Maybe it wasn’t worth saying?

You know how sometimes you’re talking about something and you either lose your train of thought and/or you’re interrupted and then you can’t recall what you were saying (I think this happens to everyone, not just me). Well, as they say: if you can’t remember, maybe it wasn’t worth saying. I’m beginning to discover that with blogging.

I now have 39 incomplete drafts. That’s too many just to be an occasional thing. It’s clear I get started on some post and then lose steam but don’t have the compelling need to finish it so it just sits there, stale and neglected.

A while back recognizing I couldn’t actually make all the posts I wanted, in the time window available to me, I started recorded the urls and a few notes, assuming I’d come back and finish these sometime. Well that cut the time required to get an incomplete post and so the number of unfinished posts of this type is even in the hundreds.

So I started my QuickReaction series, which at least meant the relatively brief bursts of reaction I had would get recorded (and not kept in some backlog I’ll never finish) but even those began to lapse.

Now recently I was really into what seemed to be an interesting post, similar to what I used to do, but my new life (starting in 2013) now has much less private time (and I can only do posts while alone since this is all secret) and so I was interrupted in the middle of a post that really interested me. So I used another technique (while concealing WordPress.com itself) to record a bit more of what was what I wanted to say, but nonetheless in nearly two weeks I never managed to come back and finish.

So I need to be realistic. If I don’t finish a post in one sitting, I never finish it. And that really tends to imply it wasn’t that important to me so obviously I can’t expect it to be at all important to you.

So what is the point of blogging? Most posts for most people go mostly unread so why do so many do it? And if we don’t do it for others then are we even doing it for ourselves? Almost all my posts have been read by someone but it’s also clear that most reads are “mistakes” (a search leading to me that wasn’t what the searcher wanted) so few posts are actually worth writing, so why bother? But today is just a down day all around so I won’t let the apparent futility of much of what I’m doing infect me into total withdrawal.

So let’s keep on bloggin’

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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6 Responses to Maybe it wasn’t worth saying?

  1. maggiemurphy says:

    I have been regularly blogging since October, but this month I tried something new. I added a post that I knew wasn’t finished because it was lacking content I couldn’t create (It was a social issue). I posted and within 24 hours received many insightful comments and personal e-mails from followers. I was able to later add an update and explain my experimental writing process. This obviously doesn’t work with every topic, but it was definitely worth attempting once. Good luck!

    • dmill96 says:

      Interesting, thanks for the insight. One slight issue with publishing incomplete posts and then revising is that people who subscribe by email get the first published post and not the revised one. Sometimes I forget and click publish instead of save draft and then have to email a couple of followers to check for the finalized posts.

      The idea you describe, however, where readers and their comments interact with the writing process is intriguing. I’ve experimented, in some private blogs, using WordPress.com as a collaborative tool but that hasn’t been too successful. The review and markup features of something like MSWord or Adobe Acrobat are much stronger (esp. as comments are then in context) but I can see how relatively short comments can be worked into the revised and finalized post.

      • maggiemurphy says:

        I like the idea of incorporating comments into the post. Can you provide a link to the blog where you tried that? My tech skills are minimal, but usually with a bit of trial and error, I can figure things out.

        I am about a week out from my incomplete post experiment. I posted an update within 36 hours. You brought up an important point about the down side of e-mail subscribers seeing the unfinished copy. On the other hand, I admitted in my update that not only did readers provide additional information, but also some of my initial assumptions were wrong. I think readers like to see a journey and see that we are human and make errors. While I wouldn’t repeat this exercise on a regular basis, I would occasionally give it another go.

        Have a great day!

        • dmill96 says:

          There’s no direct way, AFAIK, in WordPress.com to include some or all of comment in a post. In the case I mentioned which was a private blog and therefore not available the method was manual, but using the blockquote formatting style and by convention putting in datetime and initials of author. The software that does this in somewhat more automated fashion, although it’s stretching the definition of “post” is discussion board software which is a bit different from blogging software.

          To your second point, one approach might be to labeled the first published post as “draft” or “preliminary” or some such, accumulate comments, and then create a new post (which still might not be final). While there is no automated way, AFAIK, of creating one post from another (as the starting point for revising it) simple copy-and-paste isn’t too hard.

          It’s also possible to get a bit more formatting into posts by creating the posts in MSWord and then using that paste option in the toolbar of the WordPress.com post editor. I haven’t tried to see exactly what additional formatting is transferred over, but obviously indentation would be handy. The one time I wanted a table I created it in MSWord and pasted it into WordPress.com.

          Since I’m old timer and techie I date from dates of directly authoring HTML so I’ve sometimes added HTML directly to the posts (the tab on upper right of WordPress.com’s editor allows text or HTML mode). WordPress.com doesn’t allow arbitrary HTML so it filters what you manually enter but it allows more HTML options than it shows in the toolbar. Since the post will be shown within the context of the stylesheets used by WordPress.com’s webpage generator the options will be fairly limited.

  2. Nona says:

    buck up, buddy. I read your stuff

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