What I ate for breakfast (not)
My friend, Sheryl, likes to characterize a particular form of blogging as “what I ate for breakfast” posting. It’s easy to fall into the trap. You feel as if you should post something, and you may think of your blog as being the equivalent of sitting down to coffee with your friends, so you just babble about minutiae of your life without regard to how many people might actually be interested.
One reason that that sort of thing works in a face-to-face conversation is because there is (usually) a give and take. If you start to talk about the scrambled eggs you made, a friend might comment that they have never been any good at scrambled eggs, or another might comment about how their spouse is allergic to eggs, and the next thing you know, the topic has drifted to something else that everyone is interested in. But with your own blog, without any immediate nonverbal feedback from your friends, it’s really easy to just go on and on…
I try to avoid that, but one problem is that we don’t all classify minutiae the same way. I have posted, over the years on various blog and blog-like places, about my continuing battle with hay fever. That’s why I started titling those posts, when the topic comes up again, “Why I hate hay fever, reason #NNNN” with a new number in the thousands. I hope that the headline conveys to people that I know I’m about to babble about a topic that I’ve mentioned a lot, and even if you are a close personal friend who regularly comments on my blog, I will not be offended in the slightest if you just skip right over the post, perhaps thinking to yourself “Oh, no! Not again!”
A related phenomenon are long and/or frequent blog posts about the purpose of the blog, the nature of blogging, or the philosophy of blogging. Which is perfectly fine to do every now and then, particularly if you’re making a major change, and want to give people fair warning that this blog which used to be about your favorite local sports teams will from now on be all about collecting porcelain dolls.
I’m not making a major change. But based on a couple of comments I’ve received (not as comments on the blog, but either in email or in person), I thought I ought to mention that I’ve been using the Schedule feature here on WordPress, a lot.
Before I moved my primary blog to WordPress, it had always been the case that at any given time I had three, four, or a couple dozen essays/posts on various topics in various stages of completion. Some were completely done, and I was waiting for an appropriate time to post them. Most are only partial drafts. I poke at all of them from time to time, until they get finished and then become tomorrow’s post.
Frequently, thanks to confluences of events and the fickleness of my muse, three, four, or more will all get finished in a single evening or over the course of a Sunday afternoon when we don’t have anywhere else to be. So I wind up scheduling posts to go live around noon my local time over the next three to five days.
One of the reasons multiple postings will get done at nearly the same time is because they are on related topics. I have more than one aspect of a particular thing that I want to comment on, so I break it into different posts and set them to publish on consecutive days, for instance. What can I say? I am something of a motor mouth.
If something comes up that I feel I have to post about right away when I already have a bunch of days scheduled, I bump the others back and post the new thing.
In case you were curious.