Instant Publishing: Friend or Foe

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Before I begin, raise your hand if you initially read the title as, “Instant Pudding”. I’m the writer of this post, yet every time I accessed the draft, I read the title as “pudding” instead of publishing. My apologies as I digress – right out of the gate.

Recently, The Good Greatsby (GG) left a comment about my post, There is no point, just a turkey:  “Writing a post every day has been good in giving me a schedule and has helped me develop better writing habits, but I definitely wish I had more time to let my writing ‘breathe’. Once it’s on the screen it seems much more likely to be locked moving in a certain direction, but while it’s in my mind it keep evolving and evolving.”

I agree with GG’s comment. Writing on a regular basis has the potential to improve one’s writing habits. I also agree with GG, once the thoughts are typed out on the computer screen, the thoughts seem locked. Whereas when the thoughts are in one’s mind, the thoughts continue to evolve. Unfortunately, writing on a regular basis does not mean your writing will improve. (That thought is not directed to GG.)

I am nearing the end of my Facebook/Twitter hiatus. As I near the end, I find myself wondering if I will continue updating my blog on a regular basis. Will I continue to write, and will I generate quality posts? That’s not to say I have generated quality posts every time I’ve clicked “Publish” over the past 35 days. (For instance, my rant yesterday regarding Epsilon was not one of my best creations. My apologies for wasting your reading time.)

The thoughts and ideas churning in my mind will continue, whether I put the thoughts to paper/computer or not. Mentally, I believe I will stay in a better place if I release the thoughts through writing. So, the question becomes, “Do I share my creations every time I create?” I think the need to share will lessen, once I access Facebook. Facebook enables me to throw a quick thought out to the masses and be done with it. By the same token, a written out and fully developed thought posted in my blog may prove more therapeutic than a knee-jerk, quick thought.

Though I did not take the challenge myself, I’ve read several posts pertaining to WordPress’ Post A Day Challenge. Bloggers are struggling to write every day, and for some – the struggle leads to frustration. Challenging yourself to write every day is a good challenge. I am not questioning the challenge to write. What I am questioning is whether or not one should click ‘Publish’ every day.

Stop me, if I’ve written about this already, OK? My husband is a welder. He is not a welder by trade, he is a white collared engineer by trade. He welds as a hobby. When I met him, I encouraged him to open his own welding shop. He does great work, and his friends (and family) have hired him to make and repair various things. Still, Rob wasn’t interested in opening his own welding shop. His response to my encouragement was simply, “Welding is a hobby I enjoy. If I had to do it on a regular basis, it would no longer be my own thing, done on my own time and at my own pace. The joy would be lost.”

I agree with Rob. The minute something you enjoy becomes tedious, you risk losing the passion and drive. When the passion and drive are lost, one runs the risk of diminishing the quality of the product/output. Instant publishing is a wonderful blessing because you are able to share with others your work of non-fiction (or fiction). Instant publishing is a curse because the filter of greatness is skewed. Am I being to harsh? Remember, I fully admit to producing ca-ca yesterday. It happens.

I am an inquisitive person. (I’m also paranoid, quirky, freaky and mathematically challenged, but that’s not important right now.) So, the fact that my next question is, “What drives us to click ‘Publish?” should not be a surprise to you. In my opinion, what drives me to click “Publish” is to see what others think about what I’ve written. Do others agree? Does anyone relate? Will someone express their differing opinion? How many hits will I get today? Will I get more than yesterday?

Yes, one reason I click ‘Publish’ is to feed my need for stats. (For what it’s worth, I did get a 100% on a Statistics test in college. Stats following that test proved it was a fluke.) When my blogging stats are high, I assume I am producing good work. When my stats drop, I try to step back and take a look at the kind of work I am generating. Of course, you know what “assume” means. In any case, I need to focus less on the stats and more on the content. I will put forth a greater effort to allow more time for my thoughts to churn around in my mind. I will put forth a greater effort to let my thoughts and ideas evolve freely, before I confine them to a computer screen or piece of paper.

However, if I am cranky, all of the above is null and void. Sometimes I click “Publish”, because it beats slamming doors.

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25 thoughts on “Instant Publishing: Friend or Foe

  1. I’m with you… I started out attempting to write something on my blog every day. I wasn’t brave enough to take up an official challenge (maybe I would have, but until I read your blog I didn’t know about it). The first few days or even weeks were easy, but now I have to dig deeper and the ideas don’t come as quickly, and those that do appear have to churn longer. But it has been good to write, if not every day, then more often since I started my blog. I’ve been stuck in the middle of a novel and somehow blogging helped me take a breather by returning to flash fiction and poetry. And, might I add, with a little success! (See my post from today). In any case, here’s to all of us who long for readers, for a sense of community, for the opportunity to play with our art and have someone discover it. I wish you luck and lots of delicious ideas!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, HDR. I loved your 2nd to last sentence, “In any case, here’s to all of us who long for readers, for sense of community, for the opportunity to play with our art and have someone discover it.” I particularly liked ‘play with our art’. Well put. And, congrats on the publishing news!

