The Post LESS Challenge

As I surf around WordPress and other blogging communities, all I see is encouragement about posting MORE.  How many times must I re-assert that more is not better?  What happens if you eat more calories, more sugar, more salt, more carbs?  Do you want more phone calls, text messages, email, TV, housework or bills?  All these things are better with LESS.  Less is really more!

Posting each day, or more than once a day, lessens the quality of what you post.  There isn’t enough time to allow for proper contemplation.  Quality content requires time for the ideas to ferment properly.  Do you want better posts to read?  You should think more, and post less.  Encourage your blogger friends to post less too!

Life is big.  The world is full of wonders.  Can you feel the spirit?  It’s waiting for you.  All you have to do is move away from the keyboard, and go… out… side.

 Are you ready – to post LESS?


Filed under Communications, Self-Esteem, Thinking about thinking

53 responses to “The Post LESS Challenge

  1. Thank you SO much for this! The art of “nothingness” is not to be under-estimated, for in nothing there is so much to see, hear and feel.

    I have another issue with being “personal” – I just can’t do it . . .

  2. You betcha. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be reading, commenting and NOT posting. Plus, I’m going to be working, remember that? xo

  3. I’ve been on the post a day train too long. It only leads to burnout and really crappy posts. Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better word. 🙂 Besides, I try to be upbeat and you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m one fed up, overwhelmed mama right now. Screw the positive spin. Sorry to rant. Love the post. Love the idea.

  4. Pie

    I’d love to know how some people seem to be able to post daily, sometimes twice daily (they must have a lot of time on their hands. Maybe you have a point that they don’t necessarily make for good reading.

    My head is fizzing every day with things I could write about that pop up spontaneously, or come through something I’ve read or observed. I can’t write about all of them and if the subject is time critical, I very often miss the boat. My strange freelance/temping life also means I can’t write as often as I’d like. I’ve decided to stop fighting it now and just go with the flow. Pressure, self imposed or otherwise, never makes for good writing in my opinion. Generally, I don’t write short, so I don’t think I’ll ever be a daily poster. I think my writing is better for it.

    Blog quality!

    • I agree with you entirely, Pie. The best daily bloggers I have seen are compelled to follow formulas, such as restricting themselves to a specific niche style or subject. I do know the tricks. You may recall I am married to an ex-TV news writer. In order to be able to write 5-8 stories per day, 5 days/week on tight deadlines, she used a number of templates – like pre-formats for a crime story, or a weather story. Continuing stories would be only slightly tweaked from versions used in earlier broadcasts. She also types well over 100 wpm. You can write journalism each day, but it will inevitably be as the name says – journal writing, laundry lists, what happened today kinds of stuff. Creative writing can’t be cranked out like that. Coal doesn’t turn to diamonds overnight.

      Quality is the entire goal, not habit. Habit comes from consistently striving for quality. Too many are emphasizing the wrong side of the see-saw.

      • Pie

        A brilliant quote, sir. I’m currently learning to ice skate again, correctly. My ultimate aim is to do it with confidence, quality and style, whether I’m wearing figure, or hockey boots. I will definitely be using that as my mantra to keep my eye on the prize.

  5. Naturally, I LOVE this! 🙂 I was horrified when came up wiht the idea of a post a day. All people need is more pressure!

    The truth is that my mind is brimming with ideas and I could write everyday if that’s all I did. But like you’ve said, there’s more to life than chaining yourself to a keyboard. My last post was an exercise in being succinct. I enjoyed it thoroughly because it’s a challenge for me. But I’m not going to write short so I can write more. I’m opting for space!

    Thank you for giving us permission to do LESS and thus give more.

  6. We’re allies in spaaaaace! (Here’s the oxygen bottle…)

  7. I’m very new@ blogging but I have to totally agree with you. I am trying to build my own content thats fresh Featuring Musicians. And I’m learning that posting more doesn’t really work. I got better things to do outside these walls. And who has time for that. Quality is whats important. Like your post here. Short, Sweet, to the point! More interesting than a lot of things I’ve read all day. LOLs

    • Thanks. That’s a nice compliment. I understand just what you mean about music-related content too! It’s hard to find just the right way to say something original about people whose work you want to help promote, and find the right photo or video to link to. You are introducing something you love to people who don’t know about it, and you don’t have much time or space in which to do it. You have to consider carefully how to both explain and inspire. Not an easy task, and it shouldn’t be rushed. Good luck!

