In Defense of the Unfocused Blog
From Michael Hyatt’s blog post, “Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog“:
You[r] posts are too infrequent. You haven’t posted in weeks. Or months. Like so many would-be bloggers, you started well, but you quit too early. I’m sure you have legitimate reasons, but I am tired of waiting. Nobody cares. Post or perish.
Your posts are too unfocused. One day you’re are blogging on this. The next day you are blogging on that. What is your blog about? Please remind me, because I am lost in the forrest [sic] of your eclectic interests. You’re not a renaissance man (or woman). You are undisciplined.
I am guilty of both infractions above.
I have not adhered to a regular posting schedule for this blog and am trying to do better for 2011 with at least one piece of content posting daily and perhaps a second at any moment or day I wish. I understand Mr. Hyatt’s frustration in this area. In the past, there have been a few blogs that I loved reading, but since they hadn’t posted in months, I stopped visiting their sites assuming they had abandoned their blog. Most readers understand if you’re enduring a busy or sick season and will wait for you if you inform them. But if you disappear without warning for an extended period of time, well… readers do get tired of waiting and leave. No sense in clogging up a perfectly good RSS feed with a blog that is rarely updated.
Unsubscribing for unfocused posts? Well, here’s where I stand up for the girl who feels like using her blog to ramble about her boyfriend, her ex-boyfriend, her cute little puppy, and that annoying co-worker who gabs on the phone all day. If you started reading her blog with this kind of content, expect more of this content: it’s called her life. She simply rambles on her blog about different aspects of it.
You might consider the blog you’re reading now to be a bit unfocused and undisciplined. (Goshdarnit, Mr. Hyatt! You pegged me!) You’re right. I’m not afraid to tackle a variety of issues on this blog: different aspects on my life, my thoughts on losing a loved one, Christianity, gay rights, book reviews, and more. If that isn’t all over the place, then I don’t know what is.
For 2 years, I put an immense amount of effort into maintaining a blog focused on one specific topic: depression. And when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it shifted to a general mental illness blog covering different aspects of mental health. Then it grew and became a semi-pharma blog.
And one day, it became just too much to pour all my heart, soul, time, and energy into a keeping a blog topic-specific because I was growing. My thoughts and ideas were growing beyond mental health. I developed a passion for Christian theology. I wanted to ramble about politics. I wanted an avenue to challenge other people’s thinking with my posts on a variety of topics.
And so… This Journey Is My Own was born in June 2009 after taking a long break from regular blogging.
The majority of posts deal with some aspect of Christianity in some way. But those posts also heavily intersect with my life. I blog on anything that is near and dear to my heart—I don’t stick to posts about publishing or writing or mental health. I am so much more than that.
I don’t mind reading a blog that talks about a variety of topics from day to day. Not everyone is organized enough to have Mental Health Monday, Theology Tuesday, Weather Wednesday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, and Fitness & Health Friday. (Don’t worry, I’m not sure I’d even do those themes. Although having a regular Fail Friday on my old blog was really fun.)
I say people should blog about whatever they want to blog about on any given day. If you want to post about Buddhism on one day and then discuss Barack Obama’s health care plan the next, why not? Blogging is about your readers but it’s also about you. If you’re not getting paid to publish your content or if it’s not related to your job in any way, there should be no problem if your topics are all over the place as long as they’re engaging and concise.
Speaking of concise, perhaps it’s time for me to stop typing. And if you read this far, you either found this content engaging or you’re my husband.