There are no rules for blogging. However, it helped me to establish rules to write by, so that I could be productive. I have read that the single most important thing to establishing an audience was creating a lot of content. I have produced almost a thousand blogs in just a little over a year. Establish your own rules, but these are the ones I set up for myself so that I could pump out a lot of content:
1. Post almost as soon as I am done writing: This means that I allow some grammatical errors to slip through the gates, but it also allows me to escape the jaws of self-doubt, which can crush so many ideas. I try to clean up my writing a little as I go along. It is so easy to feel passionate about something, write it, and then later on feel like what the hell was I thinking? Self-analysis is always important, but usually most of the self-doubt that comes into play is what are people going to think about my writing. What are my friends back home going to think? What is my family going to think? These are the kinds of things that can paralyze you, this fear of being accepted. If you just write and post, and clean it up afterwards, it is out there.
2. Do not delete things that are posted: I have broken this rule once or twice, but largely I stick to it. I allow myself to change my mind and write something that contradicts what I wrote at an earlier date, but by and large never allow myself to delete something I have written. This again allows you to not let the self-doubt of what will others think enter the picture. If you are going to be true to yourself and your ideas, you will occasionally put your foot in your own mouth, but that is OK. Making mistakes and being wrong is part of being human. If you realize you were wrong, admit it in another post or make an addition to a post, but then move on.
3. Try as much as possible to be intellectually and emotionally honest: Again this will occasionally lead to getting something wrong, but this will also again alleviate the the pressure of outside forces which will only water down your writing. Anytime you write something you are going to be judged. That is the nature of the beast. Either you will be judged for your ideas or your style. Anytime someone reads something you wrote it will be judged in one way or another. Any fear of this judgment can crush good writing as most writing that is worth anything goes out on a limb either intellectually or emotionally. If you are saying something that everybody knows already, that just conveys middle of the road vanilla emotions, there is no point in writing it. This is not the same as trying to communicate universal truths. Often universal truths can be hidden in plain site. I’m also not talking about being shocking for shocking’s sake. If you write something shocking that has no basis in reality, it is a purposeful distortion of the truth and that is no value to anyone. Everyone only has a partial knowledge of the truth. We again all make mistakes and get things wrong. I try to get the facts right as much as possible and I try to be as honest as I can about how I feel, given the limitations of language. If I’m wrong I will simply write another post explaining how I was wrong and why.
Anyway, those are rules I set for myself to allow myself freedom of thought and a high production rate. If that helps you great, if not, make up your own rules that allow you to do the same.
More than anything I wanted to convey to some of you that have just started coming here how and why I write the way I do. I view my blog, and a lot of the blogs I like, as outward looking journals. It is capturing emotions and thoughts about the world in real time.