  8. Margie

    I totally agree with you.
    I tried to “Post a Day” and it lasted less than a month. That’s when I wrote a post called “Complaints Department – Too Many Words” and started writing less…

    • One of the best writers I know, Tracy Todd (on my Blogroll), posts rarely, sometimes only once a month or so. Almost every post of hers I’ve read either ripped out my heart, or blew off the top of my head. Boy, I wish I could do that on such a regular basis! I have such admiration for that level of commitment to the work. What we want is to read things that cause us to change and to be better people after. And being able to write that well can not be done fast. Thanks for dropping by!

  9. “Quality is the entire goal,” you write … and thank you for that. To appreciate the beauty of ‘slower’ blogs is an oasis of thinking … a pause, a rest, a contemplation. Your one small post here has been an oasis for me this evening.

  10. What a great topic. Your idea of posting less often and only when one feels moved to do so resonates. I gave up the post – a – day concept in 2005. I have a mind full of ideas that could be turned into posts but I haven’t been feeling a strong inclination towards writing and publishing. Last year I aimed to publish two well developed posts weekly in both blogs and that worked well for me. This year I’m posting less often and I’m comfortable with that. It’s quality that counts. So thanks for this reminder. I feel validated. 🙂

    • You also need more time for repeatedly answering the same question over and over 😉
      (How can I increase my traffic? How can I get more readers? Why aren’t my numbers higher? No one’s reading me, and I’ve posted ten times already! waaaa)

      • You’re correct. I do spend far more time answering repetitive questions on the support forum than I do on blogging. Woo Hoo! It’s summer and my garden is growing. In a month my broken foot will be healed and I’ll be dancing on the beach. 🙂

        P.S. Here’s a little tidbit most of my readers don’t know. I’m not into obsessing about stats and my incoming links on my dashboard has been broken since 2008 but I have not reported it. lol 😀

  11. I feel like I’m only just now coming out of a postage blockage. An ambitious post I was drafting about the Royal Wedding I could never finish and before I knew it was a month after the event and I hadn’t posted at all. I think I might do a very belated post on that by showing what I had in it’s rough notes form. But I am trying to make a concious effort to post more often but that’s mainly because I’ve been such a lazy swine on the blogging front for a few months now.

    • I’ve enjoyed every one of your posts. It makes no difference to me if they show up once a month, or even less. So long as you haven’t been overly slothful in the rest of your life, does it matter if you neglect a bit of recreational amateur writing? I found it nearly impossible to write anything on the wedding that 15 others hadn’t already done. I had to go super-geek into the history of one of the hymns.

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  13. Gemma Sidney

    Hello everyone, my name is Gemma, and I’m a ‘Post a Day’ WordPress user. It’s been six days since my last post.

    Seriously though, this is a good idea. Where can I download the ‘Post Less’ icon for my blog??

  14. Thanks Mikey for making me feel better about ONLY posting once a week. I have two blogs now and that’s all I can comfortably manage. I have to leave time for writing guest posts and jobs for clients too and even, as you say, moving away from my computer and getting outside;)

    Very excited to see a pic of you up here now. You are almost visible;) Keep up the great writing.

    • You can see my insides from reading the blog. That’s always been the in-joke. No one should write as an obligation, or from artificial pressures. It should all be what you care about, and when you have the time after real life.

      Thanks, Annabel. (What a musical-sounding name!)

  15. lifewith4cats

    Its good to see this message. Ive been posting less and less as time goes by because it just feels right that way, but always I felt kinda guilty for it. But guilt can’t stand up to your clearly spoken proofs. Less is more. 🙂

    Reading a blog which posts every day, often can feel as tedious as Im sure writing it is. Its one of the things which has probably had a hand in my recent lax of posting. (I had been reading one too many post a days)
    Its so much more enjoyable to read posts of substance, rather than the ‘white noise’ type of post which serves no purpose.

  16. I do understand the vested interest of our hosting service in encouraging people to use it regularly. I just wished to emphasize that the most important thing is to use it well. It’s like voting. People who don’t know the candidates and issues shouldn’t do it. That way, more votes will be cast by the informed.

  17. I wanted to post every day to force myself to have deadlines. If I waited until it was perfect I would never post, but I hope I never post anything I don’t like just because I have an arbitrary deadline.

