I finally took the plunge yesterday and started a new blog dedicated entirely to perspectives on depression and other mental disorders from a Christian perspective. Hopefully, this will allow me to use this space for other subjects, such as parenting or editorializing or just messing around. Check out the new blog at http://depressionlighthouse.wordpress.com/. Thanks!
As anyone who has known me for any length of time at all would attest, I am not an overly talkative person. In fact, I am about as painfully shy and socially anxious as they come. This has been largely to my detriment over the years, but people have at times misguidedly praised me for it because it seemed as if I knew when to keep my mouth shut when others were making situations worse by continuing to talk. They may have been right, but I can’t say my actions were always guided by wisdom. In most cases, I was probably just scared to speak up.
It has been with a great deal of shock and amazement, then, that I’ve discovered through writing my own blog I seem to have the exact opposite problem once I start writing: I can’t shut up.
Take, for instance, my last blog post. It checked in at somewhere around 1,100 words – and I thought it was a little underdeveloped. My writing voice is totally different from my public speaking voice. It’s authoritative. It’s loud (in a written kind of way, if that makes any sense). It’s confident. It’s also, apparently, extremely long-winded.
One of my goals lately is to try and get more people to read this blog outside of my friends on Facebook or my followers on Twitter. The first challenge in doing this has been identifying that, at its core, this blog is really about nothing. It’s some random observations from me, and since I’m not really anyone of any consequence no one really has any incentive in going out of their way to get here. I did notice I keep getting views for the post that had the word “suck” in the title, so maybe if I include borderline profanities in my titles I might attract a bigger crowd.
The other challenge I’ve been presented with is posting on a frequent basis. Now, to me, a “frequent basis” would mean I was able to put up one post per day. I was reading some tips from another on-line blogging expert the other day, though, in which he said at one point he was posting up to four times a day.
Now, let’s do the math here. If you consider my last post average (Well, you’d probably say it was well below average. Ba-dum-dum!), four posts a day from me would equal out to over 4,000 words. I can tell you with all certainty that I will not be typing out 4,000 words a day at any point in the future unless I am either a) being paid to do it or b) receiving some sort of grade for doing so. One Web site I consulted on blog post length referred to a 1,449-word post as “snooze-inducing.” Just imagine what they would say about 4,000.
At the same time, though, I’ve noticed more and more posts on-line that really aren’t saying much of anything at all. They read as if someone had a pretty cool thought and then, instead of expanding on that thought and fleshing it out, they just put the initial thought down and moved on. I can daily feel the quick-hit structure of the Internet chipping away at my concentration skills, and post-and-run blog sites have a lot to do with that. They’re not bad necessarily; there’s just not much to them.
All of which begs the question: Is it the quality or the content which makes for an engaging blog site?
For my money, I’m going with the content. Now, don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying all blog posts under 500 words are somehow insignificant compared to lengthier ones. I’m just saying that I would much rather prefer to read something that might be a little longer but develops its points more thoroughly than a sort of steam-of-consciousness outpouring popping up at random points throughout the day.
Of course, everything I just mentioned here probably gives me my answer about why I can’t seem to attract more readers. Ingrained habits die hard, though, so you can probably expect me to keep running off at the mouth (or keyboard or whatever) every time I get on here. Oh, and also expect more uses of the word “suck.” Hey, you gotta go with what works, right?