Blogging Guilt

Bless me Followers for I have sinned. My last blog post was over one week ago.

No kidding, sometimes that thought crosses my mind as I view my Stats, see faithful followers have stopped by, and know there wasn’t new material to greet them. Those stop-by nudges usually get me back in gear.

I struggle with the question of how frequently one should post and not only from the writing end of it. As someone who reads her fair share of blogs, I am often overwhelmed by the frequency with which people post. My mailbox subscriptions overflow and there are times I can’t possibly view and comment on every post. I know some WordPress users have resorted to using the Like button as a cyber wave, a way of telling their buddies they stopped by to skim but don’t have time to comment.

When I read about WordPress’s Post-A-Day challenge, I ran for cover. If I had a choice, I’d rather read one thoughtful, well-written post by an infrequent blogger than a blog-for-blogging’s-sake post every day.

For me, a post every four days is about right. Less than that and I feel rushed, in terms of the writing and the responding to comments. More than that and I feel disconnected from all of you. That’s about where I am now…Hellooooooooooo, anyone out there?

I’d love to hear your views on this. Are you on a blogging schedule, or do you blog when the mood strikes? Do you prefer to blog every day, or do you need some time in between posts? Are you ever afflicted by blogging guilt? Do tell.

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68 Comments

  1. girlboxing said,

    April 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hey Margaret,

    I hear you! I am, however, on my blog-a-day regime. For me it’s a daily something — an obligation of sorts and whether it’s information, inspirational or something in between, I get back much more than I put out in terms of the process itself. And yeah, some posts are definitely better than others, but it’s kind of like life to me, filled with those peaks and valleys — I can’t win everyday, but I can put out stuff into the ether that says, I’m here.

    Best,
    GM
    PS — I missed you! 😉

    • April 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Awwww, thanks! It’s nice to be missed.

      Keep doing what you’re doing. When you think about it, it’s kind of funny that a non-boxer like me should read your blog on a daily basis. But even when you’re getting into advanced techniques, you always throw in that motivational nugget that hits the spot and keeps me in the groove in my own fitness routine. I also love that you’re a real person who works hard to keep it all in balance. You make me believe it’s possible.

      • girlboxing said,

        April 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

        Thanks for saying all of that, it means alot.

        Otherwise, the comments have been great and I agree that blogging for the sake of blogging means that the thread of meaning can get lost to the process. Most of the blogs I read tend to be political in nature and those blogs are updated throughout the day; the more thoughtful ones, however seem to ebb and flow with where the blogger is in his or her life.

        Again, for my sort of blog, the everyday seems to work because I can change it up between factual “newsy” pieces and “think”/”personnal” pieces which seems to suite because the blog tickles a passion in the first place — and thereby provides a lens for the “think” pieces.

        Thanks for putting out the question, Margaret. It really is fun to think about and to see what the community is thinking!

      • April 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

        So true. Case in point that post you did on Afghani women training for the Olympics. That had as much to do with politics as it did with boxing. I just read the bit about Cuba. Hmmmmm, indeed. I’ll be by to have my say on that.

  2. April 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I, too, suffer from blogging guilt. If I had time, I would probably post every day or two. I was an every day or two blogger for quite a while, but most of it was…yawn. When it dawned on me that, at least for my blog, quality is better than quantity, I spent more time on the writing and editing. Now, since I don’t have a whole lot of time and several projects, it’s hovering around once a week. Like you said, blogging isnt just about the writing, though. It’s also about reading other blogs, commenting and responding and that takes time. I think you’re just fine, Margaret. No need to feel guilty 😉

    • April 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      Thank you, Sister Jessica. 😉

      If there is one thing I know, it is myself. I am prone to spurts of creative activity followed by spurts of nothing. LOL. I’m suffering from the nothingness at the moment, stuck in the middle of my in-progress novel. I think the fear of that has seeped into my blogging.

      • April 11, 2011 at 7:21 am

        I think that’s how all we creative people operate. There are days I could churn out amazing stories all while thinking about ten online business ideas and there’s other days I can’t construct a sentence correctly.

