How I Write 100 Blog Posts a Year (5-year Blog Anniversary)
Friday April 24, 2020
We’re coming up on the 5-year anniversary of this blog! It started back on May 5th, 2015. I’m pretty proud of how things have gone during that time.
I originally started the blog as a place to park my studies as I explored my Thinking side. In fact, the original title of the blog was “Marc Thinky.” Prior to that, Friendlyskies.net was mostly an exploration of my visual arts-related hobbies.
My first blog posts here were just me reading books and taking notes. I still do that sometimes. I used a lot of bullet points. I still do that. I like bullet points, maybe too much.
Over time, I have widened my range here on the blog to also include many of my own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, as opposed to the thoughts of other people.
I don’t get a ton of feedback on the blog—my mailbox certainly doesn’t overflow with blog-related emails, but I do get a lot of those emails in bursts. Some of you write me to let me know what you’re thinking about, what you’re up to, and others write with questions or comments on new posts.
About 20% of the contacts are people who are either married to or are dating INTJs.
“Some facts about that shit”
- When someone writes and tells me they’re married to a “bog-standard INTJ” or similar term, I feel bad for them. They don’t mean “bog standard as in the world’s most awesome person,” but quite the contrary, rather something to be pitied. And I get it—any personality type can be “bog standard” and that comes with a LOT of downsides. This is also why Jung wasn’t super happy with the idea of MBTI-style personality types: They can easily leave the “level of personal development” question on the table, as people celebrate their inflexibility by parading their core personality type.
- Sometimes people absolutely dump on me. I’m OK with that. I can’t always give enough of myself to reply in full though. Some of these people are really suffering under a lot of stress. They’re all over the map. They know it, I know it. It bugs me that I can’t be both as graceful AND effective as I want with these people, but I do my best.
- Sometimes it is very clear that people who write in are paired up with absolute jerks who want to think really highly of themselves but who are so, so not worth the time and energy. That much is probably obvious to everyone except their spouse or boyfriend or friend who wrote in, and who is trying to figure out how to move up and on. There is not usually much I can do about this, or at least it feels that way—and that is frustrating to me.
- This last item has helped me to be a more humble and circumspect person, I think. I hope. Certainly writing in general has helped with that.
Others have written in, or left comments that are extremely unkind to yours truly. Comments about my writing style (what writing style?!), the kind of guy I seem to be, my photo, my face, or whatever.
Some of these comments admittedly left me enraged. But I try to balance this experience with the knowledge that a lot of people surfing the net are really unhappy with themselves, and they tend to project a lot when given the opportunity.
About the Writing Pace
My current blogging pace is about 100 blog posts a year, and it’s been that way for a while now. It’s not exactly a world record, but it’s a big deal for me. And I like to think that a lot of my blog posts land a bit above the “quantity” bar, in “quality” territory.
What makes it work
As far as I can tell, here’s how I went from “not many” blog posts a year to 100 a year:
- I learned something important: I’m more prolific if I don’t organize first. I try not to front-load a blog post with a bunch of unnecessary stuff. I vomit out one informational thing, then a bunch of others. Then I go back and organize afterward.
- The “Draft” feature of my blog is like a “Never Publish” time bomb. If I don’t move from Draft to Published within 5-6 hours, there’s a good chance I’ll never go back and hit Publish, because my mood changed, or I ran out of time, or whatever.
- Sometimes I invent new stuff while I’m writing. Draft Version: “How the Heck Do I…” and Final Version: “Here’s How I Learned to…”
- I recognize, and use, blogging as a psychological support activity for myself. It’s a nice outlet. It’s me providing answers, but it’s also me opening up new questions. I in fact there’s a good chance that my pace here will accelerate. I already write at least 3-5x more than I blog—in my journal and other personal files.
- I found a way to keep executing on blog-wide changes I’d like to see. Leaving blog posts aside, other aspects of the blog are continually changing. This is really, really important. It’s what keeps me liking the place—watching it change and improve in lots of little ways. For example, I update the sidebar at least once every week or two, and in the last couple weeks I’ve added about 20 new music links to the music database.
- Sometimes people ask me to write about a given topic. Or they’ll ask me about something that’s worth writing about.
- Something I wrote a long time ago may trigger me! So I feel the need to clarify, or expand upon what I wrote. More blog posts ensue.
- This blog has a history now, and I value that more than I used to. Even if it had the shittiest reputation on the planet, this place is my own little thing and I like it. Every day it becomes more like the kind of blog I like.
My publishing method
Here’s the secret sauce! This is what comes natural to me:
- Put something really basic out there, lacking all details but “big-picture good”
- Hit “Publish”
- Edit like crazy for a day or two
- Reorganize it a bit so it flows logically
- Add examples, if needed
- Add exercises, if needed
- Add an outro
- Cross-link it / Reference it elsewhere, because it wasn’t so bad
- Go back and polish it up a bit more because
- you just linked / referenced it again, and there might be typos
- you think you can improve on it
- Wait until you get triggered again, and repeat
My real secret
Finally: A lot of this is also supported by my back-end “bat cave” writing, which always comes first. Many of my blog posts come straight from my journal. The tools I share here are tools I use in real life.
It’s been a pleasure to share my work with you guys and I look forward to writing more.
And: Happy Birthday, INTJ Blog!
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