Lowering the bar

It’s been weeks since my last substantial blog post, so I’m sure that speculation is rampant, out there in the blogosphere, about exactly what has curtailed my output so drastically. Has a rat stepped on my own personal Power button and shut me off? Did the Valar notice that I was writing about them and express their displeasure with a few well-placed lightning bolts? Was I silenced by the global oil cartel for knowing too much about why gasoline prices are high?
Those are all good guesses, but none of these theories are correct. Actually, my lack of blogging over the past few weeks was caused by Nazis. I’ve been working on a post that explains exactly how this happened, but the story is rather long and complicated. It may be a while before I finish it, and it doesn’t make sense to keep my blog on hold while that process continues.
This is a chronic problem that I have with blogging. It’s been noted by numerous observers that bloggers tend to fall into two broad types. One type posts brief, pithy items, typically consisting of a link to something elsewhere on the web and a paragraph or two of commentary. (Classic example: Glenn Reynolds.) The other type of blogger posts long, thoughtful essays that explore topics in detail. (Classic example: Steven Den Beste.)
My natural tendency is to emulate Den Beste, but those long essays take a lot of time to write. Den Beste has the time because he’s retired and has no children. I have two teenagers and a full-time job, so emulating Den Beste is not very realistic. As Bob has pointed out, the result ends up looking less like Den Beste’s blog and more like that of Bill Whittle, who writes 10,000-word essays at the rate of one every two or three months. (Whittle isn’t really a blogger at all; he’s an author who’s posting his book on the Web in pieces.)
So perhaps the person I should really try to emulate is Rachel Lucas, who recently returned to blogging after a hiatus of several months. Rachel also is an essayist by nature, but her blog faltered after she graduated from college, bought a house, and started working full-time. She now has, at most, an hour a day for blogging. So she’s had to adjust her blogging style to fit her new limitations. She’s making a conscious effort to write shorter articles and spend less time trying to make each one perfect. And it’s working; her output isn’t what it was a year ago, but she’s posting something every day or two.
Well, if Rachel can do that, maybe I can too. It won’t easy to combat my natural tendencies to be a longwinded perfectionist, but I’ll try. With luck, I should be able to get this blog back on track. As long as I can avoid the Nazis.

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