Blogging metapost: the first draft of everything is shit

A lot of my favourite bloggers have a few good ideas and just keep plugging away, inspired by events and things they find interesting, they know who they are. I’m not sure I have the discipline for this. Adam Ozimek highlights his feelings:

Dave Roberts is an environmental writer for Grist who many readers are probably familiar with. He recently announced a year sabbatical from his job and from the online world entirely…

[M]aybe it is the particulars of working in the world of online policy writing that make happiness half-measures an impossibility and require fully going off the grid. I know I feel burnt out from policy and economic debates sometimes and this isn’t even my day job. In fact the irritations that Roberts’ describes sound very familiar to me:

It’s not just that U.S. politics involves daily offenses against decency and good sense, it’s that it just keeps offering the same offenses, over and over — same gridlock, same cranks and ideologues, same arguments, same grind…

I feel the same way a lot of the time. I’ve said a lot of what I want to say and I feel dumb repeating it, even if the eyes passing over are different. I’ve already outlined a three part schema for the rise and fall of bloggers. I’ve just added a fourth.

  1. You start out as an ignorant blogger and write lots because you have the arrogance to start a blog and assume your opinions are close substitutes for facts.
  2. You read more blogs, books and newspapers and live more experiences and you become less ignorant but more informed about just how little you actually know. Your output decreases as you recognise you can write posts better  than before but worse than you would like.
  3. You read even more and live more experiences and become even less ignorant but you’re still very aware of how little you know. But, you work out what you know relatively more about and write about that.
  4. You’ve said everything once…now you try to find more interesting ways to say it until people listen or give up.

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