Thinking is hard, especially when you don’t have a purpose in mind. You can’t think about generalities. At some level you have to ground the abstractions that you are thinking about in concrete realities. Before you can come up with profound abstractions, you first have to examine several specific examples that you extract the generalities from. Then, you need to test the validity of your abstraction by finding or creating another example or examples that adheres to the same pattern.
When I sit down to write a blog post, I have an idea of the type of piece that I want to write. I’ve written several examples that I am pleased with. I have written a number of posts that I am less pleased with. The larger the population of blog posts that I write, the better the chance that I can figure out what makes a good blog post and so, my writing will get better, at least from the point of view of my personal taste in blog posts.
This is a motivating factor for me to write more blog posts. I am attempting to write a blog post a day. What are my criteria for good blog posts? I don’t know exactly and I’m sure the criteria will be refined by experience.
One prime criteria is cohesion. A blog post should be about one topic, not just a hodge podge of thoughts that run through my head. I write 750 words every morning as part of an exercise inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Such free form writing is great for an exercise but doesn’t produce my idea of a good blog post.
Another important criteria is engagement. If you don’t capture and hold the interest of an audience, you’re not blogging, you’re pontificating. I have a long way to go to meet this criteria.
I will occasionally revisit my criteria for a good blog in these pages. I hope to understand better what constitutes a good blog and improve this blog through that understanding.