A Severe Case of Bad Blogging

A reader wrote in and asked me if I ever encounter Writer’s block or situations in which I am less than satisfied with the quality of my posts. The answer is yes to both questions. It is not at all uncommon for me to stare at the screen and wonder why the words aren’t magically filling it.

And without a doubt I have published more than one post whose quality was less than stellar. Blogging is no different than anything else in life there are good days and bad days. There is one significant difference between bad days in general and bad days in blogging.

A bad day in blogging can not only be memorialized forever it can go viral and be seen by millions of people. A bad day in blogging can hurt you professionally and personally. I suppose that if you are really paranoid I just helped to make your day.

In every day life you really have to work hard to do something dumb enough to receive that kind of life long notoriety.

For most of us none of these things in real life or in blogging will happen so let’s circle back and talk about the more mundane question of what to do about bad blogging. What happens when the quality of your posts suffer and how do you deal with it.

There are a few initial questions to ask such as whether it is a personal or professional blog. The answer there is self evident. If your blog is supposed to provide a professional representation of your work you need to take extra care with what you publish. Better to provide fewer examples of a higher quality than a thousand mediocre ones.

On the personal side it is a different sort of question. I view my blog as a working tool and living chronicle of my life. As such I am less finicky about publishing posts that may not always be my finest work. Doing so provides me with benchmarks that I can use to measure my growth as a writer/blogger.

And candidly I am confident enough in my ability that I do not worry that I going to publish total crap. It doesn’t mean that I love everything I write, but I can usually live with it.

One more thing to mention. I like reading a blog that isn’t composed solely of shiny pennies. I think it is more authentic to read a series of posts and get a chance to see the diamonds in the rough.

The bottom line here is that blogging is another one those places where we have shared experiences. We all have moments of doubt and uncertainty. Sometimes you just have to endure a severe case of bad blogging and work your way through it.

What do you think?

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28 Comments

  1. troublesometots June 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I had my first run-in with an internet troll who said my writing was crap. I would be far less insulted if she had disagreed with me on something I had said but the writing slam stung.

    I read lots of books on writing which you would think would make me a great writer. But really all it’s done is made me somebody who has read a lot about writing. Writing takes time and practice – something most parents I know have very little of.

    So some days the writing flows and you go, “Wow I guess those books are working out!” and some days an internet troll dings your questionable prose and if you’re like me you retreat behind the shield of, “I have kids – this is the best I can do for today.”

    • The JackB June 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      @twitter-224363120:disqus Trolls are fun. I have had a bunch show up here.

      You are right about good writing coming from practice and effort. It is like any other skill. If you spend time working at it you can improve.

      I know what you mean about the flow- sometimes you have it and sometimes…

  2. troublesometots June 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I had my first run-in with an internet troll who said my writing was crap. I would be far less insulted if she had disagreed with me on something I had said but the writing slam stung.

    I read lots of books on writing which you would think would make me a great writer. But really all it’s done is made me somebody who has read a lot about writing. Writing takes time and practice – something most parents I know have very little of.

    So some days the writing flows and you go, “Wow I guess those books are working out!” and some days an internet troll dings your questionable prose and if you’re like me you retreat behind the shield of, “I have kids – this is the best I can do for today.”

    • The JackB June 2, 2011 at 1:12 am

      @twitter-224363120:disqus Trolls are fun. I have had a bunch show up here.

      You are right about good writing coming from practice and effort. It is like any other skill. If you spend time working at it you can improve.

      I know what you mean about the flow- sometimes you have it and sometimes…

  3. Carina Clark June 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I think some days it is really hard to find anything good to write. I’ve been dealing with a lot of writer’s block lately. Part of it is adjusting to time differences (boo for jet lag) and that sort of thing. I got out of my habit and have had a hard time coming back. 

    I agree with the comment below about making it into the ranks of having “bad blogs”. I’m not sure I’ve seen one yet.

  4. Carina Clark June 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I think some days it is really hard to find anything good to write. I’ve been dealing with a lot of writer’s block lately. Part of it is adjusting to time differences (boo for jet lag) and that sort of thing. I got out of my habit and have had a hard time coming back. 

    I agree with the comment below about making it into the ranks of having “bad blogs”. I’m not sure I’ve seen one yet.

  5. Columbiarose June 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I wish I could make the snarky comment equivalent of a bad post: TL;DR, but it’s too late.
      

  6. Columbiarose June 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I wish I could make the snarky comment equivalent of a bad post: TL;DR, but it’s too late.
      

  7. Jotter Girl June 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I think you are going to need to work a little harder to be in the ranks of the bad bloggers.  😉

  8. Jotter Girl June 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I think you are going to need to work a little harder to be in the ranks of the bad bloggers.  😉

  9. Brandon P Duncan June 1, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I agree with Stan. Not your worst try here. LOL!

    I don’t know, I suppose it depends on your personal goals when it comes to a non-business blog. I, for one, want to get better at my writing. In that, I feel it necessary to try and push out gems every time. It doesn’t happen, obviously (thus the desire to get better) but it makes me focus.

    I am still surprised sometimes to see what posts really hit the irons and which ones flop. It’s always a nervous wait to see.

    • The JackB June 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      @twitter-128833363:disqus I appreciate the effort. It is always clear to me that you are working hard to produce quality and that you care. Not everyone does and that is an important distinction.

  10. Brandon Duncan June 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I agree with Stan. Not your worst try here. LOL!

    I don’t know, I suppose it depends on your personal goals when it comes to a non-business blog. I, for one, want to get better at my writing. In that, I feel it necessary to try and push out gems every time. It doesn’t happen, obviously (thus the desire to get better) but it makes me focus.

    I am still surprised sometimes to see what posts really hit the irons and which ones flop. It’s always a nervous wait to see.

    • The JackB June 2, 2011 at 1:15 am

      @twitter-128833363:disqus I appreciate the effort. It is always clear to me that you are working hard to produce quality and that you care. Not everyone does and that is an important distinction.

  11. Stan Faryna June 1, 2011 at 8:02 am

    This was not an illuminating example of bad blogging, Jack. [grin]

  12. Stan Faryna June 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This was not an illuminating example of bad blogging, Jack. [grin]

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