workshop wikis have been added to the Professional Development Topics page, which has also been added directly to the side bar of the blog, instead of buried on the Our Services page. I can’t believe I never saw the list of wikis and list of topics offered as the same thing before this week!
  • I’m finally using Del.icio.us. About a year and a half ago I stopped using FURL. With help, I imported everything into this wordpress blog. From then on, if I had a link to post I did it here. But then I felt it had to be “post-worthy,” so I have literally hundreds of links in draft form because I never wrote anything meaningful about them. (Talk about the weight of blog guilt.) So for some time now I’ve contemplated social bookmarking again – and I figured I’d use del.icio.us this time for the experience, but I still want all my content in one place. I’ve seen others use the daily blog post feature that aggregates all your del.icio.us links into a blog post once a day… I just can’t believe it took me until now to recognize this as the solution to my problem. I can link away in del.icio.us and still have all the content available here – and no single link annotation needs to be post worthy. Watch for a link post beginning tomorrow morning. :)
  • This is more of a change in process, than an upgrade, but now that I’ve discovered how much I want blogging to be a part of my day, I’m going to try to make it a routine rather than an item on the to do list. I’ve done well working exercise into a daily routine and I’m going to try to tack an hour for reading feeds (30 minutes) and composing a post (30 minutes) to each morning before hitting the to do list. We’ll see how that goes. It’s either this, or the effective but admittedly dangerous habit of “do it now” which I’m using this morning. ;)

Even so, I still get sick thinking of all the draft posts I created following workshops this summer, and even just in the last few days. Perhaps I’ll get to them in the coming weeks, since September is a bit slower for me, and there will soon be more contributions here…

4 Responses to “Blog Guilt & Upgrades”

  1. Sharon Peters Says:

    Hi Mark – I was surprised how many people have responded to me about that post – thanks for the mention. You are in a significant change of life with a new baby on the way! Don’t forget to also take time to just enjoy the moment.

    Blog guilt…. good phrase!

  2. Kevin Says:

    Mark, some do see the daily del.icio.us postings as a form of blog pollution, so my way of doing it is to send these posts to my drafts to screen before I publish. A solution to our busy life as bloggers is to produce a lifestream based on our online activities. I’ll be producing a how-to on doing such a thing using twitter. It’s a simple concept, but it converges everything for you. As my professor once told me, we need to be smart so we can be lazy. :P

  3. Mark Wagner Says:

    Kevin, thanks for the comment. I, too, have at times considered the links a form of blog pollution. For now, though, I think this is the solution I’m happiest with… and I always at least annotate the link. I actually read one blogger recently actually call for others to include their links in their blogs, so I guess there’s people on both sides of the issue.

    In any case, how do you send the post to your drafts? I usually wind up cleaning mine up the day after they post (in the middle of the night). Or, more to the point, how can I get them to post without the

    tags that del.icio.us includes by default. Do you know a way? I erase them every morning because they don’t work well with my template.

    Thanks in advance if you shoot me any answers. Meanwhile, thanks again for the post and the comment.

  4. Mark Wagner Says:

    Hi, Sharron. I’m catching up on flagged email/comments this evening and just wanted to say thanks for the comment and the sentiment. See you in the twitterverse…