Blogging as a form of e-correspondence is being surpassed by Tweeting, Facebook updating, and things I haven’t heard of yet; it seems to be going the way of the hand-written letter. But do not despair, bloggers! Now is the time not only for persistence but for a more strategic approach to blogging, and one way to blog outside the box is to post at unpredictable and lengthy intervals. Here are three reasons why you, if you aren’t already, should be blogging with sporadic infrequence.
- Playing hard to get. Let’s face it: if you keep a rigorous posting schedule you risk coming across to your readers as inflexible, monotonous, and worst of all, needy. What’s keeping you from ascending to the next stratum of the blogosphere may in fact be the calculated and pitiable regularity of your posts. People don’t want to feel like they’re subscribed to a codependent robot’s RSS feed; they want to connect to an elusive, breathing human, someone who from time to time leaves the top few shirt buttons unclasped and says, “Let them wait. Now, we drink!”
Spice things up with a little coquetry. As an analogy, let’s look at my wife. When I first met her my heart was throttled by her loveliness and, more importantly, what appeared to be her frank indifference to me. She was always around, but I could not predict when she would sit and talk to me or when she would go on laughing incoherently with her friends. Our bonding time was sporadic and certainly less frequent than in my fantasies. It is a pattern that continues to this day, and I am still under her spell, still a “subscriber” if you will. We can’t all be as lovely as Mrs. Public, but we bloggers can learn something about her efficacious deployment of aloofness to spark interest and inspire fidelity.
- Having too much to say. If you have ever poised your fingers over the laptop to begin typing your weekly String Theory Mysticism post but could not gather your thoughts enough to strike the first key, you’re not alone. Like most bloggers, you may simply have too many incredible ideas, insights, and anecdotes to distill into five lucid paragraphs, and you may owe yourself and your readers a break from your blog.
When you suffer from Blogger’s Overload the sensation can be quite uncomfortable and can last days, weeks, even months. Think of it as a writerly constipation: the lack of movement in your brain isn’t because the chambers are empty, of course, but because the contents are over capacity and therefore compacted into an unpassable rhetorical mass.
In this situation it is useless to keep returning to a seated position to attempt another post. I find it helpful to drink lots of warm fluids, lie on my side, and imagine strolling through sun-dappled Florentine streets, minus the cheesy pizza. When your insides are ready, the words will come out again, perhaps over several days in numerous, scattered little posts or all at once in a single, enormous, sweaty post from which you will emerge limping but feeling considerably lighter!
- Heeding the call of our beautiful world. There are just some days–when you awaken to birdsong, the smell of dewy flowers floating on a whispering wind, your dog eying you with playful anticipation while a Frisbee dangles from her mouth–when you have to step away from the blog and live a little. Life is too short for you to over-commit to this one mode of engaging with a back-lit screen!
Open the patio door, let the dog out, and return to your computer refreshed. Your post can wait while you browse YouTube for World of Warcraft footage set to post-hardcore punk songs, catch up on your Lolcats, or check in on the minute-by-minute tomfoolery of your socially networked friends. We live in a world of unprecedented depth and splendor thanks to the web and digital media. No decent subscriber of yours would begrudge you an invigorating stroll to find the tablet device that your kids aren’t glued to so you can see what the free app of the day is.
You’re a blogger, but more importantly you’re a human. Keeping your followers waiting because the day is too gorgeous not to watch two hours of Onion News videos will only make them respect you more.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it could be the beginning of a propitious turn in your life as a blogger. The web hosts millions of blogs; if you want to stand out from the crowd, standing out less regularly and less often may be the key to getting everyone’s attention.
James Joyce, arguably the 20th century’s greatest English-speaking author, published Finnegan’s Wake 17 years after Ulysses. I challenge you to wait even half that time before you publish your next post.