      • April 11, 2011 at 9:37 am

        But do you have a little string of drool that hangs from your mouth as you try to construct the sentence? 😉

      • April 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

        It’s more of a bubble gum stuck to my nose thing.

  3. April 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    First post of mine 7/31/10. 196 posts in 240 days. I had years of stuff to redo and modernize(they have radios and indoor plumbing now) so I kept that pace. It is exhausting and you want to maintain quality and not “we took Timothy to the dentist or vet or barbershop this morning” or whatever crap to keep the blog going. I will slow down a bit. Reading all the quality stuff on blogs to which I subscribe takes time too, The MD Psych at A Friend to Yourself puts an engaging post up every day. I don’t know how she does it. The old timers and pros advise me to put out as much as you can but if becomes a chore rather than an enjoyment and engaging conversation time to do some gardening or rob a bank or something for a while. Supporting the blogs of other folks is part of blogging too as I have learned.

    • April 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      “They have radios and indoor plumbing now.” That made me laugh, Carl. And I totally agree with the “we took Timothy to the dentist” bit, too. I wouldn’t want my blog to turn into a Facebook status.

      Sana is amazing. I don’t know how she does it either.

  4. Lenore Diane said,

    April 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent. With those distractions out of the way, I find myself overwhelmed with ideas for writing. I try to write at least three days a week. However, after reading Broadside’s post (http://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/would-you-rather-be-productive-or-creative/), I make a point to pause before putting my fingers on the keyboard. Both you and Broadside have offered excellent points of view; thank you.

    • April 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you, Lenore, for your kind words and the great link. I love the idea of creating a box for each new project.

      By the way, I was hopping around your blog and found your notes to Mother Nature. I can sooooooo relate.

  5. SuziCate said,

    April 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Helloooooo….I think we all feel guilty at times, but living ismore important than blogger. I never blog for the sake of blogging. I blog when I have something to say (not that it will be of interest to anyone other than me!), sometimes it’s more frequent than others, sometimes less. I love the friendships I’ve built on here, but think it’s a mutual understanding between us that sometimes we need time away from blogging and will be here for one another upon return.

    • April 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Well said, Suzi. The relationships I have as a result of blogging are important to me. I tend to notice when someone “disappears,” and if the absence is prolonged I will send a note to be sure all is well. But I do trust in the mutual understanding you mention. We all need a break at times.

  6. zahara said,

    April 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I’m totally with you M, and may god spare your soul. I too shudder at the thought of a daily post. On Thursday I sat down to catch up on blog-reading ’cause I’d been away for a few days, and by Saturday I’m almost caught up. Bee Uuuuu! Never mind taking the time to write a thoughtful post!
    Any hoo, Your posts are like gold nuggets in my in-box, so keep ’em coming as infrequently as your little heart desires and I for one will be very happy.

    • April 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Z.

      We were in sync this week. I waded through almost 100 emails today, many of them blog posts that I needed to catch up with. I’m caught up now, thank the blog gods.

  7. bronxboy55 said,

    April 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I’m always amazed at how quickly four or five days go by after a post and I start thinking that I should’ve already been working on the next one. I used to aim for two posts a week, but haven’t been able to keep that up. Like so many people, I spend more and more time trying to read and comment on other blogs, as well as writing my own. The trick, I suppose is to find a balance that feels right. I agree with you, Margaret: trying to publish every day just for the sake of a commitment to a schedule is going to eat away at the quality. Good luck getting unstuck with the novel.

    • April 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      Ain’t it the truth? I keep thinking how great it would be to have three or four posts all ready to go. I remember hearing long ago that if you were going to start a newsletter you should have six months’ worth of articles already written before you published the first edition. Now I understand why. That time just flies by.

      I can understand why two posts a week would be difficult for you, Charles. Your posts are well thought out and beautifully written, which takes time. And then there are the cartoons that you customize. That’s a lot of work. But what a gift for your readers!

