Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Prolific Blogging


I’ve made a giant idiot of myself. I recently told you about living without the internet. Well, yesterday it happened again. And because it happens often, I expressed mild displeasure to The Internet Connection People on the phone yesterday. Since they didn’t send anyone yesterday to fix the problem, I was unable to post my Sunday quote. I called today, mildly confrontational this time. He came, he saw, he plugged the wire to the router that makes it all happen, which I had unplugged, albeit unintentionally, while cleaning. All I could do is smile like an idiot.

I have not been right in the head, though. More than usual. Things get very festive in India from August to December, so if you want to get anything done, you have endless delays, endless literal cacophony and too much happiness around. Not the best time to be putting together a self-absorbed book of essays, with topics like Of Grief and Of Loneliness. I aimed to have the book out on the 15th, having worked on it on and off for 4 months. But, after reading thousands of words of some whiny, moany millenial, I feel I’m going slightly mad. It finally happened. I write about overcoming self-loathing, but clearly I’m not doing well in that department.

What has this got to do with the title of this essay? Ah, you know the drill by now. You know we never get to business unless we have to. You see, I feel like an idiot not only because I did something idiotic. I feel like an idiot because these are the very idiotic things that never happen to me. I never call or ask for help unless I’ve gone through the whole thing many, many times. I prefer being DIY. I aim to be self-sufficient. I don’t ask for help unless I earn it. I don’t like to keep people waiting. But, yesterday, I didn’t put up a quote here, which really made me feel like I’ve failed myself and this blog in some way.

I frequently have readers bestowing me with the badge of prolificity. I hardly see it myself. I’m glad if I can get two posts in, in a week. With three, it’s a good week. With one, it’s a pass. With none, I might as well give up. The less frequent I am, the less likely it is for people to turn up. I don’t do other social media, so I can’t just sign off with a tweet and tell people, “I am alive! I am still interested in trying to interest you!” I follow loads of people who are much more worthy of the badge than me. Some even blog everyday, sometimes twice a day. They publicise in other places, write posts for other people. If I don’t see them, or even my other favourite reads who don’t publish as often, I miss them. Sometimes, if they suddenly pop up after months, I am reminded of them, but I don’t feel I can have the same sort of rapport with my comments. There are some who’ve stopped blogging at all, and I miss them.

I don’t know if that makes me an ideal reader, but I am less than an ideal blogger. Especially now, when I am swimming in my own essays, but not publishing them if they are “good for the book”. I am also not reading as many blogs as I could, as I use that time to work on the book. I really want to have it out before NaNoWriMo swallows my potential readership of their free time, but clearly that isn’t going to happen. I want to be swallowed up myself, writing that rom-com-spy novella I told you about, but I must maintain fidelity towards my blog-book. Then, I very much hope to go back to blogging like a normal person.

I really want to blog like a normal person. I want to try haikus and limericks. I want to, just, be able to come up with a poem, like they do in poetry challenges. I want to take pictures of sunrises and sunsets. I want to take pictures of what I eat for breakfast, which means I will, at least, be swallowing my food properly. That’s the kind of blogger I think about when I read the word “prolific”. Not someone who writes essays about existential crises, having been on one for as long as she has existed.

Are you a prolific blogger? Do you think it is important?


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

23 thoughts on “Of Prolific Blogging

  1. Wow so much to comment on here but first let me say if I may…take a deep breath and relax before you continue to read this!

    Do NOT be so hard on yourself. The quality of your writing speaks to having the focus to concentrate on all your wonderful blog ideas. That you are feeling a little bogged down, that you are feeling like you have let people down should not make you feel like an idiot, and you should not be too hard on yourself. Deadlines can be useful but we all know that life can and does interrupt them sometimes (like dodgy internet and major national holidays/family commitments etc) Doing it yourself is admirable, and in general I subscribe to that theory but when these things outside your control come up, I would take it as a sign to step back and say oh well, or AHHHHH, or some choice swear words if it helps. And I suspect like me, you get anxious and even excited the closer the moment comes to completing a project, be it a blog about Kate Bush or a blog about blogging. I get very excited when I realize today could be the day I publish a blog I have been working on. Obviously a book is way more involved than that but I have learned to stave off the disappointment if time or some other obstacle comes in my way to push it back.

    As to the reading and writing of blogs, as I have said to you before when it comes to my own blog, or with others, it will be there when you are ready. Don’t put even more pressure on yourself by adding that to your list. My favorite novelist Paul Auster said something like he considered a successful day of writing to be when he had written a paragraph. Sometimes maybe even two together with some dialogue. I only know you through here, and not that long of course and this might be terribly, terribly presumptuous of me to say but it sounds like you need a shut down for a day or two (with or without the internet). A day to watch some Black’s Books/Father Ted/ or some other program. A couple of hours listening to some music would do the trick as well. You are a gifted natural writer and thinker. Your blogs are amazing. Your book will be truly amazing. Speaking as one devoted reader of yours I will happily read your blog whether it is once a month, or 3 times a week. I follow you, not the frequency or length of your posts.

