In marking his 1000th post, fellow beer blogger Tandleman suggested (as we read it) that beer blogging was in the doldrums at the moment — that Twitter had stolen some of the conversation that used to take place in the comments sections of blogs and that beer bloggers were therefore less motivated to write new posts. Others seconded that emotion. (© Smokey Robinson.)
Speaking for ourselves, we’ve never had more energy and enthusiasm for blogging, but we do know what they mean. With that in mind, here are a few things that keep us keen, which you may or may not find useful.
1. Johnny Five needs input!
Read a book, visit a pub, drink something new, go to a museum, watch a film… It doesn’t have to be directly beer-related: we’re sufficiently obsessed with beer that even the most mundane and tangential experience can trigger an idea for a blog post.
2. “You’ve got to have a project.”
An acquaintance of ours used to say that with reference to his love life, but it applies more generally. Maybe it’s a book; maybe it’s a self-imposed ‘mission’; a contribution to the collective wisdom; or a record of a trip abroad; but it doesn’t really matter. The point is, if we have a goal, we have a reason to write a post, rather than putting it off until, suddenly, it’s been six months since we last wrote anything.
3. Try something new to spice things up.
Yes, this has all gone a bit Dear Deidre. When we’re bored of writing, we take some photographs, make a graph, dig up some videos, paint pictures, cook something. We write in a different voice to the one we normally employ. We make a list. Go off topic. Blog about blogging.
4. Avoid the bloggers’ equivalent of Dartitis.
The longer the gap between posts, the more seems to be riding on the next one. We try not to agonise too much about whether to post something: we write quickly, read it through, and bung it up. If people don’t like it, so what? You win some, you lose some. It’ll be forgotten tomorrow when we put up the next post, and the one after that.
5. Take a break before you quit.
It’s always sad when bloggers quit. When we really lost enthusiasm in 2010, and thought about quitting, what we actually did was take a break. We decided how long it was going to be and announced it, without feeling the need to apologise. At the end of that period, our notebooks were bulging with ideas for posts we wanted to write. (If they hadn’t been, then that would have been the sign to call it a day.)
Please forgive us for blogging about blogging — we don’t do it often, relatively speaking.