Three years ago I wrote about joining the slow blogging movement. Slow blogging is a practise that aims to take blogs back to yesteryears, where a group of people wrote thoughtful articles and the web, by and large, read them. These people were not journalists, but regular folk who had worthwhile comments to make and their blog was their platform. And there was no competition.
Like everything else this soon turned into a business: someone thought of ways to make money, someone else thought of ways to appease Google, still others thought of banding and writing hordes of articles with a frequency individual writers could never dream of matching and we got to a point where people started comparing blogging to journalism. And there came with it unhealthy competition.
In three–years’ time I have most certainly deviated from my original intentions of “slow blogging”. But I think the fact that I took three years is appreciable; I for one expected to deviate within three weeks. But it is important not to take the term “slow blogging” too literally. In fact, it means blogging intentionally or purposefully rather than slowly, and pace itself comes merely as a footnote. The idea is that we bloggers will do well to leave marketing and strenuous schedules of writing to magazines and journalists and embrace something media houses cannot offer — individuality. And that when you blog only when you have something worthwhile to say, your frequency of writing tends to drop.
“You don’t work for your blog — your blog works for you and your goals, and the most important thing we can do is let it,” says Jen Carrington.[[/perfectpullquote]]
Last month I wrote continuously keeping a good schedule of publishing on alternate days. I loved it, but I think I would like it better if I were allowed to take things slow. Surprisingly enough, it is not because I had to work hard to say something — indeed that is easily done — but because, over the years, I have come to value the creativity afforded by flexible deadlines. Not a complete lack of deadlines, mind you, because deadlines do quite a lot to help you get things done, but having a crude deadline (this week, by this month etc.) means you can be sure not to abandon your blog. This is important for those afraid of abandoning their blogs.
However what we do gain by adopting a slow blogging mindset is a mental calm, weightier thoughts, and a better body of articles. I have often found myself cringing at my earliest work — perhaps everyone has experienced this — and a surefire way to ensure every piece you write is your best is to ensure you give each one all the time it deserves, and this is near-impossible with a cut and dried schedule. I may be returning to the movement (if you can call it that) after deviating from it for a while, but I have maintained it for the better part of three years and found it to be enjoyable. It really does have practical reasons too: most of us do not earn by blogging, and it makes no sense to justify spending more time on it than you would on any hobby. Sixty minutes were all I gave myself, and if that time was up, I returned to the article another day, once again for no more than an hour. This does wonders to your thought process, leaving ideas lingering in your mind, giving them ample time to germinate.
“Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy,” says Todd Sieling. “It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly.”
Jen Carrington wrote an excellent piece on slow blogging for creatives last year; I think everyone should read it. The only other article on slow blogging I would recommend you read is The New York Times’ coverage from way back in 2008 — five whole years before I joined the movement. I would also suggest reading the original “Slow blogging manifesto” from Todd Sieling, who kickstarted the movement, except it seems to have been taken offline now, which is a pity. In any case, a quick search for slow blogging will place before you more manifestos than you would care to read.
The point remains the same, be it 2008 or 2016. Blogging, for a majority of us, is a hobby, a leisure activity (possibly academic to a certain extent), and an enriching part of our lives, but a part of our lives nonetheless, not our entire life. But for the meaning it adds to us and our work and thoughts, we all want our blogs to be meaningful too, to be worthwhile for our readers and, at the end of the day, justifiable for our efforts. When you look at it that way, “slow blogging” just makes sense. Perhaps it is the natural way to blog and still the best. I love to write a lot, write often, but I have many things to do apart from this — research and academics for instance — but blogging is worth it and I appreciate those who put in a lot of effort and keep a stern schedule, but to each his own. I have come to embrace slow blogging for a reason, because it makes more sense to me, my lifestyle and my approach to things, but to you as my reader, it should make hardly any difference because absolutely nothing changes with regard to interesting articles getting published on this website. In fact, my instincts tell me that “slow blogging” just may make my articles even better. ❖