Thoughts on Blogging Part 2
I usually write a post early on in the New Year in which I list the various goals I’m focusing on over the next twelve months. To date I have not done this because I am still trying to work out what I can and cannot accommodate within my current schedule. As a carer I’m kept very busy, but my weekly routine does offers windows of opportunity for writing. However, free time is a finite commodity, so I have to really cut my proverbial coat according to my cloth this year. Therefore, I’ve decided to pursue the following projects. I will continue to regularly post on Contains Moderate Peril as I enjoy having my own platform and certainly feel that I still have a lot to write about. Also, the audience is steadily growing, and I think it would be counter productive to fly in the face of such a development. I was also given the opportunity to write for MMOGames recently and have decided to accept this invitation. Writing to deadlines and deferring to editors, is an invaluable learning experience. Plus, it presents my writing to a wider audience which is great for brand awareness and other awful marketing terms.
However, I have several other ideas and potential projects in development at the moment but it’s proving hard to determine which ones I should do. Some would be fun but are mainly driven by my personal preferences. Others are designed with an eye to reader involvement, which would potentially attract traffic. And as I ponder this matter, it has also dawned upon me how my bent for writing is slowly turning from a passion to a job. I’ve had to create a spreadsheet to track the various blog posts I have scheduled and I’m also setting constraints on the length of some posts, simply to ensure they can be turned around promptly. However, it is logical to put systems in place if you wish to manage a situation. For example, if I think it’s likely that I’m going to write about a film that I’m watching, I will always make notes about it. I also use of Pocket to save interesting articles and reviews that appear in my Feedly subscriptions. I also have a white board on the wall for ad-hoc ideas.
It’s a curious situation, trying to determine exactly when you go from being an enthusiastic blogger to a “writer”. In the past some would argue that you had to have something formally published in physical print before you could credibly claim such a title. Nowadays the criteria seem to be a lot different. Some known and established writers have stated that the title is something you just choose to label yourself and that is substantiated by your body of work. It certainly offers food for thought. I would add that getting paid for your work at some point helps. And while we’re on the subject of writing as a formal job, I’d like to point out I’m not a fan of the old adage “do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life”. I think it’s hogwash. If you wish to do anything to the best of your ability, it will require effort and dedication. It’s therefore going to be hard and if it doesn’t feel so, then I would suggest you’re doing it wrong. Work can be fun, but it is not play. Furthermore, I always hear this phrase bandied about by people of independent means, which pretty much negates their point. If you don’t have to do something just to get by, is it really a job?
Despite trying to set some time aside, I haven’t managed to sort out a podcast so far this year. I suspect I am going to have a rethink on that issue. Rather than produce my own show, I may have to see if I can find a slot on someone else’s, which is a big ask. I think this issue may be a separate post in itself. I also fear my aspiration to do a light-hearted stream while gaming, is going to have to be shelved. The movie club idea may still happen, as it could provide a regular article for Contains Moderate Peril. However, the main problem is picking a film to discuss, that is available on most video on demand platforms and therefore accessible. While I try to figure all these things out, I need to focus on my current writing, as that’s something I can manage at present if I stick to my schedule. It also occurs to me as I write this post, why so many people consciously decide to give up blogging or writing in general. It isn’t as easy or straight forward as some perceive it to be. Furthermore, we’re often our own worst enemy by being such hard taskmasters.