  2. I can relate to what you’re talking about, Lenore…my Monday post wasn’t up to my usual standards, but I felt the need to get “something” out there. Still, I don’t put pressure on myself to write every day, because that would make me cranky (and lead to a plethora of poopy posts!).

    Hitting “Publish” is very much a gut thing for me…I do it when I feel the post is ready to go…

    Wendy

    • “..and lead to a plethora of poopy posts!” I love it, Wendy. I admit to sometimes closing my eyes – literally – and clicking “Publish” because I just want to be done with it. Sometimes I write just to get it out and gone. Thank you for reading.

  3. I’ve only been attempting to write everyday for the last two weeks and writing at all only for the last month and I’m already running out of ideas.

    However, watching my daily stats crawl towards a respectable three digit number is pretty motivating.

    • Hey … I’ve seen you around the Good Greatsby, haven’t I? Welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I must say, I need to write what you are writing.

      My stats went above three digits once on a day in September. I wrote a post about someone, and she proceeded to tell her friends. 167 hits later, it remains my highest stat day ever. Since then, I’ve been living in the two digit world.
      One day I may be reunited with three digits. One day.

      Keep writing! (Love the inspiration post. Nice penmanship.)

  4. I’m always around Greatsby’s blog-wallowing in how I’m not as successfull 😦

    Speaking of which, I just realized I wasn’t too clear earlier. My very much two digit daily stats have been (very) slowly increasing- so from averages of 10 and 20, I’m now near 60 (sometimes )

    I did have one day in the 3 digit area. That was fun!

  5. You brought up some great points. I agree that when the passion for writing is overshadowed by the need to just “put something out there” it can turn into a chore. I try to do one post every week but sometimes it feels so good to let it go a month and let a post percolate and steep for a bit (sorry, drinking tea right now!)

    This blogging thing is something I absolutely refused to do until a friend convinced me to try it. I guess at first I didn’t like the idea of my personal thoughts floating “out there” exposed for anyone to read (and possibly judge). But then I started truly connecting with others and received some very heartfelt comments when a post touched them in some way. That is priceless when you can make that connection through blogging. I was hooked. (I can sometimes get wrapped up in my stats though…they really need a support group for that.)

    • This may be a horrible thing to admit – but I’m afraid if I go too long without posting, I’ll be forgotten. Sad, eh? I don’t mean it as pathetic as it sounds, I just know there are so many other blogs out there. I’d hate to lose the connections I’ve made. Does that make sense? Still weird, I’m sure.

      Honest to goodness, releasing things via blogging has helped my personal life immensely. I am grateful for the outlet. I am grateful for the connections I’ve made, too. Now, if I could get over the stats thing – I’d be golden. (Well, I’d be able to focus more on the quality of my writing.)

      I appreciate your feedback, Maineiac. Thank you!

      • Not weird at all. I started blogging late last year and was only writing one post every month. I felt like I should up it to a few times a month so I wouldn’t “lose” readers. Once I started getting more subscribers, I wanted to keep them coming back.

  6. I think focusing on stats isn’t helpful. My stats have risen but it’s taken time and a lot of work.

    How many blog posts do you read and think “Wow!”. Seriously amazing….not just day to day stuff? For me, very few.

    I suspect people who post every single day are worn out and it shows. I’ve done it, but am now posting every 2-4 days. Not sure if the quality is better as a result of that, but I don’t think anyone is that starved for my content…

    • I agree, Broadside. Focusing on stats is not a good thing. I’m impressed with many of the blogs I read. However, when I compare the 10 or so I read daily with the millions that are available, the percentage of “Wow” is greatly reduced.

      I love your posts. I was thinking about you today, in fact. I assumed you’d be busy with the “book tour” and have little blogging time. I hope in the crazy game of promotion, you are finding down time. I sincerely appreciate you stopping by and leaving your feedback. Thank you!

  7. Well, from my post two days ago, you know I understand where you’re coming from. I live to blog everyday. It isn’t blogging, but everything else that I’d like to slow down with.
    As for facebook, that was me and my dads time. So since he’s passed away, it doesn’t hold much of an appeal to me anymore.
    Do I publish caca??? Absolutely. But I must put my ideas down or I forget them completely.
    I’ve never visited this good greatsby that you speak of, I suppose I might.
    I think I’ll hit publish now

    • Way to hit publish, Angel! 🙂 I need to get my ideas down, or I will go insane. I’ve actually lost weight since I started blogging regularly. Craziness.
      I understand how Facebook has lost its appeal. I really enjoy the posts you share written by your Dad. Though nothing replaces the person being with us physically, I hope you are finding comfort in the words he left behind.
      Thanks for visiting! I’m going to hit publish now, too.

