Once More Unto the Breach

My friend Richard J. Anderson has a new year's resolution:

New Years Resolutions are stupid, and almost guaranteed to fail. Yet, here I am on the last day of 2012, making a resolution, and backing it up with a big, public post on the Internet. That resolution is that I will be posting to Sanspoint every day—or at least every weekday.

For a good majority of QLE's first year, I committed to publishing every weekday. I still don't have a definitive sense of how worthwhile an endeavor that was.

Publishing every day is hard. Motivation comes and goes, and it's often difficult to detect whether or not you're wasting your time. Yeah, yeah, "writing is rewarding even if no one reads it," but that doesn't mean spending time and energy on a piece and not getting a peep in return isn't demoralizing.

To its credit, I believe daily publishing helped me establish a small reputation in my corner of the Internet. I may have even helped a few people. I also believe that, when it comes to writing, quantity begets quality, so I certainly don't regret it.

The eminent Jason Rehmus in a letter to Patrick Rhone:

Publishing a new piece each day isn't an end, but it's simply a path, maybe even just a small part of your path. Even if you don't publish one day or one week or one month, you're still traveling on the path in front of you. Choosing to write every day is a decision to set yourself in motion instead of staying still. An object in motion can change direction more easily than one at rest.

Shortly after QLE's one-year anniversary, I got a job teaching English. While it's been incredibly rewarding, it's also afforded me little time to write blog posts. I felt guilty about that for a long time, but as Jason says, it's all part of the same path. Writing or not writing—time still moves forward.

I don't believe in publishing for publishing's sake. I've written every day before; I know I can do it. But I will not allow my site, which I love, to become a source of stress because of some promise I made on the Internet.

I don't want to replace "I feel bad because I haven't written anything lately" with "I feel bad because I have to write every day."

So no, I'm not resolving to keep any sort of schedule here just yet.

That being said, I do miss the thrill of publishing and the camaraderie of my online colleagues. Thus, I am resolving to write. I resolve to write what I want, when I want, in the hopes that what comes out will be something I wanted to produce, rather than something I was obligated to come up with.

In no way do I mean to discredit guys like Patrick and Richard. They're both far more brilliant writers than I, and I have no doubt they'll produce quality insight on a daily basis. I look forward to reading it, and you should too.

Publishing every day is something every writer should consider at some point. I did it, and it was rewarding and worthwhile. For now, though, this is what works for me. And we should always do what works for us.

Have an extraordinary 2013. See you soon.