Why Raising Babies Is Like Making Bread (And Thoughts On Why I Blog Daily)

Jill has a really nice post about being a parent that resonated as Shea and I head towards our son's first month on this planet (and after dad's first week back in the office.)

Michelle also admits to some amount of shame at her lack of blogosity in comparison to my almost-daily-posting track record, especially with a new job, a new baby, and no computer (not quite true – no laptop but I still have access to a desktop pretty much everywhere I am – so a bit more inconvenient but not too bad.)  

Anyhow, a few people have asked me since I started this blog how I'm able to post so regularly.  So I thought I'd try to answer that now. 

The first element is that I've kept a personal journal (my small town roots won't allow me to refer to it as a diary – those are for girls! ) since 1991 during my first year of University.  I've always been a wannabe writer and had made various attempts at keeping a journal since probably the day after I learned to write.  But they never stuck until, perhaps unsurprisingly, I got my first computer.  The advantages of keeping the journal electronically – searchability, security, automation of some things like the time stamp I use for every entry- helped me to make writing in the journal a habit that I've never stopped.  (I think I read somewhere that you need to do something 20 or so times in a row for it to be a habit.  So less than a month of daily posts – in your personal journal or on your blog or for anything else – going to the gym, going to bed early, whatever it is – and you should be on your way.  Of course, how they figure this out so precisely is the bigger question!)

Getting back on topic – knowing I would have to write regularly to make the journal a habit, I decided to aim for a daily entry knowing that a weekly time frame gave too much chance to let it slide.  In the end, my entries weren't necessarily daily but as often as I had time or reason to write.  Some are one line long, some are pages in length.  I would say that since 1991, I've written 10 000 single spaced pages worth of entries.  Of course, I'll never go back and re-read everything but it's nice to be able to go back and, like looking at photo albums, have moments and memories come back to me – either when I'm trying to remember specific details or just browsing randomly. 

So when I started my blog, it was a fairly easy transition to doing regular, frequent posts here also.  And much like my journal, sometimes I'd go for a few days without
writing on my blog while other days would see half a dozen entries or more.

Finally, I think I've developed a few tricks to make daily blogging easier – I bookmark interesting links as I come to them so I always have something to talk about, I try to visit a few aggregators such as MetaFilter and Reddit on a daily basis which provide lots of potential links/topics for discussion.  Things like photos and embedded YouTube videos are easy “cheats” on days when I don't have anything to discuss but still feel obligated to post. 

I've also built up an archive of maybe 20-30 draft posts that could turn into full fledged blog entries at any time.  Pending topics range from long-buried subjects like “10 Things I Learned In Library School (Honest)” to a more recent idea to write about “Why Saskatchewan Is The Most Canadian of Provinces” to a list of useful library employment web sites (including RSS feed links for those that don't already have them courtesy of Ponyfish.

So anyhow, there you go – an explanation of how (and why?) I do daily (give or take) blog posts.  Oh, and the biggest irony?  Since starting this blog, my personal journal has gone from daily posts to closer to weekly ones! 

Comments 1

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jason, I'm a prospective MLIS student who reads your blog occasionally. Could you please do a post on how the technical aspects of Web site creation/blogging have evolved for you? Also, in your opinion, what skills should every librarian have with regard to Web site creation/management? Basically, I'd like to expand upon my basic HTML/Dreamweaver skills, and I don't know where to start! Thanks.

    Posted 08 Jun 2007 at 5:56 pm

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