“Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.” Woody Allen
When I started blogging earlier this year, my goal was to post a new article at least once a week. I kept it up for a short while. Then I got busy. I stopped showing up.
I take no comfort in the thought, but I’m not alone. There are a lot of us “little” bloggers, like me and my friend Kirk Samuelson, who aren’t pressured by the thought that thousands of adoring fans will be disappointed if we don’t post something. But even the Big Guys put the ball down and walk away. Punditwatch hasn’t posted since March, when the recent campaign in Iraq began.
Things are a bit more difficult for me because these blogs are handmade. I don’t use an online blogging app like Movable Type or a desktop app like iBlog. Instead, I write these articles in BBedit as include files and mark them up “by hand.” I upload them “by hand.” I do this because I’m a perverse, do-it-myself-even-when-it-hurts kind of guy. I use my own app instead of Quicken to manage my bank accounts. I use my own app instead of one of the many excellent OS X contact management apps. For years I’ve been using my own app to manage my photos and create web galleries online. I’m struggling now to persuade myself that iPhoto really does have many advantages and I should start using it instead.
But I don’t mean to suggest that the technical difficulties I impose upon myself are an excuse. Whether I use iPhoto or my own FileMaker Pro system, the hard part of photography is not managing the photographs I’ve taken, it’s taking good pictures in the first place. The same goes for blogging. BBEdit is highly customizable and I have the process pretty streamlined. The hard part isn’t dealing with the technology, it’s dealing with the writing.
And by “dealing with the writing,” I don’t mean “thinking of things to say.” I don’t have any problems in that department. Content’s easy. As my friends often remark, I’m full of it. But it takes time to package the content in a manner that meets my standards. This blog, for example, says nothing at all, but it took me a full hour to write, edit and polish.
[Originally posted on my blog at polytrope.com in August 2003. Reposted January 2005 on Movable Type as a test article. Moved to Blogger 7/27/06.]