  8. Jackie said,

    April 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Now if you had spent the time blogging instead of ranting about the American Idol results, you would have been in touch with your readers much earlier!! 🙂

  9. Jess Witkins said,

    April 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I was going to just Like, Madge, but you took the time to comment on my blog. 😉

    I’m following the Kristen Lamb approach, blogging 3 times a week. It’s not always easy, but I do like the schedule and what little stats I have are kept consistent. Um, guess I should work on that last part. *leaves to go eat feelings*

    LIKE!

  10. huffygirl said,

    April 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Margaret, I’m so glad you raised this issue. I’ve been mostly silently questioning the recent campaign for bloggers to post every day. I too do not see the rationale of posting something just to post, or 200,000 people blogging about the same topic, or going the “took Timmy to the dentist …” route. Yet, if comments on The Daily Post are any indicator, there seems to be much enthusiasm from fellow bloggers for the post a day thing, and blogging on suggested topics.

    I don’t blog on a schedule but try to do about 3 posts a week. So far that works most of the time, but if you or any of my other loyal readers see one that I really shouldn’t have bothered to put out there, don’t be afraid to let me know. I think my blogging is partly driven by my stats, and by the frustrated inner writer within. If I ever dust off my novel and get it out again, I probably would be blogging much less.

    I do enjoy your blog and start to wonder if I haven’t seen one in awhile. But blogging guilt? I think we all get it but probably should not let it take us down.

    • April 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

      The blog-a-day thing brought back memories of NaNoWriMo (where you write a 50,000-word novel in one month). The difference is no writer in their right mind is going to show someone the 50,000 words they speed-wrote in one month. There’s pondering, and rewriting, and editing, and proofreading to be done before anyone should see that mess. 😀 However, if there are people out there who can think up, write, edit, and proofread meaningful blog posts every day, more power to them. I’m just not one of them.

  11. Richard said,

    April 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Who’s got time to blog every day? 3-a-week and I’m doing well.

    Your sins are pardoned. Say three Hail WordPresses and an Act of Submission. 😉

    • April 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Ah, Father Richard, thank you for that easy penance. It’s especially nice since it’s coming from someone who plans out blog posts for when he’s on vacation. 😛

      • Richard said,

        April 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

        The God of Blogging rains fair and just on the well-prepared, my child. And there’s nothing worse than coming home after two weeks to a tumbleweed-strewn, cricket-serenaded blog.

      • April 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm

        Don’t I know it! A lot of good peering over your shoulder as you clicked Publish did for me.

      • huffygirl said,

        April 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        He’s not only one – I just scheduled out a week’s worth.

      • April 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

        Jeez, Huffy. Can I smack you? 😉

    • Zahara said,

      April 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      lol, richard you crack me up.

  12. April 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    ” If I had a choice, I’d rather read one thoughtful, well-written post by an infrequent blogger than a blog-for-blogging’s-sake post every day.”

    Consider this your penance, my child. Go and blog less more.

    It set me free.

  13. Val Erde said,

    April 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I think most bloggers are afflicted with bloggers’ guilt from time to time, it comes with the territory…

    I think the main thing is to decide why you’re blogging in the first place and then take it from there. If you’re blogging just for yourself, in a personal blog, with no other aim than to write occasionally, then really it doesn’t matter how often you post. If, on the other hand, you’re blogging to get more people interested in your books, then you probably need to blog more regularly and find topics that interest you sufficiently to keep you motivated. Personally, I love your blogging style – your posts are both thought provoking and humorous which, for me, gives them an edge.

    As for my sort of blogging schedule, well I now have four blogs and as you know I also want to live my life away from them from time to time, so I’m doing a rather delicate balancing act with them all. I’ve pretty much stopped (for now, at least) writing in Nearly A Pie, which was supposed to have been humorous posts ‘by’ the birds in our garden. My main blog, Absurd Old Bird is where I like to blog about personal stuff in as much of a humorous way as I can (with some serious stuff thrown in occasionally) and really I post there when something inspires or stirs me, but I rarely plan the posts unless it’s a two parter or a series. My artwork blog currently has a month’s worth of posts on automatic schedule which means I just have to go in there to moderate comments. And my newest blog is so new that I’m wonderfully enthusiastic about it and am posting to it every day or as close to everyday as I can – it’s only about a week old and already has received lots of comments! But whether I’ll be able to keep that up or not, I don’t know.

