The Secret to Writing…

For a moment, please indulge a little bit of my ranting: Every day I fire up my newsreader and try to catch up on what my favorite authors are posting, and I’m amazed and bewildered by how much writing some of these authors can turn out. The load of my own business and personal obligations is hardly monumental, but if some of these authors are juggling even half of my what I do during waking hours while also turning out these reams of blog posts and, in many cases, producing beautiful design work too… well, then I salute them. They’ve mastered a level of time management that I have little hope of matching.

I can barely scratch out four or five posts a week, and it often takes a dogged determination to find a twenty minutes scattered between tasks to get them drafted, edited and posted. Mostly, though, it’s not the quantity that I lament… it’s the time. By and large, very few of the posts I knock out benefit from the time and care with which I’d like to invest any piece of writing I put in front of public eyes. Just this evening, I was hammering out that capsule review of “Elephant” when the dinner I ordered arrived, and immediately I felt compelled to wrap it things up quickly so I could put a little food in my stomach. That…s not a proper way to write anything.



  1. This is the primary reason I don’t have a weblog – I don’t have time at all to write about things (I’d rather be doing them!)

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried – but I failed miserably purely because I didn’t have the motivation to write a lot of stuff for the purposes of maybe 5 visitors who actually read it…


  2. I don’t know that “reams of blog posts” signifies that anything worth reading has been produced.

    The blog medium is one which lends itself well to short, inconsequential posts. Actually–wait–strike that. The blog audience is one which tends to favor short, inconsequential posts. It seems to me that few people have the attention span necessary to follow a narrative which spans more than a screen or so. Most blog posts don’t have a narrative (I’m not suggesting they need one, but I for one like them).

    I’m not saying, Khoi, that the sites you read have bad content. They probably have very good content. But one thing that has really bothered me about the blogging world is that it tends to confuse quantity with quality, and when that happens, any noise becomes a signal. Your statement “That’s not a proper way to write anything” applies also to reading–for me, a 1 paragraph post about nothing doesn’t constitute a proper thing to read. I like to think I tend to keep my signal to noise ratios leaning a bit more towards signal.

    {feel free to dismiss this whole comment as poor justification for my historical inability to post regularly.)

  3. There’s definitely an emphasis of quantity over quality in blogging. I’m torn about that… sometimes I wish I could spend more time to produce more quality. And then sometimes I feel like every time I sit down to write, a sentiment that I had hoped to cover in four or five sentences becomes four or five paragraphs. One of the things I’ve tried to do in constructing Subtraction is to create an environment that will accomodate both long and short posts. I don’t know if I’ve been successful in doing that… but even if I were, I think it would just mean that I’ll perpetually be torn between short and long posts.

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