    I hope this doesn’t seem like I can pretend to know you. I suspect what I just said may not be as easy as all that, but I don’t want to hear that scream coming from India! I want to know that you stressful as it may be, you are coping and finding that balance to getting it done. Hugs!

    1. I am really touched by your concern and generous response, Robert. It is remarkable that some weekly musings from the chronically dissatisfied can elicit such care. Thank you very much!
      You are right, though. I usually go to the cinema, eat out, etc. on weekends, but haven’t done so because everything’s crazy right now in this part of the world, and will continue to be so till the end of the year. We love celebrating everything, but it can be too much of a good thing!
      Funny you should mention Black Books. In a recent interview Dylan Moran said “You wouldn’t want to make anything unless you are cosmically bored.” I wrote 2 essays that had been merely gestating in my head for the past month in my internet-free time yesterday! I love watching his stand up again and again, because it really inspires me to think and write. Though I wish I had a brain as sharp as his.
      Thank you again for your time and support. It is readers like you that make me believe I can do this.

      1. I know it isn’t easy to find ‘me’ time in that kind of craziness. The whole time between Thanksgiving here (usually around November 24th or thereabouts) and Christmas is hectic. Shopping, parties, meeting friends, family stuff. Even when you don’t WANT to do it, you inevitably seem to get roped into it somehow so I know how it goes, but you might benefit from a few stolen moments here and there (don’t mean to sound preachy). Love the Dylan Moran quote! As to the response, it is partly due to this blogging community. When we find bloggers we like and respond to, we feel like we know them. I have become social media friends with several bloggers now and combined between what they write about and seeing their lives through social media, at times it feels like we have been friends for years. Or else in your case, it is by following someone whose words mean so much, despite language and time differences that we can’t help feeling attached and protective of them. Which is why we say these sorts of things to you. You are very welcome and all of us know that whatever you come up with next will be wonderful and we will continue to follow you.

      2. We do celebrate Christmas! We celebrate anything! I like celebrations myself, though I get more weird with them as tears, oops, years go by. Before, I could compartmentalize and enjoy things. Now, I get “cosmically bored” after ten minutes, and if there is no decent food or dancing, I am itching to leave. We are not onto Thanksgiving as yet, but we even celebrate Halloween now. Not my favourite event (we don’t get a holiday) as I get scared very easily!
        I feel that attachment too. I’ve read some of your posts, though not as many as I would like to have. They are meant to be taken in slowly, not speed-read, and I mean that as a compliment. With the other bloggers I follow as well, I like to take my time with their posts. To slightly modify what someone has said, “My attention span is too long for twitter”. I’d rather read them properly when I have time than just skim through. It’s not the social media way of doing things, but that’s the way I do it.

      3. Lol @ tears/years. I love Christmas and I know that it is celebrated in places throughout the world, India included. Think I knew you had a Thanksgiving too-some countries do seem to have them, some don’t but am surprised at Halloween! Note to self-I suppose I should not ever jump out and scream BOO! at you then lol. I genuinely appreciate that comment about my blogs. I haven’t ditched writing long ones altogether, but I found that after I scaled them back dramatically that I have gotten more likes and follows and it lets me write more of them, which are good reasons to keep going in that direction for now. I like to take time with your posts too. Quite often they are just so great I re-read them two or three times so I understand what you mean by the skim-through social media style, yet another reason why I appreciate your work and look forward to it when I see it. Note that word when my friend! You have taken your words and are about to do something really special with it (hope to be there someday myself). But I think when is better than ‘now’ or ‘soon’ or ‘working on it!’ if you get my drift 🙂

      4. Ha ha, I do, I do. Mine will be a low-key affair though. It will be exactly the sort of fare I offer here (some good ones from here will be included as I cannot come up with my best stuff in four months!) but I am mainly doing it because a) it was my initial plan, from way back in early 2013 and b) I know a lot of snobs who don’t take blogs seriously and so I just want to emphasise that whatever I do here is valuable, whatever be the platform. I don’t feel the snobbery myself, as I’ve never turned up my nose at bite-sized, “free” literature. I even read shampoo bottles with interest, because you really can get wonderful ideas from advertising.

        Actually, this an idea for another essay! I should stop having ideas for now, until the book is out! It’s night time here so, good night, Robert! And thanks again!

  2. I love your line ‘I must maintain fidelity towards my blog-book’. Bullseye!
    If we judge ourselves by how often others blog, we’ll go insane. ‘Comparison insecurity’ – it’s a killer.
    I agree with Robert’s comment – “I follow you, not the frequency or length of your posts.” Quality not quantity is my favourite cliche. And personally, if someone I follow blogged twice a day, I’d be overwhelmed and likely read none of it.

    Maybe high five yourself for what you have done and DO do, rather than berate yourself for what you have not (yet)?!