  8. Honey, there’s this thing called a “draft.” It doesn’t mean you need new storm windows. It’s like a little bullpen for your thoughts, keeps them in utero, if you will. No one has to know about them until you’re ready. I love that.
    Seriously, I draft bits here and there quite a bit, mostly b/c it’s pure mayhem here for the most part. And I am forgetful. Maybe it’s just my preference, but I find it comforting to tuck those little unformed ideas away for later. Hoarding, maybe? Dunno.
    And I have to confess that I am a rabid editor. I go back over stuff all the time. This is better than when I couldn’t write at all because it did not come out perfect the first time. That sucked. And every time I go back, it’s with a new set of eyes, b/c time passes and writers change. But I’m very harsh with my own stuff, so maybe that’s not a great idea in general. I keep writing to get used to doing it again, without the constant internal critic that dogged me in my younger years. And it’s better to write doggerel than to be silent, I think. Not that you write doggerel. You write real good. No, I mean that, but with better grammatical choices. Your voice really *is* you, I think, and that makes everything a far better read. When you write, I get it. Immediately. It’s like having coffee with you. That’s a gift. –L

    • “Not that you write doggerel.” Oh of course not. You weren’t talking about me specifically. 🙂 That’s OK. I’d take doggerel over ca-ca. No?
      I’d love to have coffee with you. Do you have anything bigger than a 10-cup pot? 🙂
      Thanks for your thoughts, L. I really do appreciate it. I’m flattered – honestly – that you hear me. I do write like I talk. Bad grammar and all. 🙂

      • Seriously, I meant it’s better for anyone to write than be silent. Trust me, I’ve read enough really bad 8th grade love/pain poems to know this is true. Aaaaand I wrote a few in my day as well. My 8th grade day. Or shortly thereafer. And I had a teacher who became my mentor and god knows, she slugged through pages and pages of my crap. She still does. I didn’t write for years. Probably decades. It felt very flat, but I hate every single word I put down. And then I met Writer. He composed sonnets. Yeah. All full of trochees and dactyls and whatnot. Perfect and precise. Me, not so much. More silence. And then…(shhh…) it dawned on me that (seriously, shhhhh…) *I* was just a teensy bit better with words than Writer. Actually, someone had to tell me. Several times. Still, I was very quiet, but not silent. When things got bad (you know the details here) I could do nothing but write, because I couldn’t talk about it all. And it’s like a muscle, you work it and develop it. (That theres’ whatcha calla “SImileeee” or something.) Good grammar makes people nervous, don’t sweat it unless it’s a job interview . Or you’re Writer.
        I don’t think it’s possible to write doggerel if you are using an authentic voice. Really.
        My FB stuff has suffered b/c my blogging has picked up. Ah well. All those strangers from my high school will survive, I guess.
        And get this–*I* met Allison Krauss yesterday at the pentathalon. I probably yelled at her kid. Furthermore, I had no idea I met her. I didn’t know she was there. yeah. I have every single piece she’s done and was completely clueless. Nice. –L

        • You met Alison Krauss AND you like John Denver? Holy Smokes, L. She is one of my favorite folksy female singers of all time. Her cover of ‘When you say nothing at all’ is my favorite song. Love it, I do. Neat that you met her. Even better if you yelled at her kids. I’m not surprised you overlooked her. After all, she’s short. HA. Kidding. *sigh*

  9. I don’t feel my blog is my best stuff, but I’m definitely writing more often than ever before, and I appreciate developing better writings habits.
    I often go back and look at past posts and realize I could have gone in a completely different direction and made it better, but I realize if I’d given myself more time I’d probably still never have published it.

    • Isn’t it funny? Sometimes when I go back and read the ‘early’ creations, I cringe. I hope that is an indication I am getting better. I suppose I’ll find out this time next year, when I go back to see what I’ve created ‘back then’. Still, to improve one’s writing, one has to continue to write. I think every writer could make edits and changes to their creation forever – literally. Sometimes you just need to ‘click it’.
      Thanks for visiting, GG!

  10. First, allow me to say, “Instant pudding … mmmmm.”

    I have to say, when I was full-on with Post a Day, the draft folder was my best friend. I never found myself at a loss because if I couldn’t come up with something new, I had something on the back burner waiting to be finished. Of course, even then it didn’t work out entirely, but here’s to persevering!

    Do you share your creations every time you create? No. Self-censorship truly is what separates man from beast. We have self restraint that provides us with a kaleidoscope through which we can view the many outcomes of our actions. If through this kaleidoscope we see anything that makes us a bit logey at the thought of sharing a creation, then most likely your self restraint is warranted. However, there are times when you need to be bold and throw the door wide open by clicking Publish.

    • First, allow me to say, “I know, right? Instant pudding is yummy!”

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Kristina. I suppose I should give myself some credit, because I do have drafts that remain – drafts. This means I don’t just put anything out there, right? Right? That said, there are times when I have to let go of the draft and click publish with my eyes closed. Sometimes I have to just let it go, if that makes sense.

      Good to ‘see’ you back! ~ Lenore

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