The thing about blogging is that you need to be putting out content, regularly.
The thing about putting out content is that you need to find something within yourself or within your experiences or within your perceptions that you find worthy of being shared and of being publicly associated with, and which you also genuinely feel (unless your aim is purely commercial) will enrich another human being. This is the sort of thing that resists dates and deadlines.
The thing about regularly is that it involves dates and deadlines. Although, as E.B. White pointed out,
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
You will begin to discern a dilemma.
Being disciplined and motivated, but not incredibly disciplined and motivated, I’ve struggled with finding the right cadence for creating content. What can I share regularly, that is valuable?
Then, an insight. What do I do all week, in my spare time, already? Read articles. Politics, economics, society, science, technology, innovation, cultural studies, foreign affairs… the list goes on. It is, paradoxically, my work and my leisure. I read and am enriched, I read and am enriched.. but then that labor of analysis melts into air. Waste! Why not capture that value, the value I create by virtue of simply being myself, and share it here?
So begins This Week in Links, the weekly feature* where I publish a list of all the (significant, interesting, and noteworthy) things I’ve read over the preceding half-fortnight. This will include, for example, most articles I read from Project Syndicate and the Economist, some articles I find through Alternet and on Facebook, and likely very few lists from Buzzfeed (as enjoyable as they are). I’ll include the link (probably the url itself, since those are often highly informative), and a two-sentence summary of what it is and why it matters in the grand scheme of things.
We’ll do it, let’s say… Sundays. Starting next week (I was on vacation last week, and so this week’s review would consist almost entirely of Infinite Jest**).
Should be fun.
*Not my first time. In college, I wrote for The Daily Californian, my school’s paper, on the Arts staff. One semester they brought me in to help launch their new Arts blog, and gave me free reign to do basically whatever I wanted. I decided it would be fun to create an award (named after myself, of course) and give it out to the coolest thing I found online that week. The Krony Awards was a (IMO) phenomenal feature that elevated the paper to a new plateau of class and grace.*** It’s funny how things seem to recur.
**Although if I were to try and summarize it, I would probably say something like: “A 1000-page romp through next year’s America. Evoking in the reader the excitement of an eight year old reading their first ‘choose your own adventure,’ Infinite Jest hints at everything but explains nothing.”
***Joking, of course.