    1. Thank you very much, Jess! I feel I’ll be back to my “normal” level of misery once the book is out. Because it is representative of the blog, I do feel an extra pressure of putting it together. Blogging is a more organic evolution, whereas a book has to be complete by itself. Of course, I have to let go when it is finally out. I guess, like you and a couple of others have said, I should stop feeling I am neglecting how I blog because of the book. Well, I’ll go do that then!
      Thanks again!

  3. I think the commenter above covered everything that I could have possibly said and did it much more eloquently than I could have ever put it! lol All I’m going to say is don’t be too hard on yourself. Your blog is awesome 🙂 And I am in the process of going through all the blogs I follow and selecting only a handful whose posts will come to my email automatically during the month of November so that I can keep up with some of my favorite blogs while I am participating in that crazy-insane writing race! And your blog would be one of them! So you won’t lose me as a reader for the month of November 🙂 I’ll still be around! Take care! ~Tamara

    1. Thank you so much, Tamara! I am yet to find out how this new Manage button works on the Reader, but I don’t follow too many blogs to really need it. I am so glad however, that I am one of your selected reads! You know that I’ll keep reading yours!

      1. I follow a lot of blogs lol And normally I’ll go through my Reader and try to visit as many as I can, but I know I won’t be able to do that come November which is why I have some blogs set so that any new posts will come through my email and this way I won’t miss any!

  4. A friend of mine teaches blogging classes and he did an experiment where he had one group do fewer high-quality blog posts per week and another just put out as much material as possible. In my opinion it’s unfortunate that the latter group got more attention from the search engines.

    I just can’t bring myself to write a bunch of crap just to attract a higher number of search engines, So I’m going the slow route. (Plus I don’t have the time!)

    1. That’s very interesting BroadBlogs – it’s fabulous that your friend is TESTING this. I’m all about data wherever possible!
      I agree with you about quality. I used to work for Google and I strongly stand by my stance that quality wins in the end, every time. Initially, the frequent fluff might get indexed and appear higher, but if people bounce from it fast, and don’t distribute it, Google will quickly adjust the rankings.
      Will your friend monitor the posts over time? That would be very interesting. Thanks for sharing this!

      1. Thank you for sharing this! Based on my experience as a casual browser, I definitely agree with both you and Georgia. Frequent well-tagged and well-slugged “fluff” does appear more, but ultimately Google sizes it down to what is well-presented and relevant. I’ve been blogging “prolifically” for over a year and a half, and I have only one post as a first page search result. That has more to do with how niche the topic is, rather than the actual post itself.

    2. For your blog specifically, less is definitely more. They are very well-researched, which obviously requires more time than the average blog post. In terms of visibility, it is niche for the casual blogging community, but valuable for the multiple gender studies related communities, whether they be academia, or magazines and websites that focus on gender.
      I personally feel it’s better to draw readers in who will actually be interested in your material, than just stumble upon your blog because it was a top search result. Whenever I get comments from people who say they came in here expecting something else, I feel I’ve inconvenienced both them and myself. It is necessary to find your readers, but it is also perfectly alright to believe there are readers who will find you, because they are interested in what you have to offer.

  5. Good point – if a topic is niche, there is less search volume, less data for Google to work with, takes longer for the cream to rise 🙂
    Also, distributing your content and forming relationships with other publishers is key. Google likes quality content that is referenced (linked to) by relevant and well regarded sites in your field (even if it’s niche, there will be some). It used to be about ‘link farming’. That doesn’t cut it now. Better to have your posts linked to from one or two high calibre sites. Of course, forming these networks is a job in itself. Guest blogging is a good place to start, if improving your search engine rankings is a high priority for you. If not, just keep producing good content and let that cream rise!

    1. I just read this great article over at coschedule. We’re right 😉

      “With every update to their algorithm, Google is putting content quality at the forefront of their process. Blogger Neil Patel does a great job outlining Google’s algorithm changes over that last several years. It is very clear that Google likes good quality content, and even more importantly, knows it when it sees it. The question is, do you?

      Many times, we look to take a quantity over quality approach to creating content. We publish more content with fewer words and hope to break through in the Google rankings. Not so fast. Content marketing is not a race for more content, it is a race for better content. In fact, many bloggers are choosing to cut back on the amount of content they create just so they can focus on creating better content from the get go.”

      1. I haven’t really put this much thought into it before, so thank you so much for providing such useful, enlightening information!
        It is definitely a great option to write guest posts for well-reputed and “visible” websites. I haven’t written for one keeping my content here in mind, nor promoted my blog on them. I guess I should start looking!

  6. This is a beautiful post. Made me feel i’m not the only one. Welcome to the world of blogging. Just like any world, it’s our choice to stay or leave. Reminds me of my love life, but then i’m not saying i’m a prolific lover… oops, blogger, Whatever! Just enjoy it while it lasts and make it last while you enjoy it. Cheers.

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