Is Blogging Worth it?

Year-end is sometimes for stock-taking. Dr. D does so in a painfully honest way, and decides to break from blogging for a couple of months for reasons that are heart-rending. (Read the post for the why.) This is what struck me, however:

I love this blog, but it takes a lot of my time. I spend a lot of time thinking on the questions you write me, and writing, re-writing, checking, and formatting a post takes about 6 hours for me. Yeah, I’m that slow!

Going faster would make me put out rambling, useless junk, and I wouldn’t do that to my readers.

So posting every week takes a significant chunk of my free time. So for the next few months I’ve decided to allot more time to my friends and family who are still breathing.

Each point (I think) applies to me and every other blogger I read regularly, and I still put out “rambling, useless” shit frequently. Writing is hard work. It takes commitment. And there is no cure for it. I’m getting a little faster, but still, producing a longish piece, say in the range of 750 – 100 words, still consumes four or five hours — which is why you, dear readers, only see them maybe weekly. I’m frankly in awe of the bloggers who deliver each day long, well-written, 1500-word pieces with the alacrity of  Thomas the Tank Engine moving cargo on the Isle of Sodor. I couldn’t do it. My brain would implode into a space-time singularity leaving an empty husk of a charge nurse robotically telling wandering family members over and over, “These are the ambulance doors, sir. Please use the main entrance.”

Is it worth it? Mostly. There are negatives, yes, in terms of time spent on the computer, and doing annoying crap unrelated to writing but related to blogging (if you can see the difference.) Sometimes writing feels like just another job, but with no pay. Yet I don’t believe my social life has suffered — much — I usually write in the early hours of the morning, when most people are cozied in bed. More positively, my writing and this blog has improved immeasurably, but also I’ve sharpened up my capacity for critical thinking and made some amazing contacts. The discipline of producing something on a nearly daily basis has been tremendous. I don’t watch television anymore — it’s amazing how much time and creative energy the idiot box consumes — and a good thing this is, too.

But I think the ever-growing list of Rigor Mortis blogs on the right-hand blogroll ultimately decided otherwise. It’s tough, making everything balance, and in the Grand Scheme of Things, our little scribblings here don’t count for much. Life, to use a cliché, gets in the way. So Dr. D, I understand. Completely. So good luck, rest up, do what you have to do, and we’ll see you in February.

,

  1. #1 by Jenn Jilks on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1045

    I think this is exactly why I blog! Me and my generation are critical thinkers. We reflect, research, and comment on life, our profession, what seems wight and wrong in society, in our neighbourhoods, communities, regions, provinces, nation and the world.

    I am pleased to be able to stay at home, and bring my take on the world around me, to those who continue to read my blogs, respond, correct me and further reflect.

    It counts, to put your opinion out there. Not on the ‘comments’ section of newspapers on-line, but in blog posts that add up to provide information for those looking for it.

    My blogs have led to a number of contacts, interviews, and journalists seeking information (i.e., G8 Muskoka)and my insight, as a middle-aged professional. (Perhaps, at 53, I am nearer the old age than middle?) You know from your own discussions, that you are enlightening and illuminating the world around you.

    It is only in discourse that we improve and learn. And while we research what we write about, we help improve the information on the web.

    I found, as a teacher, that few had the guts to listen to me, or my peers. My supervisors (i.e., principals/managers) were more concerned with appearing brilliant to first their supervisors, and then management, and then the public.
    You and I are unafraid to call a turkey a turkey. Workplace bullying, Full Day K, for example
    I tend to reserve trite, flippant, fun info for my Facebook friends, and the more serious issues I channel into Health, Education, General Rants on my 3 main blogs.

  2. #2 by Sean on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1212

    One of the main reasons we nurse bloggers fade in and out like the wind. It definitely takes time and commitment. The past 3 years I’ve seen many blogs come and go.

  3. #3 by atyourcervix on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1223

    I do the longer posts every now and then, because I like to post good content. Not just drivel that could qualify as twitter or facebook fodder. I don’t take several hours to do one post though. I sit, type from the heart and publish.

  4. #4 by cartoon characters on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1249

    I blog for myself. If others want to read it, fine – I am honored. But I don’t spend a whole lot of time on it….as long as it is legible. You seldom see technical stuff on my blog – I blog about life experiences and nursing and family and whatever else comes to mind. Mostly it’s my life and my world…not really worthy of “professional publishing” (thus the turning down of the offer from the nursing magazine online). If it’s the only legacy I leave behind….so be it. Even that will pass…..and I am ok with it.

    I do appreciate the blogs I do read, though, and am happy they are obliging us with the information and stories….. but I can understand how it could take up so much time! I will look forward to anything you put out in your timeframe….

  5. #5 by Shrtstormtrooper on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1319

    I’m with you and Doctor D. I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently without having put out any quality posts. I’ve got them marinating, but nothing has come to fruition yet. Perhaps I’ll rejuvenate with some eggnog and ugly sweater parties over this holiday season and come back with some freshness.

    Either way, I’m glad you still put out quality on a regular basis…someone has to!

  6. #6 by Maha on Friday 17 December 2010 - 1527

    I still find blogging to be a great stress relief and to gain other people’s perspective and experiences on their practice but you’re right – a quality post can take up a significant chunk of time. I’ve been swamped with crazy shifts, homework and general holiday stuff so I’m not pushing myself to blog as much as I ‘should’. It’s not homework, it’s not my job so I’m not going to stress too much about it. When I have something fun/interesting/significant to post, it’ll be up. Blogging is a hobby and I intend to keep it that way because there’s no point in stressing out over things you don’t have to.

  7. #8 by wilomis on Saturday 18 December 2010 - 1530

    Even though I don’t write for my blog, I run into the same dilemma. Drawing takes time… and depending on the story I am trying to tell.. sometimes it takes longer than I like. I am a nurse by profession, with a passion for illustration. I know that I will never draw professionally for a living, so in some way the blog allows me to do what I enjoy. I imagine the same goes for writers. I imagine coming up with a witty, snarky, or thought provoking sentence provides delight in the heart of the writer… much like when I can scribble just the right facial expressions to capture the emotion of my story. My goal, in the long term, is for my kids and grandkids to be able to read about my past and the things I have done. I think it’s cool that my life and the one’s who share it with me will continuously be told in my way. I will strive to not fade out into that great world wide web…

    PS.. I have been able to talk to and share with a lot of great people through this blog. I may not have the opportunity to say so often enough, but thank you to those who read and comment.

    • #9 by torontoemerg on Sunday 19 December 2010 - 1216

      Thanks Will. it’s a great perspective on things.

  8. #10 by Art Doctor on Saturday 18 December 2010 - 2232

    I don’t think you need to judge your blogging so critically. Just keep doing your best.
    I enjoy reading your blog everyday, and would seriously miss reading if you stopped, even to look at your beautiful flowers ;).

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