I will not give up on my blog. I will not give up on my blog. I will not give up on my blog. This is my silent atheist prayer and promise to myself and the universe.
I like writing. I really do. And I think my stuff is quite readable. At any rate, I personally enjoy reading it. But writing on a schedule, week after week, is a whole different cup of tea from writing at leisure. It goes just fine at the beginning, when you’ve just started, and you’re brimming full of the ideas you’ve accumulated for decades. As you run out of those ideas, it becomes harder and harder.
If you want to maintain a blog, you need to have an editorial calendar, with a running list of topics that you regularly update. I tend to draw from my personal experiences while writing, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Random ideas, or writing prompts, written on my whiteboard, don’t quite inspire me. Instead they languish, unused, for weeks. I’ve developed a whole new respect for writers since I started this blog. It is hard work! It is hard work to sit down once a week, rain or shine, and produce a coherent piece of writing. How much harder would it be to sit down every day and do that for hours? How persistent would you have to be? How much would you write and rewrite just to throw away and start over? How much worse is the stress if you know your livelihood depends on this?
Writers need to be inspired. But they also need to be tremendously disciplined. “Disciplined” is the last word I would use to describe myself. Far from setting rules for myself, if I see a rule at a hundred yards, my instinct is to run from it. Do just the opposite. And to keep going at something difficult — oh my. The magic word, I think,the one that I lack, is “grit”.
A podcast that I listen to, and highly recommend, is Freakonomics. After popularizing micro-economics with their great books, authors Steve Levitt (economist) and Stephen Dubner (journalist) run this podcast, which covers a wide range of topics in an analytical, yet entertaining way. Their latest podcast is titled “How to get more grit in your life“. According to that, the good news is, if I believe I lack grit, it is a quality I can develop. You start with passion, and you follow it up with hard work.
Will I have the grit to maintain this blog? I’m working on that.