  18. You are about the best daily humor writer I know, Paul, but I’m sure you also know how atypical your output is. Still, you tend to use mostly a similar satirical tone (excellent and amusing as it is), and you have to fall back on poor old Todd pretty often. Are you absolutely certain you don’t employ a staff of ghost-writers? The Simpsons has about 20 guys no one hears about besides the ones who are on the credits. I believe one of them is the frozen head of Walt Disney.

  19. Can you hear the collective sigh of relief throughout blogworld? I think many bloggers come to this realization after the honeymoon period is over. I generally post 2-3 times a week. That seems manageable. When the pressure is on, I find that what I cut back on is the reading/commenting. That’s hard because there are a number of blogs I truly enjoy (like yours!) and I also enjoy engaging in the commenting dialogue.

    Recently, one of my kids was having a hard time letting go of a situation. I heard myself saying several times, “Just walk away. Walk away.” I have to do that with the computer sometimes. I’m so busy writing/reading about life that I forget to live it! Just walk away!!

    Great post.

    • Thanks, Galen. I consider you an exemplar of posting when you have something meaningful to say, so I always enjoy reading your work, and it is consistently rewarding to think about after reading.

  20. I have this horrible problem though. i signed up to WP’s postaday2011 and as we all know, I don’t give up easily! I could certainly do with dropping it back a notch now I have a housefull! Will have to think about it!

    • Do what you think is most important, Robyn. I will like you whatever you choose. Some believe they get something useful out of post-a-day habits. I’m a slow buffalo, so it’s not for me. I was pretty surprised that this post got such reaction, about double my normal reads. I don’t take posting by any schedule very seriously, because to me it is just writing/thinking practice. I enjoy the process, however long it takes.

  21. Have a look at what I posted just a few minutes ago.
    Confusious was right, “When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear.” Your post and the comments are my teacher. With the theme that I have picked for my blog, it isn’t even possible to write everyday. Yet, there I was, all worked up over how to improve. And I am just 5 posts old!! I think I am going to go easy on myself now. Thank you Mike 🙂

  22. You’re welcome, sayali, and thanks for tipping me off about the interesting discussion in that forum. Sorry I didn’t respond right away. Mondays are busy at the Urgent Care where I work.

    (Sayali writes meaningful personal stories, and she appears to have similar motives in doing so to my own. I found her writing enjoyable and substantial: )

    • My turn to apologize for the delayed reply. Thank you so much Mike. I’m glad you like my blog. The feelings aren’t exactly mutual, because I love your blog more! Every time I come here, I go back with something beautiful. You’re the best!

  23. Just popped over from the forum myself. Well done for managing to avoid repetition with your replies to the comments! I concur with the above sentiments. I honestly thought I was in a minority and had begun to feel pressure to post more often, against my better judgement, as I endeavour to keep my posts entertaining and I’m not funny enough to churn out more than one post most weeks!

  24. I think it’s all about the effort to audience ratio. I like people to follow my blog, but I want to keep a strong signal. If you blog more and all you create is noise, people will stop reading. Simple. I’m happy with 1-2 updates a week. I have other hobbies too.

  25. I think the fact that you call blogging a hobby is an indication you understand that for most of us it’s a leisure activity, and should be something you do in your spare time, as opposed to something you make time for.

    (I love Frida’s work too. She WAS fantastic.)

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  27. Love this. Thanks! (I feel so validated for posting sporadically now…)

  28. You’re welcome. Love your nom de blog. It connotes both academic focus and balance. Cool.

    Literatelibran writes about the media that she’s into, mostly books. Short, pithy posts, and her personal details are revealed in those reviews. Sound familiar?

  29. The way I look at it is that bloggers should post with the frequency they need to in order to achieve their purpose. For the time being, I’m posting once per day. The reason I’m keeping that schedule is to work through a backlog of ideas for posts I have, to build enough readership to get decent feedback, and to write frequently enough that my writing skills improve. After I’ve kept up this pace for awhile I’ll probably only post when I have something I feel is worth saying, and the time to really do it right.

    • I’m in complete agreement with your approach, Larry. That’s exactly the progression I followed – many and frequent posts at first, and fewer now, for those same reasons you’ve explained as well as the ones I put in my article. Thanks for stopping in!

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  31. nycrenegade

    When I was a kid my dad taught me some nature survival skills. One of the things he taught me in regards to edible food (or not) is that EVERYTHING can be poison, just at different levels. Too much of anything will make you sick. The trick is to find the right ration.

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