    I spend a lot of time, still too much time, reading other blogs. But I’m all about making connections, I like to make connections, really I live to make connections (but only via blogging as I don’t like Facebook and am not attracted to twitter) so I get drawn back over and over to this end of it.

    Oh, and I’m with you on blog prompts. They make me shudder too!
    🙂

  14. April 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

    😀 Do you find yourself yelling into the air “Don’t tell me what to do!” ROFL

    I’ll stop by your new blog today. After I sorted out my inbox yesterday, I didn’t have any brain left for reading. I don’t know how you keep up with four blogs and the gazillion comments you get.

  15. Brenda said,

    April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    It’s a hard one to stand either side of the fence on, as a writer, I write everyday (that is my relationship with writing) but is everything I write worthy of global publication—certainly not. As I begin my own road to fame quest the blogging/social networking aspect is new age requirement for the first time author, I’ve read quite a few posts on this early quest of mine that should have remained in draft mode. I only recently learned about the WP challenge. I think it would be a great way to write a novel, a page a day.
    I quite enjoyed the responses to your post, as much as the post.
    Brenda (newbie blogger, but long time lover of the writing)

    • April 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      Welcome, Brenda, newbie blogger. 😀

      I have to agree–I love the responses, too. I have the best blogging buddies in the world.

      Good luck on the road to fame!

  16. Roberto said,

    April 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I create a blog everyday – at least once. It’s only in my mind though.

    • April 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, I know. 😐 I’m still waiting to read one. But while you’re here, why not lie down on my couch. There you go. Now, let’s explore why that blog never makes its way from your mind to the screen. Deep breath.

      Seriously, Rob, I hope I’m reading one of your wacky wonders in the near future.

  17. April 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    […] got Google Reader open as I was reading the comments in a favourite blog‘s thread about Blogging Guilt. Sorry Margaret, you’ll probably get more people along to you now and you’ll have more […]

  18. Linda Lewis said,

    April 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Funny this should come today as I’ve been thinking about this whole blog thing and asking myself why. For me it began as a challenge from my daughters who thought that because I enjoy writing, a blog would be fun. And that’s what I want it to be, fun as well as interesting, both to me and whoever reads it. I don’t want it to become a chore, but if you want people to stay tuned in you have to write on a regular basis. Sometimes that’s hard and gets back to the question why. Mine is not a personal journal, it’s more of a crazy quilt, and I am most grateful to those of you who read and comment. I’ve kinda gotten away from your question. My answer: write when you have something to say.

  19. dearrosie said,

    April 11, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Hello Margaret, you can blame Val for bringing me here 🙂
    Enjoyed your post very much. I too wonder how on earth one can keep up the blogging – I tried posting once a day for a few months but it takes up so much time I barely had time to sleep. I also hold a full time job (with an hour commute) need time for cooking shopping cleaning and there’s my spouse wanting to go to a movie or out with friends and I say “no go without me I have to stay home to read all these other people’s blogs…” sheesh. No wonder I keep putting off writing my book…

    • April 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

      Welcome, Rosie, and thank you Val for sending your pals to visit.

      I’m impressed that you were able to make it through a few months of blogging every day. I tend to be more of a “simmering” writer. I have an idea, it simmers, I write a bit, it simmers some more. I never would have made it as a journalist, that’s for sure. There would have been empty space several times per week where my article was supposed to be. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by.

  20. afrankangle said,

    April 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Let’s face it – everyone’s schedule and circumstances are different – thus so are their needs for blogging are also different. Frequency of posting is variable of the equation – but so is responding to those commenting as well as visiting your fav sites. In other words, its not only about writing/posting!

