The blogging streak
Every once in a while I begin to wonder if I am crazy. Why bother blogging here every week day?
Since this blog began in March of 2015, I have posted on it every weekday. In six-plus years, that has added up to 1,700 posts and 1.5 million total words. These posts have seen 3.5 million views and generated 9,000 comments.
(For the authors in the audience — 1.5 million words is about 30 books worth.)
I’ve gotten effusive thank-yous, nasty and horrifying criticisms, and many comments that made me think harder. If this was normal content marketing, I’d restrict my writing to one or two topics. But I can’t do that. I don’t like guard rails. That’s why I post on books and writing and clients and how to network and what I’ve learned and incredible things I have experienced and analyst-type insights on just about anything.
My mind ranges all over. So why shouldn’t I post on all of it?
Let’s call this what it is — a possibly unhealthy obsession. At this point, I structure my day around posting. It is how I know I am actually working and not just lying around (in between actual client projects, of course).
I value my connection with the world — and if I am connected to it, I feel I must write about it.
I value my connection with words, which keeps my mind vital and active. If you are writing, you are thinking, and when you stop thinking, it’s game over.
And I value my connection with all of you.
At this point, I am more afraid of what would happen if I stopped than of continuing the streak.
I am curious.
What streak are you working on?
Why do you do it?
And what will happen if you miss a day?
I’ll be here tomorrow — at least I hope so.
My streak is: I read every day (things that are not due to work).
A couple of years ago I spent a few days without doing it and I realized I felt restless, so now, no matter what happens, I read.
Keep going. You write pertinent stuff.
I’m sure I speak for many of your readers: I’m a salaried employee. On most weekdays, your new post arrives when I’m either on the clock or away from a physical keyboard. Otherwise, I’d comment far more often. Every so often, I’ll link to your new blog post on Slack. We may not acknowledge your daily posts, but we welcome them, ponder them, and share them.
Last night we watched Juliette Binoche in “Non-Fiction” which asked the same questions about blogging, digital formats, and book publishing, as well as love… Right now I’m on more of an artistic streak than writing, but it’s all the same to me — I’m scratching a creative itch. Keep scratching as long as you have readers and a need to express your perspective. We need more thoughtful, compassionate, problem-solvers to slow (or hopefully stop) the race to the bottom.
Josh, your writings are far more relevant than 95% of the data that uselessly clogs the Internet.
Keep ’em coming.
I hope you can keep going because I’m grateful to read your daily posts, but of course do what’s right for you.
I especially loved the post you wrote a few days ago about “how I got (moderately) rich by investing in myself and my family.” I hear a lot of advice to just think positive and follow your dream, and not nearly enough about that not working for lots of people and other (in my opinion, saner and more productive) ways to navigate. The specifics you provided were illuminating and I meant to comment on it but never got around to it, which is partly why I’m replying now.
I also loved a post you made a while back (& there have been more than one like this) where you took a politically polarized issue and gave your thoughts on it. I am mostly liberal and it helped me rethink my attitude and adjust so I can better consider the other point of view and not always agree with “my side” just because it’s my side.
I am delighted for you that you’re moving to Portland, Maine because that’s a really beautiful area. My sister’s family lives in Scarborough and at one point they considered moving back to Massachusetts but realized they’d have to give up too much. Proximity to the ocean, bike paths, light houses, attending concerts and plays with much less of a crowd, and a do-able drive to the botanical gardens in Boothbay, Maine were some of the reasons.
I wish I had come across you and your writing when I was younger and still working. I was coached to cut my business writing into much shorter emails – something I could have learned from you, had I found you sooner. I can’t remember how I stumbled across your blog, but the name attracted me immediately. I find your blog as advertised, without bullshit, which is the way I like my reading material and my life.
I look forward to reading your blog for as long as you look forward to writing it!
And now I realize I didn’t even answer your question, so I’ll add my experience with keeping or breaking a streak. If it’s important enough to me (like staying sober) I don’t want to break my streak and hope I never do. But sometimes it feels nice to wear life like a looser fitting garment. I started walking most days about three years ago, but I don’t do it every day or at the same time of day. If more than a couple of days go by, I get back out there. And that’s been working for me. Good luck with figuring out what works best for you now, and I hope it’s at least occasional blogging even if it’s not daily blogging.
Hi Josh, What program do you use to product the statistics that you screenshotted? Thanks.
It’s from the site statistics portion of WordPress.
Thanks, Josh. It seems that statistics aren’t built into WordPress. Instead, might you be using a plug-in that calculates and displays this info? Or maybe you’re using https://wordpress.com/stats/day? Thanks again.
It’s buried deep in menus. Here is the URL:
Thanks, Josh, I think that’s available to you because you use WordPress.com. Even though my site runs on WordPress, it’s not linked to WordPress.com.
I second the view that even when readers don’t get around to like or comment or post, we still really appreciate your blog. I especially like the links to related posts and I often find myself reading half a dozen pieces in a row, nodding along in most places, before I have to get back to my “real” job. Thanks again for your amazing perseverance!
I’m on a yoga streak. In late January, my friend Linda said she was going to do a 30-day yoga challenge from a youtube channel; did I want to join? I did, and for some reason kept going. I’m on something like 160 days or something. I think about keeping going. I think about stopping. I wonder if i want to stop, when should that be? at 200? 365? 1000? 5000? But then, the next morning comes, and i get on the mat, and do yoga.
My streak? It’s reading what you have written!
Yup. So much “bullshit” flows through my inbox daily. Delete. Delete. Delete.
I look forward to your posts, particularly the ones where you write about writing.
Please allow me to continue my streak.
I do a podcast that has single digit listenership. Due to lack of popular demand I stopped, but one or two of my loyal listeners lamented its demise. So I restarted. I used to do it daily but now I just do it whenever the spirit moves.