Friday, September 16, 2011

The Hesitancy of Deleting Before Reading

I receive many emails. I don't like RSS feeds and prefer receiving my blogging updated via email, adding to the number. So on a day when I have projects clamoring in my head, I tend to read faster and delete more often.

Today, as I write this post, I find myself particularly annoyed. Every blog I open talks about one of three things:

1. Something very mundane like what makes for a good blog, or how to organize.(Geez, people, either it's good or it's not, and I guarantee that the good bloggers didn't read a how-to when they decided to be unique in writing their own. Come on!)

2. Something so far reaching that I can tell the blogger has run out of ideas. (For instance: How to manage notes at a conference. Um, delete.)

3. Yet another e-book comparison - especially about price. (Yes, I understand some people like to give away free ebooks. Yes, I understand it's a good thing to e-pub your backlist, assuming you HAVE one. Yes, some people like 99 cent books and others stick to $2.99. Nothing new, people.)

Today, I deleted some blogs based on headline alone. I was busy, had plans to tend to, and was annoyed at people recycling ideas with no more creative spark than a doorknob.

There are days on my blog that receive few to no comments. I tend to dissect those days in an attempt to understand what the readers liked and didn't like. On those days, I assume you hit delete, too.I understand that your time is very limited. Don't feel guilty about skipping a blog, especially since you read it most of the time.

Your loyalty is to your own writing, first and foremost. Jeff Goins mentioned recently about stalling tactics, and I had to chuckle at how spot-on  he was. Here are a few:

If you need to be writing a book and instead write a blog post, you are stalling.

If you obsess over stats, you’re stalling.

If you spend two hours having coffee to talk about creativity, you’re probably stalling.
If you go to a conference to hear something you already know, you’re stalling.
If you’re “just checking in” to social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you are stalling.

I'd like to add one. If you are reading bad blogs because they are there, because you read the blogger regularly, then you are stalling. 

Bloggers have good days and bad days. Sometimes, however, when they don't have anything profound to say, maybe it's just best not to say anything. Don't feel guilty about hitting delete. Sometimes it's best for both you and the blogger to know that time can't afford to be wasted.


Amanda Kendle said...

I must admit I have become more ruthless over the years. I do use RSS but it's the same there - just a decision of whether to click on the headline or not, rather than whether to open the email or not - and I've become pretty fussy.

There are still a few blogs I'll automatically read, either because I know the bloggers personally or have taught them, and in those cases it doesn't really matter what they say - I always want to know. Others - like yours, Hope - I will read because I know I will get something out of it. But there are many, many that don't get clicked unless the title is extremely promising (which just goes to remind me how important titles are ... perhaps not my strong point!)

Kathleen Basi said...

This is why I don't write about writing. Although that bites me in the derriere, too (and I plead guilty to "stats" obsession).

Hope Clark said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Julie Hedlund said...

Luckily, this was not one of those "automatic delete" posts. :-)

Hope Clark said...

And I'm relieved, Julie. Thanks.