Embracing the Imperfect Blog Post

This might come as a shock to my 7 RSS subscribers, but I’m not a very prolific blogger.

Courtesy of PsychoFish (lou) via Flickr

Courtesy of PsychoFish (lou) via Flickr

My lack of blogging is not due to a shortage of ideas or an insurmountable level of effort in putting fingers to keyboard.  It is due to a relatively high – yet achievable – standard I’ve set for myself when it comes to writing.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I do take pride in how I craft ideas into words.

Unfortunately, this usually means I won’t post at all for one or more of the following reasons:

The Incomplete Blog Post

In real life I like to take both sides of most arguments. I like to be familiar with all the different nuances of an issue and I like to think my ideas are well thought-out and complete.

To this end, I’m reluctant to post something that I consider to be half-baked – or worse – half-assed.

I don’t know why this is since there is a small body of evidence that suggests these are my best blog posts.

For instance, inspired by an in flight magazine, I jotted out the basic idea of my blog post about editorial calendars while flying cross-country.  I polished up the draft a bit and submitted it to YOUmoz the next day.

Dosh Dosh later stumbled on the post and expounded on it and came up with something degrees better than my original idea.  And I think that’s exactly how the Internet (and the blogosphere) should work.

Adding to this, there was a recent post by someone about how we shouldn’t be afraid of an incomplete blog post (I can’t find it now).

Faced with this evidence, anecdotal though it may be, I clearly shouldn’t be concerned about posting an incomplete blog post.

The Too Short Blog Post

I have some ideas that are too long for a 140 character tweet, yet they are too short for a regular blog post.

When faced with these ideas I try to find a way to verbalize them so that they can be condensed into a tweet or they can be expounded into something a little meatier.

I don’t know what the right length of a blog post should be for a personal blog like this.

Looking back on some of my posts I’m usually in the 1000+ word range.

Would a 200 word or so blog post be too short?  100 words?

Unlike Goldilocks, I don’t know what size blog post would be just right.

The Too Long Blog Post

This is the corollary to the above.

A lot of things I want to write about are too involved and lengthy to be put into one blog post.  My intention when I have these topics is to write out a series of posts and to publish them one at a time over the span of a few weeks or days.

What usually ends up happening however is that I write enough to get about half-way through my topic (usually one or two posts) and then I get distracted – or I simply lose interest in my original idea.

So, the blog posts end up shelved on some section of my hard-drive (or web server) – never to see the light of day.

A better approach might be to just push out what I have, and allow it to be open-ended.  This fits perfectly with the solution outlined two sections above.

If the ideas have merit – then others can pick it up and do something with it, or I’ll be inspired to finish it out myself.  If the ideas don’t have merit – then there isn’t much reason for me to finish it out anyway.

The No-Applicable Graphic Blog Post

As much as I like words – I like pictures too.  And blog posts with pictures are always better than those without.

Sugarrae made the argument that if you can’t spend a little time and/or money to find a picture for your blog post – you probably shouldn’t post at all.  And I tend to agree with that.

The only problem is – sometimes I can’t find the right picture.  Even if I’m willing to pay for it, I’m not always able to find something I like.  And the time involved in searching through pictures is another hurdle on the way to pushing out a blog post.

My only solution in this case might be to just post some random picture completely unrelated to the topic – or to post no picture at all.

The Off-Topic Blog Post

This is one I struggle with all the time.  THIS blog is meant to serve a few functions – one of which is reputation management.

If someone is looking to hire me as a builder, a Realtor, or as an employee – it would be ideal if this was one of the first things that showed up in the search engines.

If a long lost former classmate, or someone I grew up with was to Google me someday (can you hear me Tammy Tressler?), it would be great if they came here first to see what I’ve been up to.

To that end, I try to limit what I post on here.

You wouldn’t know it from this blog but I actually write and publish a lot.

I tend to write a lot about things like dating, parenting, my crushes on TV stars (I’m looking at you – Summer Glau) and my complete lack of even a basic understanding of women – but I do all those things on MySpace.

I figure if you’re looking for me on MySpace – that’s pretty much what you might be expecting – so that’s a good place for it.  The fact that very few adults actually use MySpace is an added benefit!

On here I’m aiming to stick to things that would be acceptable at a business lunch: Internet marketing, entrepreneurship, public policy, etc.

However, sometimes I come up with topics that don’t really fit into either of those categories.

The ideas are too high-minded for MySpace and a little off-topic for this blog.

This was my motivation behind starting my BeingBatman blog.  I really had no outlet to discuss all things Batman related. I knew I had no outlet because my kids told me “Dad, you have no outlet”.  But even that little blog suffers from my reluctance to post an imperfect blog entry.

Alas, there might not be an easy solution to the off-topic blog post issue.

Resolution

Since this has now gone on for 1094 words, so its about time that I get to my point.

I’m going to start to embrace the imperfect blog post.

The incomplete off-topic post that is either too short, or too long that I can’t find a good graphic for – that will all come here.

For better or for worse.

And if it turns out I don’t like it, or it doesn’t quite fit this blog – then I can always weed it out later.

Right?


Comments

Embracing the Imperfect Blog Post — 1 Comment

  1. Allow me to add my thoughts (I’m not really asking for permission, just pretending to in order to seem polite).

    I have struggled with this also. I have some talented bloggers in my reader (Darren Rowse springs immediately to mind) who post long posts, short posts, quick questions, undeveloped thoughts, etc. in order to get information out quickly and get feedback quickly. But I just can’t do that.

    I’ve gone the other direction – at my personal blog I used to sit down once a week and toss off a short post about what book I was reading or what I did that week, and then I stopped blogging there for awhile.

    When I started up again, I decided to only post if I had something important to say, or a story to tell. These posts take longer and are less frequent, but much higher in quality and a much better way for me to express my thoughts.

    I do wish you blogged more often, and now I know why you weren’t :) I do mix in some personal posts at my business blog, so I think you can do that here and still have it be a place where potential business contacts go to find out more about you, personally and professionally.

    One thing I really like is that you can come back and make changes – I’ve done that many times at both of my blogs. Sure, the people who read your post right away might not see them, but over time many more people will find your blog and they’ll get the tweaked version :)

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