  21. Kemi said,

    April 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I signed up for post a week but realised I was posting 2ce a week. I have a lot going on in my life so I decided to call myself to order in one of my recent posts. I now post once a week, usually Monday morning- but I’m sure that I’ll tresgress and write “bonus” posts from time to time. I’m trying to relax about it as I think I can out run the Blogging Police :). K

  22. Melinda said,

    April 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Blogging guilt always hits me on Sunday night when I’m looking forward to finally getting a good nights sleep for once by going to bed at 11pm rather than 2am… and then I realize I haven’t written in a week. For some reason I’m surprised each Sunday as if that has never happened before much like the movie Groundhog Day. Luckily ideas are always swirling in my head where my pre-child braincells use to be so I grab one and run with it. I’m lucky if I get 1 in every seven days. I call it “panic writing” which I perfected during college by waiting for the last minute to write all literature essays. If I had to write every day I would be writing this from the crazy house.

    • April 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      It’s all that break dancing you’re doing. It’s taking up too much of your blogging time. Maybe let the Double Dutch Bus roll on by for a change. You know? 😉

      I always wrote my papers in a panic the night before they were due, in a foreign language no less. Adrenaline always worked for me.

  23. April 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Feh, I guilt not over personal blogs.

    Somebody said it above already: it’s all about your goals. If your goal for blogging is to do whatever you damn well please, it’s all good. My for-money stuff is different and can be a real bear (they are, after all, work), but my personal blog belongs to me me meee!

    Think of it as a Giant Personal Cupcake!

    (See, if I had figured out the nutella thing by now I’d be able to say that. But cupcake will have to do.)

    (I’m finally subscribing to this site by email (which I haven’t enabled on my own site yet, feh). Cause I like cupcakes. Thanks for sharing yours with us!)

    (I just love parenthetical statements. I layer the hell outta those things. I might have a problem.)

    • April 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Cupcakes work for me, but in the spirit of parenthetical layering, perhaps we should think of it as our own slice of 12-layer cake.

      You’re right, of course. I started a blog for fun in the summer of 2008 and that continues to be my goal…when I remember that that’s my goal.

  24. April 12, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I feel your pain! Right now, times are crazy and I must confess….I too had no new material in a week! Don’t beat yourself up too much! That is life my dear!

  25. Jeff Silvey said,

    April 14, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I try to post to my blog every day. But not just for the sake of posting. If I don’t have a good idea, I won’t post. My problem is, I have too many ideas for posts and not enough time to write. I am a stay-at-home dad with a three-year-old, and my “boss” sometimes just won’t let me write!

    • April 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

      Try handing the “boss” a pencil and a notebook. That’s what I used to do with my son and he’d sit down and write with me. I have tons of adorable, crazy stories in his handwriting. 🙂

  26. April 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    “If I had a choice, I’d rather read one thoughtful, well-written post by an infrequent blogger than a blog-for-blogging’s-sake post every day.” Seconded. Occasionally I stumble across a blog where someone’s blogging every day and making it count, but it’s been pretty infrequent thus far!

    When I started my blog a couple of months ago, I intended to blog every day. I realized that was absorbing pretty much all my writing energies, so that I had nothing left over for my projects. I then shifted to five times a week. Then, when I saw that Thursdays routinely were my lowest-traffic days, I dropped to four. Most recently, I threw my hands up and told myself, THREE! Three I can handle! I’d meant for those entries to be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I’d no sooner decided that than a blog entry came to me.

    I’m still sorting it out, but I’m aiming for three times a week. I know there’ll be times I’ll write more and times I’ll write less, but three times a week is the kind of consistency I’d like to see from people whose blogs I read. In the ideal world, of course, where we don’t all have a million other obligations! 😉

    • April 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Deborah, for stopping by and commenting. Good luck with your blogging schedule. I’m great at making them; not too good at sticking to them.

  27. leo said,

    April 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I always post my blog at regular intervals. and appreciat my friend or strangers stopping by and cmmenting.
    Thank you for you share.

  28. Rahul Gandhi said,

    September 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Ya, it’s about perception.
    Regards
    Rahul Gandhi


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