I’d Like to Stop Writing Mediocre Blog Posts

Nate Silver, author of the political stats blog FiveThirtyEight, is now writing for the New York Times. That’s very cool. It’s an inspiration to try and write better blog posts and fewer mediocre ones. ReadWriteWeb is syndicated by the NYT, but that’s different. You’ve got to be pretty consistently awesome, I’m guessing, for the Times to say “hey, come put your blog on our site.” That level of consistent awesomeness is an inspiration, for any blogger, anywhere. I feel a long, long way from so consistently awesome right now. I’d sure love to grow as an author to feel like I wrote fewer mediocre blog posts than I do today.

One step I’d like to take is to learn to stop before publishing and ask myself: how could this post be better in a big way? What fundamental insight can my noggin’ churn up with just five more minutes of slowing down from the perpetual mad dash of blogging? Publishing immediately is hard wired in my brain now, though, and it’s going to be easier said than done to change that habit.

  • To be honest, from the RWW team I like your and Richard’s coverage the msot. And it should not sound as flattery of any kind, just you are analytical, you digg deep and you think. Now there is always a place for improvement and desire for doing better, greater which I find awesome! Check your posts from last year, from a year ago, feel the difference, see what improved, what did not, never settle πŸ™‚

  • Marshall

    Thanks Martin, and thanks for the advice.

  • Jon

    “Publishing immediately is hard wired in my brain now, though, and it’s going to be easier said than done to change that habit”

    Like my grandma always said, “If it’s a habit you want to get rid of, you gotta replace it with a better habit!”

    In a fast-paced environment like RWW and tech blogging in general, it might seem the best thing to do is hit the PUBLISH button.

    Here’s a thought: From now on when you’ve reached that point, decide to give yourself a reward of a quick trip to the restroom. Your fingertips are probably needing a bit of scrubbing by then, and clean hands make everybody feel good.

    Don’t even think about the post. Do your business, wash your hands, drink a bit of water and THEN go back to proofread.

    The handwashing thing helps me to move easily from one job to the next in my work. Folks might think you’re developing a compulsive disorder, but if it works…?

    And you should know: personally I don’t think you consistently produce mediocre work. That requires a laziness that I doubt you will ever achieve, regardless of how hard you try.

  • Marshall, that’s a pretty tall order since I already consider you one of the best tech bloggers out there.

    I’m glad you’re still pushing yourself because if I were you it would be pretty easy to look at the competition and realize how much better your posts are.

  • Marshall

    Thanks Tac, but if you’ve been sent by Mashable as a spie to lull me into a vulnerable sense of complacency, it isn’t going to work!!! πŸ˜‰