I have been blogging for little over six years now. In those six years, I have known (mostly online) and followed a host of school and college based bloggers. You could say I’m a lurker on most blogs, as I don’t usually leave comments until I feel I have at least a modicum of understanding who the person writing is – at least their online persona. I say online persona because I know that even after reading hundreds of pages written by a blogger over many years, it’s still not enough to know who that person is until the time you meet that person and have an actual, real conversation. Bloggers write about what they want to say and not who they are. (That is certainly true for me. There are huge chunks of my life I don’t talk about or ever will on my blog; this is not the place for it.)
But I digress. Having followed a considerable number of school and college bloggers, I can’t help but notice how…inconsistent, shall we say, most of them are in posting new content. I often get the feeling that I don’t know enough about the person to engage in conversation through comments simply because I haven’t got much content to go on. This is inevitable at some level; after all, many who take up blogging are often only experimenting with the medium. There’s a vast sea of ‘dead’ blogs in the blogosphere at all age levels, and since youngsters are more willing to experiment with digital mediums it’s no surprise that a there’s a larger number of dead blogs started by school / college kids.
(On a side note: the number of blogs with ‘thoughts’, ‘ramblings’, ‘musings’, ‘random’ is quite astonishing. Practically all of them, come to think of it.)
No, what I’m referring to the sharp nosedives in posting frequency of hitherto active blogs when school students join college. I’ve seen this happen year after year with near infallible inevitability. I would attribute this to the transition from school-life, where many hours are dictated by school schedule, to college life where there’s relatively complete freedom. The number of hours in a day suddenly seem to shrink and there just doesn’t seem to enough ‘free time’. You never get to catch the dragon.
I’m making this blog post after a gap of three weeks. The irony. But I realize how this situation sets in, having faced it myself. Even when you put thought to planning your day, procrastination is easy in university / college life. Unless you’re facing coursework deadlines, nothing seems truly earth-shattering that it can’t be de-prioritized. The crucial tipping point comes when you put off a blog post you meant to write for too long – by then, too much time may have passed for the post to be relevant, or more importantly feel relevant to the writer – and yet it remains as a niggle in the back of your mind. You don’t want to start another blog post until this one in your head is finished. And thus, you never really catch the dragon.
I’ve a simple way of dealing with this – cut your ‘losses’, and move on. Don’t guilt-trip yourself on overshooting deadlines; if you’ve missed window of opportunity to make a post, then forget it. There are countless posts that even I have stashed away as drafts that are long past their expiry date, but I don’t let that impede me from working on newer content. For me, this feeling is strongest when I’m trying to write a ‘daunting’ blog post – one that I really want to get ‘right’. Editing rough drafts is good. Editing half-finished rough drafts while time just slips by, on the other hand, leads to a story that is doomed to live in your drafts folder. More importantly, if you haven’t written anything for a long while, you must not suppress the urge when you do feel like writing. It helps overcoming the dread of sitting down write that one blog post you really want to work on if you’ve written something else recently.
And if you have stuck with me this far, surely you realize now that this has been nothing but a ruse for me keep the juices flowing while I form the structure of my next blog post?